LIHUE — The Kauai High School boys basketball program got off to a good start Tuesday night at the Kauai Interscholastic Federation opening game for the boys basketball season.
Playing before a strong audience that showered thunderous cheers on key plays, the Red Raiders took both ends of its match against the Waimea Menehune, 49-34 in the varsity match, and 50-28 in the junior varsity contest.
“The kids played hard,” said Dino Pabre of the Waimea coaching staff. “Kauai gave us a good game, and the kids gave it their all. That’s all you can ask of them. We’re proud of them and the effort and heart they showed.”
During the JV match, Waimea built up a 19-11 lead at the half, fueled by Kainalu Lazaro dumping six points, Ty Tsukayama adding five points, including a first-quarter bomb from outside the three-point arc, and Aiden Ringor contributing a bucket in the first and second quarter.
The Raider JV answered the eight-point deficit with a strong second-half run, outgunning Waimea 37-9 for the final outcome.
In the victory, Ian Asuncion, being held to just a pair in the first half, fired up 11 points to lead the win along with Manique Manera, held to just a digit in the first half, stoking the victory with 11 marks. Micah Agtunong ended the night with eight points and Xaerys Dela Cruz finished with seven points.
Ringor topped the JV Menehune scoring effort on seven points with Tsukayama ending with eight points.
On the varsity court, Kauai got a strong lead off the three-way scoring combination of Christopher Cromartie, Kaimani Tecson, and Ricky Malu Ralston who each finished with eight points in the win that took off from the first quarter, where Kauai built up a 9-5 edge and never looked back.
“Waimea played the guys, tough,” said Kauai coach Ipo Yoshioka. “They were making the baskets when they needed to, and they gave us a good game. We just need to work on what we have.”
Following the Kauai scoring leaders, Jim Ehia dropped a three-ball in the final stanza towards his game-total seven points, and David Pascua dropped a pair of treys in the third quarter.
“Kauai is a very athletic club,” Pabre said. “Our boys were good on defense, but couldn’t execute the offense. We need to work on that. Basketball is a game of adjustments — we need to adjust on every game.”
Waimea found the three-ball in the second half when Ellon Jamorabon found the net twice from outside the zone toward his game-high 13 points. Wade Pimsaguan added eight points toward the effort, including six in the first half, and Matsu Shigematsu finished with five second-half points.
Kauai next travels to the Bernice Hundley Gym on Thursday to take on the Kapaa Warriors for the first time this season.
The JV game tips off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity match starting 20 minutes following the completion of the JV contest.
Saturday, Waimea hosts Kapaa boys at the Clem Gomes Gym. Tipoff for the JV contest is at 1:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game starting at 3 p.m. The time adjustment was made to accommodate the Kapaa players being able to enjoy the school’s winter ball.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.