LIHUE — The Kaulupono 12th grade division girls, and Hanakila, the boys 7th grade division, were successful at the Kauai Hoop Classic which wrapped up Sunday at Island School Wilcox Gym.
The girls game was shortened due to a flight arrangement by the Wahine Ryders, Kaulupono’s opponent for the title game.
The shortened games resulted in a Kaulupono/Wahine Ryders split, the team from Hilo taking the 9th grade girls division on a 33-4 win over Kaulupono, and in the 12th grade division, Kaulupono took a 22-18 win for the title.
In the victory, coach Bobby Kamakele supplemented his 12th grade division team with Emma Dudley from California.
Dudley combined with Tori Daligcon to control the inside and frustrate the Ryders who rallied late.
“This was so fun,” Dudley said. “The girls treated me like family, and we all had fun.”
Hanakila wrapped up the 7th grade boys Division 2 title with a 54-17 win over Imua while the Whitmore Posse took a 51-32 win over Dream Hoops Elite for the Division 1 title.
The Hoop Dreams were up 27-21 over Team Flex at the half of the Boys Grade 9 division 1 title game. However, the Hoop Dreams forfeited the second half due to flight arrangements to give the division title to Team Flex.
Kahului claimed a 65-35 win over Aiea to nail the Boys 9th Grade Division 2 title.
Kahuku nailed a 43-24 victory over the Kapaa Warriors to take the boys 12th grade Division 2 title while over on the Division 1 court, Aiea, fifth seeded, upset the top seeded UpCountry Elite, 42-39, for that title.
The Kauai Hoops Classic opened Thursday with 45 teams registered to play at four different sites on Kauai.
The Classic, formerly known as the Merv Lopes Classic, is growing every year, said Clarence Sales, the tournament director. Sixteen teams were on the wait list hoping to get a spot.
“What was good to see is that every year, more of our Kauai teams and clubs are starting to take part in the tournament,” he said.
Sales said there are many kids on Kauai who love the game, but are limited due to Kauai having four high schools that field basketball programs, and limited spots on the roster.
“Not too many kids make the team, and that’s the reality,” Sales said. “With this Kauai Hoops Classic, it is our hope that we can continue to have it here on Kauai so our kids can continue to develop their skills and create memories playing for teams from different places and at different levels.”