LIHUE — Aira Baguyo dropped 12 points to lead the Lady Phenom to a 30-9 showing over the Kauai Lynx on Thursday afternoon at the Kauai High School gym.
After nailing 10 points in the first half, the middle school-aged Phenoms settled into defense, allowing the Lynx just three points — all from Jasmyne Ballesteros in the second half of the game in pool play.
The game between the girls opened the Kauai Hoops Classic, formerly known as the Merv Lopes Classic. The tournament runs through Sunday with games being played at four venues, the Kauai High School gym, Island School’s Wilcox Gym, the Bernice Hundley Gym at Kapaa High School, and the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
“That is a lot of basketball,” said Ipo Yoshioka, coach for the Kauai High School team. “No matter where you go, there’s a game.”
Forty-five teams ranging from grades seven to 12 make up the field who will be playing at least 120 games spread between the four venues.
Teams come from Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and California — where former NBA player Chris Dudley is in the coaches’ box for the California Bear Cats.
“We have his daughter playing with us,” said Bobby Kamakele, coach for the Pono Blue girls team. “She wanted to play, and we said she could play with us. The girls all know this — we play with anyone who wants to play. Otherwise, she’d just be at home.”
Pono Blue was scheduled to meet up with UpCountry Elite, a high school-aged team from Maui.
“These are all girls in high school,” Kamakele said. “They finished as the runner up team from last year’s tournament.”
Tournament results can be found at kauaihoopsclassic.com.
Championship games for the divisions are scheduled for Sunday at Island School.