Kauai’s Braun: ‘It feels amazing’
KAPAA — During the KIF varsity girls basketball game at Kapaa High School, there was at least one Red Raider in the crowd watching attentively.
When the final whistle blew, she was filled with excitement at the realization of winning a league title.
Waimea High School’s varsity girls basketball team defeated Kapaa High, 50-48, in Kapaa on Tuesday night.
Kapaa’s loss put the Warriors out of contention of the season’s second round, awarding this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball championship to Kauai High School. It is the second consecutive league title for the Red Raiders.
“It feels amazing. Last year, we had to work harder than we wished. This year, we managed to stay on top of our game,” said Red Raiders senior forward Kaylee Braun following the Kapaa-Waimea game.
Had Kapaa won, Friday’s game between Kauai High and Kapaa would have playoff implications.
Kauai (7-0 KIF, 3-0 2nd round), who won the season’s first round in December, would have won the league crown with a win on Friday. If Kapaa beat Waimea on Tuesday and then beat Kauai on Friday, both Kauai and Kapaa would have at least played a second round playoff game.
Though the prospect of an exciting regular season-ending home game intrigued Braun, she hoped for a Waimea victory Tuesday.
Now with the league championship in hand, Braun looks forward to a more relaxed senior night Friday.
“It would have been exciting to have a challenge for our last senior game,” Braun said. “But we wanted our last senior experience, (we want) to just have fun while we’re at home and then work on going to states.”
As a spectator in the Bernice Hundley Gym, Braun felt as if she was playing in the game.
“I felt as if I should just get up off the bench and start playing,” she said. “I guess that’s just how it feels. With all the crazy turns, I felt like, ‘Wow. We’re going to have to really work.’ We weren’t planning on stopping. But knowing that’s on the line, it would have made it more (memorable).”
The 2018 Snapple Girls Basketball Championships – Division II state tournament begins Jan. 31 on Oahu. Seedings and schedules are yet to be released.