Red Raiders defend home court

LIHUE — Kauai High School’s varsity boys basketball team defeated Waimea, 61-42, at home Wednesday evening.

Kauai (2-0 KIF) started the opening quarter with a 12-0 run.

“A lot of times, if you notice, we start off slow. So, we worked hard in the offseason and now to get off to a good start,” said Kauai head coach Ipo Yoshioka. “For us, it’s defense. And we’re going to keep working on that every day until we get tired of it. We’re just going to keep working on it. Defense creates our offense.”

The period ended with the Red Raiders leading 17-2. Kauai never lost its lead.

“Everybody was sharing the ball and having assists,” said Red Raiders senior guard Bryce Johnson-Cormack. “Everybody was taking good shots, and we were getting out on fast breaks, which makes it easier to score for us.”

Waimea (1-1 KIF) went into halftime with a 27-13 deficit.

The second half was more closely contested — Waimea totaled 29 points, and Kauai scored 34 — but the Menehune couldn’t close the gap.

“They got in a hole quick. From that point on, once we settled down, it was an even game all the way,” said Waimea head coach Dino Pabre. “We just have to learn from this. We’ll go back, watch some video, and let the kids see and go through the learning process of being better prepared next time.”

Johnson-Cormack was Kauai High’s leading scorer with 15 points along with five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Junior guard Christian Manera had 14 points, an assist and a steal for Kauai High, and senior guard Joseph Cumlat had nine points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“Coach, at practice, he would always tell us that defense creates our offense. That’s how it was tonight,” Johnson-Cormack said. “We had a lot of steals, and we just passed it out for wide-open layups. That’s a key to our game.”

Menehune junior guard D.J. Pabre had a game-high 16 points with eight rebounds and two blocks. Junior forward Joel Soriano had eight points, nine rebounds, three assists and a block.

“They played a great game. Kauai High, they did a great job with moving the ball, taking care of the ball, and they were able to penetrate our defense,” said Waimea head coach Dino Pabre. “That was the key for us — to be able to stop the penetration. It didn’t happen, but it’s OK. Once again, our kids played until the end. It was a good game.”

Kauai High will host Kapaa (0-2 KIF) on Saturday. The junior varsity game will begin 5:30 p.m. and the varsity will follow.

“We got to turn around in two days against Kapaa, and Kapaa’s tough,” Yoshioka said. “It’s going to be a rough season for all of us. … It’s a long season because it’s three schools. We got to keep working, and we got to keep the kids motivated and fundamentally-sound. I think we’ll be OK.”

Waimea will next play at Kapaa High School on Wednesday.

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