KALAHEO — Balanced scoring and metered defense from Ian Rapozo and Connor Kitamura kept the Lihue Lakers, 6th grade division boys, eight points ahead of Hanakila at the break Monday night during the summer youth basketball league games at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Hanakila coach made the adjustments during the break, and with 8:28 remaining in the contest, Ian Correa lit the twine from the outside to pull Hanakila to within a point, 22-21.
The Lakers 6B settled down and surged to a 36-23 win in the final two minutes of play behind the scoring of Kitamura who ended the night on 11 points. Sage Cua added 10 points and Ian Rapozo finished with eight points.
Elias Shook, dropping eight of Hanakila’s 11 first-half points, finished with a game-high 12 points in the effort, getting help from Braden Metteauer who netted six points including a second-half three-ball. Correa netted all five of his marks in the second half.
Lakers’ coach Lenny Rapozo, as well as several of his sixth grade division players, are leaving for Japan with the Kauai Yankees baseball program. The Lakers put all three of their teams on the floor for play before the upcoming playoffs.
During the earlier fifth grade division boys’ game, the Team Lihue Warriors went to the hustle of its tiniest players to wrap up a 37-17 win over the Lakers to open the night in Kalaheo.
“We call them our Energizer bunnies,” said Warrior coach Max Manera. “They don’t know when to stop. They just keep on going.”
Daesen Martinez and Kahi Apao each finished the victory with 11 points followed by Jordan Cumalot with six points.
The Lakers’ guard, playing with the Lakers Gold as well, led the Lihue team on 10 points followed by Dylan Watanabe, another dual team player, with five points. Kaeden Ballesteros rounded out the effort on two points.
Noah Luis took up the lead for the Lakers Gold who suffered a 23-9 loss at the hands of the Supersonics, coached by Fran Constantino.
Kenui Bostick scored six points to lead the Supersonics’ win. Luis led the Lakers’ effort on four points.
Over at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa, Epoki Tafea finished with a dozen points to lead Na Koa to a 46-12 victory over Tamba in an eighth grade division boys match. Vince Noguchi led the Tamba effort on six points.
Lele Gonsalves, Lilinoe Makepa-Andaya and Olivia Malafu each found the net for four points to lead the Dream Team to a 20-4 win over the Westside B in the girls fifth grade division match. Jasha Kawamura led the Westside B effort on four points.
Pua‘ala Akui-Ramos led the Kauai Lynx with eight points in its 11-5 win over the Westside A in another fifth grade girls’ matchup that closed the Bernice Hundley. Zanay Banasihan topped the Westside effort with two points.