LIHUE — Menehune Kaye Serapio fired off 31 points to lead the Waimea High School girls basketball to a 52-36 victory over the Kauai High School team Monday night at the Kauai High School gym.
The Waimea victory improves the Menehune overall record to 4-1 to win the season’s first round with one more game remaining in the round.
“I don’t know about all that,” said Waimea coach Natalie Mata. “We go out every game to try and win. I believe Kauai falls to 2-3 on the round, so we might be the round one winners.”
Kaye Serapio led the Menehune, still playing one player short with just seven suited up, scoring in every quarter. She played on both sides of the ball, capitalizing on Red Raider turnovers, and finished four-for-five at the charity stripe.
“The good aspect of this team is that everyone knows their role,” Mata said. “That makes it easier for us to coach.”
Waimea built up a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased their margin to 26-13 at the break before Kauai adjusted to outgun Waimea 10-8 in the third quarter, the only period where Kauai had an advantage. The Kauai advantage could only soften the deficit, dropping to 11 points from the 13-point halftime hole.
“We planned to play our game,” said James Dingus, the Kauai coach. “We wanted the rebounds, get physical, and contain their guards. Obviously, that didn’t happen despite the girls playing hard.”
Kaye Serapio topped all scorers with her 31 points that did not see any bombs launched from outside the three-point arc.
She was followed by Cori Burton nailing nine points, including a second-quarter trey, and guard Kierstin Gummerus adding six points. Four points from Dawn Serapio rounded out the Waimea showing.
Tiana Manera, Marissa Layosa, and Amalya Sales topped the Kauai scoring with eight points apiece followed by guard Tia Jaquias adding six points.
Earlier in the evening, Kaylah Santos dropped seven points to lead the Kauai Junior Varsity to a 42-21 showing over the JV Menehune in a contest where the cheering belied the margin difference. Alena Bernardo, Zoe Santa Maria and Brooklyne Alayvilla each netted six points.
Deyshia Kenney dropped a game-high eight points for the JV Menehune with Kathleen Alvarez and Malia Constantino each adding four points in the effort.
Kauai next travels to the Bernice Hundley Gym on Wednesday to take on the Lady Warriors. The JV game tips off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity contest tipping off approximately 20 minutes following the completion of the JV match.
Waimea will host the Lady Warriors on Friday following a long road trip.
Round 2 for the girls basketball starts Jan. 7 when the Menehune host the Raiders at the Clem Gomes Gym.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.