KAPAA — Waimea’s Kiarra Palacio fired off 12 points, all shots coming from outside the three-point arc, and Kaye Serapio added 11 points to lead Waimea to a 53-42 win over Kapaa High School Friday night at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
Earlier in the evening, Brae Cayaban finished with 21 points, including two treys, to lead the junior varsity Menehune to a 51-39 win over the Kapaa JV Warriors to complete a sweep in Kapaa.
Staying within a single digit margin through most of the match, Waimea’s varsity team turned up the heat in the second half, finishing with a 18-11 third quarter. But Kapaa, tiring from the relentless running up and down the court, kept up the pressure and finished with a 14-10 fourth quarter, the only period where they out- gunned Waimea.
“We were just out-runned,” said Kapaa coach William Aki. “We prepared for this, but couldn’t keep up with them.”
Mele Tafea led the Kapaa effort, finishing with 14 points with her biggest production coming in the first half where she netted 10 points.
She was followed by Junelle Kayla Tangalin who added eight points. Guard Jaliyah Casem and forward Lylya Cummings both finished with seven points to round out Kapaa’s scoring leaders.
“Defense,” said Waimea coach Natalie Mata. “Perimeter defense. We got better from that first game, and the girls are more comfortable on the floor. Kapaa is a good team — they’re quick, they’ve got the shooters, and they have guards. We don’t have the size and the only thing we can rely on is the run-and-gun, and defense.”
Following Palacio and Kaye Serapio, Waimea got 10 points from Starlyn Ripley who matched up against Tafea for most of the night. Monique Joy Lorenzo lent eight points and guard Kiersten Gummerus dropped in a physical seven points to round out the Waimea scoring leaders.
With the win, Waimea improves to 1-1 on the season while Kapaa is looking for its first win Tuesday night when it travels to the Kauai High School gym. The junior varsity game tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity matchup.
“We play Seabury Hall Saturday night,” Aki said. “We need to out-run our opponents and cut down on the amount of mistakes we make on the floor.”
Alysha Palacio, Kiarra’s younger sister, finished with 10 points to help Cayaban’s effort in the Waimea JV win. Cori Burton added seven points to round out the JV scoring leaders.
Kapaa looked at a 9-0 deficit with just seconds remaining in the first quarter. Angeline Roslin launched a bomb from outside the three-point arc to ignite the Warrior audience as the quarter ended on a 9-3 chase.
Lilia Unutoa finished with high-point honors for the JV Warrior on 14 points followed by Roslin ending with 13 points.