WAIMEA — Hazel Serapio faced the foul line with just two seconds remaining in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball game at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea on Monday night.
The score was knotted 49-49 with Kauai High School as Waimea’s Serapio let loose on the first of two shots that resulted from a Red Raider foul that saw the fouler retract in anguish at the infraction.
The ball clanged the rim and fell the other way. Hazel’s second shot swished through, and Waimea took the contest as time ran out, 50-49.
“It’s a nail-biter again,” said Waimea coach Natalie Mata. “We knew what we wanted, and we called a timeout to talk about the plan we drew up. We wanted the last shot, and put the pressure on the girls. But they didn’t follow the plan. We’re lucky we got the call.”
The Raiders took the inbound, but could not beat the clock in the game where lead exchanges were the order of the night. Braelyn Cayaban’s three-ball pulled the Menehune to an 11-10 lead at the first-quarter buzzer.
Kauai answered, coming up with a 12-9 run in the second frame. Rebecca Zenger put the Raiders up, 20-18, at the buzzer announcing the break.
There were more lead changes before Kauai guard Amalya Sales, with 55 seconds showing on the game clock, tied the match at 49-49 on the opener of a one-and-one.
“This was another very competitive contest,” said Kauai coach James Dingus. “Waimea came through with the clutch free throw at the end. We drew up a plan for beyond that — a Hail Mary and hope for the best. Our girls are learning what it’s like to compete. They’re learning about playing as a team.”
Kauai was missing the service of Bailey Perreira, just as Waimea saw Dawn Serapio — one of two seniors honored at the Menehune’s senior night — garbed in street pants. After being introduced, she presented lei to the coaches instead of running the court to greet the game officials.
“The good thing about team is that if someone is not here, someone else gets to step up and show what they can do,” Dingus said.
Kierstin Gummerus topped Waimea with 18 points, including a pair of treys and a 4 of 5 showing on the charity line. Hazel Serapio finished with a dozen points, including three treys. Cayaban and Kaye Serapio each ended at nine points.
Sales and Marissa Layosa topped Kauai on 15 and 12 points, respectively. Tiana Manera finished with eight points. Seven points each from Tia Jaquias and Zenger accounted for the scoring leaders.
Earlier in the evening, Alena Bernardo netted 13 points to lead the Kauai junior varsity team to a 42-18 win over the junior varsity Menehune, who got five points each from Kathleen Alvarez, Malia Constantino and Deysha Kenney.
Kauai next celebrates its senior night Wednesday by hosting Kapaa High School at the Kauai High School gym. The junior varsity match tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity match.
Waimea will travel to the Bernice Hundley Gym on Friday to face the Warriors.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.