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Through ups and downs, KIF represented well at states

The high school winter sports season officially wrapped up this past weekend.

Kauai Interscholastic Federation baseball, tennis and golf seasons are set to start this weekend while the softball, boys volleyball and track and field seasons will begin in the weeks to come.

The KIF has seen its highs and lows at all of the state tournaments. In glorious victories and humbling defeats, their efforts won’t be forgotten.

Here’s a summary of how Kauai’s teams fared the last few weeks at states:

Girls basketball: Red Raiders reach last day, settle for 6th

After winning Kauai High’s first girls basketball championship since the 2012-13 season, the Red Raiders went 2-2 and placed sixth at the Snapple Girls Basketball Championships — Division II tournament.

In the fifth place game at Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Kauai was edged by Oahu’s Moanalua, 37-35.

En route to the fifth place game, unseeded Kauai got a 45-34 win over Kohala of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in the opening round.

The Red Raiders then lost to No. 4 seed Kalani of the OIA, 68-48, in the Falcons’ home gym in the quarterfinals and then won the following consolation game against Damien Memorial of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 59-37.

Junior center Taegan Keep, listed at 6-foot-3, was a stalwart for the Red Raiders during the season with scoring and rebounding.

Girls soccer: Warriors edged by defending champions in Division II final

The Warrior wahine footballers had a shot at winning the first girls soccer state championship for the KIF. At the end, Warriors lost by the slightest of margins against the reigning title holders.

No. 2 seed Kapaa lost to the No. 1 seed and now four-time consecutive state championship winner Hawaii Prep of the BIIF, 1-0, at The Queen’s Medical Center Girls Soccer Championships — Division II tournament.

Prior to the final match, Kapaa defeated Makua Lani of the BIIF in the quarterfinals, 2-0, and then beat No. 3 Pac-Five of the ILH in the semifinals, 2-1, to earn the school’s first berth in the state championship match since 2009.

Kapaa enjoyed a season in which junior forward Brianna Binder was a scoring machine with 24 goals, which is the second highest in Division II according to ScoringLive. Her 24 goals are second to another KIF standout.

Girls soccer: Kauai High rebounds to win consolation final

The Red Raiders had high hopes of making another deep run in the championship bracket.

Those high hopes were dashed, however, when Kauai lost in the opening round to Seabury Hall of the Maui Interscholastic League, 3-2.

The Red Raiders then regrouped and won the following two matches to take the tournament’s consolation final against OIA’s Kalaheo, 2-1. Kauai beat OIA’s Waianae in a consolation match the day before, 2-0.

This season, Red Raiders sophomore forward Kehela Ventura led all of Division II with 25 goals scored according to ScoringLive.

Paddling: Kapaa finishes fourth in varsity girls final

Four seconds separated the Warrior girls from placing in the top three.

Kapaa High School’s varsity girls paddling crew placed fourth in the girls final race at the First Hawaiian Bank Canoe Paddling Championships at Keehi Lagoon on Oahu.

The top three girls teams were title winner MIL’s Seabury Hall, runner-up Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama of the ILH and third place Molokai of the MIL.

The Warrior girls earned their berth in the championship heat by finishing first in their semifinal race with a time of 04:32.59.

Waimea High’s varsity boys crew and mixed crew both reached the semifinals, but their runs would end there.

The Menehune mixed crew finished fifth in their semifinal race with a time of 04:18.55, and the boys crew placed third in their semifinal race at 03:58.04.

Boys soccer: Menehune reach consolation final, then weather cancels match

Waimea’s varsity boys soccer team unfortunately got rained out in the final day of play.

Weather and unplayable field conditions led to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association to cancel all D1 and D2 consolation matches of The Queen’s Medical Center Boys Soccer Championships, including the D2 fifth place match between Waimea and BIIF’s Makua Lani.

After winning a second straight KIF title, Waimea went 1-1 at states. The Menehune lost in the opening round to BIIF’s Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii in overtime, 2-1, and won the consolation semifinal against OIA’s Farrington, 3-0.

Menehune senior forward Carl Mecham ended the season fourth on the Division II scoring list with nine goals.

Swimming: Machorek finishes 2nd in boys 200-yard IM final

Kauai High junior Jack Machorek may have won gold if he hadn’t been facing the guy who just set the state record.

Machorek’s time of 01:54.52 earned him silver in the 200-yard individual medley final of the K. Mark Takai Swimming & Diving Championships. He was second to senior M.J. Mao of Pac-Five, who finished first at 01:52.54.

During preliminaries, Mao broke the state record with a time of 01:49.02.

Machorek also placed fifth in the 500-yard freestyle final with a time of 4:40.77. Fellow Red Raider junior Zachary Safford reached the final for the 100-yard butterfly and placed fifth with a time of 52.36.

Boys Basketball: Red Raiders go out swinging, but finish D2 tourney 0-2

Kauai High had an early exit at the Snapple Boys Basketball Championships — Division II tournament.

The Red Raiders scratched and clawed for a consolation win, but got edged by OIA’s Farrington in overtime, 69-68. In the opening round, Kauai lost to No. 4 seed Honokaa of the BIIF, 71-55.

In both games, Kauai had early leads but momentum swung in the other direction in the second halves.

The KIF hasn’t had recent success at the D2 boys basketball tourney. The last time a Kauai team advanced in the main bracket was in 2010 when Kapaa defeated University in the quarterfinals. That 2010 Warriors team went on to place third.

We’ll have to wait another year to see if the KIF champs can break the opening round losing streak.

Senior guard Bryce Johnson-Cormack led Kauai with 19 points in the opening round and 18 in the consolation game.

Wrestling: Kauai’s Leanio places fourth in 152-pound class

Red Raiders senior Madison Leanio was the only KIF representative to make to the championship rounds at the Chevron Wrestling Championships on Oahu.

Leanio finished fourth in the 152-pound boys weight class, going 3-2 at the tournament and losing that third place match to Kamakanamakamae Tapia of Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama.

For back-to-back years, Leanio was the only KIF grappler to reach the podium at the tournament. He finished fifth in the 152-pound class last year.

Kauai High girls, freshman Sarai Valdez and sophomore Justice Funamura-Sasil, made it to the second day of competition but fell short of advancing to the championship rounds.

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Nick Celario can be reached at ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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