KAPAA — Kapaa High School basketball player Akalai Gonsalves posted a game-high 20 points to lead the Warriors to a 69-53 win over Waimea on Saturday night at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
The victory comes as Kapaa Coach Kamahalo Kauhane copes with a diminished bench that is suffering from the impact of the influenza.
“We’re still playing short,” Kauhane said. “We at least have one player here, but he can’t play yet because he hasn’t been to practice and is not quite ready to get out there.”
Kapaa instead adjusted to its diminished showing, taking a balanced offense stance to battle the Menehune during explosive second and fourth quarters.
Coming off a 14-13 deficit at the end of the opening frame, Kapaa turned to seven-point contributions from Gonsalves and Justin Faidley and a five-point showing from Michael Encinas to outgun Waimea, 24-10, in the quarter to build a lead strong enough to withstand the Menehune onslaught.
“This was another tough game,” said Waimea coach Dino Pabre. “They did it to us in the second and fourth quarters. We just got to fix things. That goes for us coaches, too.”
Joining Gonsalves in leading the Warrior offense, Faidley grabbed a good share of boards and added 15 points while Encinas came back from Kapaa’s loss to Kauai on Thursday night to mark 17 points.
“We cut down on the number of turnovers,” Kauhane said. “We got the boys to play more team ball (in the absence of other key players), and they had better composure in pressure situations. Basically, we wanted to keep an eye on their shooters, make them work for their shots.”
The game plan worked as Waimea’s hot hand, Wade Pimsaguan, was limited to just 10 points including a pair of three-balls.
“He (Pimsaguan) was getting frustrated,” Pabre said. “He worked hard to get open. He tried two, three times to get open. Kapaa played very well.”
With Pimsaguan tied up in the Warrior defense, the Menehune turned to Eilon Jamorabon, who topped the Waimea scoring on 15 points including four treys — three dropping in the third quarter when Waimea outscored Kapaa, 17-14.
Lacin Montemayor added 11 points and Mayson Broyles finished with eight points to round out the Menehune offense.
Earlier in the evening, the Kapaa junior varsity team posted a 45-29 victory over the Menehune JV team behind an explosive third quarter when the JV Warriors posted a 16-3 run behind six points from Sage Martin-Oldfield and five other Warriors contributing to the run.
Martin-Oldfield topped the Kapaa JV scoring on 10 points. Akela Nu‘uhiwa-Gonda added nine points and Kala Rall ended the night on eight marks.
Ty Tsukayama topped the JV Menehune effort on a game-high 15 points.
Kapaa gets to strengthen its ranks before meeting Kauai on Thursday at home.
“We need that time to get the boys healed,” Kauhane said.
Waimea will head to the Kauai High School gym on Tuesday to meet the Raiders. The JV game tip off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity.
“We’re back to building all over,” Pabre said. “We need to make improvements to get better.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.