LIHUE — Kaulupono hiccupped twice in the final seconds against the Barrow Lady Whalers of Alaska on Sunday morning during the Kauai Hoops Classic at the Wilcox Gymnasium at Island School.
But the Lady Whalers, playing in the single-elimination, ninth-grade girls division, could not capitalize on the hiccups and dropped 36-34 to Kaulupono, a Kauai team from the Westside coached by Bobby Kamakele.
The Kaulupono win advanced the Kauai team to face the Upcountry Elite-White, a team from Maui, which earlier in the day advanced to the finals with a win over the Lady Phenom.
The effort for the trophy came up short in the finals for the Kauaians, as the Upcountry Elite-White came up with a 46-31 win over Kaulupono for the division title, its second in the tournament which started play Thursday at four different venues on Kauai.
Upcountry added its second trophy in the 12th-grade girls division when the older Elite girls pulled ahead of the Barrow Lady Whalers from a 19-15 halftime lead to clinch the trophy, 35-25 over the team from Alaska.
Kaylee Cambra lit the twine with 14 points, including a pair of treys, and Ameera Waterford added seven second-half points, including one three-ball, in the victory. Upcountry turned to the long ball and a strong defense for the win, firing off five treys to the Whalers’ two in the finals. Courtney Williams led the Whalers’ effort with eight points with Kuutuuq Danner adding a trey in her six points, and Jordan Ahgeak peeling off Alaska’s second trey in her five-point effort.
Three-balls continued to rain down as Shaka Hoops, a team coached by Kauai High School varsity boys coach Ipo Yoshioka, turned to Christian Manera, who led the effort with eight treys and 24 points. The game-high scoring came up short against the Alaska Boys from Barrow who turned to Travis Adams, finishing with 21 points, including four treys, in the 58-44 win for the 12th-grade boys trophy.
Overall, the Alaska Boys finished with seven from outside the three-point arc, led by Adams and getting one from Anthony Fruer who finished with 15 points in the win. Mese Unutoa and Archie Gordon also popped three-balls for Alaska.
The Shaka Hoops squad finished with 10 three-balls, including a second-half pair from Trey Taba, who finished with eight points in the effort that saw the Shaka Hoops squad come back from an early 8-0 deficit to stay close, 21-27 at the break.
No scores were available for the ninth-grade boys division, which was contested at the Bernice Hundley Gym on the campus of Kapaa High School.
The Kauai Hoops Classic was presented by the Kauai Lynx basketball program, coordinated by coach Clarence Sales with sponsorships from S&S Business Machines, Arryl Kaneshiro for Council, M. Tanaka Store, Pacific Tile Kauai, Affiliated Construction Hawaii, DMK Welding and Island Wide HVAC.