LIHUE — The Waimea Menehune went to the long ball — shot from outside the three-point mark — four times compared with the host Kauai High School who tickled the net three times Monday night at the Kauai High School gym.
But despite the efforts of the fan-thrilling distance bombs, the Menehune came up short, 48-28, in the varsity matchup as two of the eight suited Waimea players succumbed to fouls in the final stanza of the opening game for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball season.
“The score doesn’t accurately describe how close the game was,” said Kauai coach James Dingus. “The game — and the Red Raider ladies — are very competitive. They play hard, practice hard, and are very supportive of each other. They are a good bunch of girls, and are a pleasure to coach.”
Guard Amalya Sales set the pace for the varsity Raiders, firing off one of her two three-balls in the first quarter to lead Kauai to a 12-8 showing over Waimea. Red Raider low post Tiana Manera added four points.
Sales finished with a game-high 20 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 24-19 at the half, Waimea clawed to within a pair before Kauai surged ahead on a trey and bucket from Marissa Layosa weaving through heavy traffic to find the net.
The 9-9 third frame was costly for Waimea who lost two starters to fouls and settled for a shut out fourth quarter.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Waimea coach Natalie Mata.
Waimea was led by Kaye Serapio and Cori Burton with nine points apiece.
Kauai got 11 points from Layosa, six points from Manera, and four points apiece from Bailey Perreira and Rebecca Zenger.
Kauai travels to the Bernice Hundley Gym Wednesday to take on the Kapaa Warriors. The JV match tips off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity
Earlier in the evening, Krystin Emerose scored 11 points to lead the Kauai High School junior varsity girls to a 34-24 win over the Waimea JV girls.Kauai got help from Brianna Bernardo who finished with eight points and Chiezelle Dela Cruz peeled off six points with another Bernardo — Alena — ending the night with five marks.
Deyshia Kenney and Alysha Palacio topped the JV Menehune with eight points each.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.