KAPAA — Despite only suiting up just seven players and having one of them foul out in the third quarter, the Warriors still won big.
Kapaa High School’s varsity girls basketball team defeated Waimea, 59-36, at home Friday evening.
“Teaching them how to control the game, especially when you got a lead like that, you can’t let that get away from you,” said Kapaa head coach William Aki. “They’re doing a good job, and hopefully we’re just starting to peak now. Next week, we’ll have one more back. So hopefully by the next game, we’ll be at full strength.”
Kapaa (4-2 KIF, 2-0 2nd round) had a 35-14 lead by halftime and outscored Waimea in the second quarter by 14 points.
From that offensive boost in the second quarter, Kapaa maintained a comfortable lead throughout the game despite losing a player in the third period.
Warriors senior forward Jazmin Kaleiohi fouled out in that quarter. She left the game with 12 points and four rebounds.
“We did pretty good. We still got stuff to work on,” said Warriors senior guard Paea Tafea. “We know we were short-handed, so we got to play smarter.”
Waimea (1-4 KIF, 0-1 2nd round) managed just two points in the second quarter — a pair of free throws from Menehune junior guard Monique Joy Lorenzo.
The second half was more closely contested — Waimea totaled 22 points, and Kapaa scored 24 — but couldn’t recover from that early deficit.
The Menehune attacked the basket often, drawing fouls and stopping the clock in the process.
“The girls did a good job (with the) game plan for tonight,” Aki said. “Waimea still played a great game. They came back in that fourth quarter. … One of the girls fouled out. So, we transitioned to trying to slow the ball down, spreading the floor out and running the clock down.”
Tafea totaled eight points, a game-high seven assists, four rebounds and three blocks.
Warriors sophomore guard Jaliyah Casem led Kapaa offensively with 18 points — 10 in the final quarter — four steals and three rebounds. Sophomore center Mele Tafea had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Lorenzo scored a game-high 19 points for Waimea — eight in the third quarter, all of which were free throws. She also had two steals, a rebound and an assist.
Menehune junior guard Kiarra Palacio contributed 13 points, four rebounds and two steals. Senior forward Shania Kahepuu had two points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Waimea varsity girls head coach Natalie Mata declined to comment after Friday’s game.
In the junior varsity contest, Kapaa defeated Kauai High School, 35-16. Angeline Roslin and Kobi Taylor Miura each scored seven points for the JV Warriors.
Tiana Manera got a game-high 13 points for the JV Red Raiders.
Waimea will host Kauai High (3-2 KIF, 0-1 2nd round) on Tuesday. The varsity game will begin 6:30 p.m.
Kapaa will host Kauai on Friday. The JV game will begin 5:30 p.m., and the varsity will follow.