KALAHEO — Team Lihue Warriors’ Tevita Vaenuku bucketed a pair of baskets in the final minute of play, but a long ball from Lihue Lakers’ Austin Green forced overtime play Monday night during the youth summer basketball league games at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Playing in the 5B bracket, the score was deadlocked 15-15 with 53 seconds showing in regulation play when Vaenuku broke the stalemate with a quick bucket coming from a Warriors’ time out. He capitalized on Laker turnover for another bucket with 23 ticks showing for the 19-16 go-ahead.
Coach Lenny Rapozo of the Lakers played his cards close, calling a time out with 19 ticks showing.
Coming off the break, Green was in position outside the three-point arc and launched the long ball which swished through the hoop to send the yellow shirts into a frenzy with the extra life in overtime.
The defensive slugfest which controlled play during regulation prevailed and both teams walked off the court with the 19-19 stalemate that opened the night of three games.
Green topped the Lakers’ effort on eight points including the sole trey in the match. Ball mover Bryan Brown added five points and Bryden Kawakami ended with four points. A pair from Dylan Watanabe, valiant in his efforts under the basket, rounded out the Lakers’ performance.
Vaenuku was joined by Kahi Apao in leading the 5B Warriors — both shooters netted six points. Xaedan Valdez, Jordan Cumalot and Damien Tumpap each netted a pair, and Hunter Corpuz rounded out the effort with a digit.
A handful of Lakers advanced to the 6B matchup where Hanakila, coached by Rob DeMond, stayed ahead of the Lakers 6B, 25-16, behind 10 points from Elias Shook — eight coming in the second half when Hanakila built on an 11-6 lead at the break.
Noah Louis topped the Lakers 6B’s effort with nine points including a three-ball in the second half to answer the one launched by Hanakila’s Jesus Perez-Valenzuela in the first half. Bryan Brown finished with five points. A pair from Reyson Goias-Abrigo rounded out the effort.
Syria Delos Reyes dropped 12 points to lead the Warriors 8B to a 36-31 edge over the Lakers in the final matchup of the night. There were no games scheduled for the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.
Sage Cua finished with a game-high 16 points to lead the Lakers 8B effort, which saw the Lakers stay in the game throughout the night with margins of less than 10 points in each of the three games contested.
The summer youth basketball league continues with three games on tap Thursday at both the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center and the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa starting at 6 p.m.