KAPAA — The Warrior wahine won in a rout to stay in contention for the season’s first round.
Kapaa High School’s varsity girls basketball team defeated Waimea High, 63-39, Tuesday evening at home.
“We had a lot of good ball movement tonight. Ran the right way tonight,” said Kapaa head coach William Aki. “Started off the game really well.”
After taking a nine-point lead at halftime, Kapaa (2-2 KIF) outscored Waimea 32-17 in the second half.
Warriors sophomore guard Jaliyah Casem led Kapaa with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. She also had four steals, four rebounds and three assists.
“We ran our offense. We just played. And whenever I had had an opening, I just went for it,” Casem said. “That’s what coach said, and that’s what all our assistant coaches said — If I have an opening, just shoot it. And if I have open passes, pass it.”
Aki said following the loss to Kauai High on Friday, his team went into Tuesday’s contest with a different attitude.
“(We came out) with the intensity tonight,” he said. “The girls know we still have a chance in the season, yet we still got to keep pushing on them. … The girls did very well. The game plan was just to run the ball, and hopefully the defense would hold out for us.”
Waimea (1-2 KIF) kept Kapaa’s lead to a minimum early on, but the scoring then faltered in the second half. The Menehune managed only four points in the third quarter.
Waimea head coach Natalie Mata was disheartened by the loss, saying, “We didn’t play hard. We gave up.”
“We all know, us coaches and the players, we all know that we can do better,” Mata said. “Tonight, it’s just one of those off days, I guess. We couldn’t rebound. We couldn’t light the fire today.”
Waimea will host Kauai (2-1 KIF) at 6:30 p.m. Friday to conclude the season’s first round.
If Waimea wins Friday, all three teams in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation will be in a three-way tie and coin tosses will determine first round playoff games.
A Red Raiders win will award Kauai the first round.
“Of course, we look forward to our next game. But as far as tonight, we got to soak it in. We got to take the loss. We got to get better from it,” Mata said.
She added: “When we lose, it’s the coaches’ fault. When we win, it’s the players. I take full responsibility for that, always. No matter if they could have done something better, we all could have done something better.”
Aki said of a possible three-way tie: “If that happens, it just goes to show how the season has gone for all three schools. If Waimea does beat Kauai High on Friday, then we all win one at home. The teams are really close. The season could be anyone’s so far.”
Warriors senior forward Jazmin Kaleiohi had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds in the home win. Junior guard Samantha Coloma had eight points and four rebounds. Senior guard Paea Tafea had seven points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Menehune junior guard Kiarra Palacio had 16 points, two steals and an assist for Waimea. Junior guard Monique Joy Lorenzo had seven points, three steals and two rebounds. Junior forward Starlynn Ripley had six points, six rebounds and a steal.
Kapaa defeated Kauai, 44-18, in the junior varsity contest.
Tiani Kaui, Junelle Kayla Tangalin and Naia Maka Adric each scored eight points for the JV Warriors. Tiani Manera scored six points for the JV Red Raiders.