Menehune claim KIF championship

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Jaliyah Casem drives for a bucket over the efforts of Waimea’s Hazel Serapio and Mele Tafea’s screening in the second quarter, Monday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea’s Kaye Serapio splits the defense by Kapaa’s Hailey Overmyer, Hinali‘i Grance, Jaliyah Casem, and Mele Tafea in the third quarter, Monday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Hailey Overmyer and Angelica Cudiamat lunge for a save effort against the defense of Waimea’s Kierstin Gummerus in the third quarter, Monday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoffs at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea’s Louisa Tanigawa goes down on defense as Kapaa’s Hailey Overmyer hops over the fallen defender on a basket attempt in the fourth quarter, Monday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Lilya Cummings and Kobi Miura work to force Waimea’s Kierstin Gummerus out of her lane in the fourth quarter, Monday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea’s Kierstin Gummerus reacts after being fouled by Kapaa’s Alexie Ann Yam in the fourth quarter, Monday as Hazel Serapio and Cori Burton follow the play action during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff game at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea’s Kierstin Gummerus releases a shot from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, Monday as Hazel Serapio anchors the back territory during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff game at the Clem Gomes Gym. Gummerus made 20 points on 24 attempts at the free throw line in Waimea’s 74-67 win.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Members of the Waimea High School react to their 74-67 win over Kapaa High School during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship playoff match, Monday night at the Clem Gomes Gym.

WAIMEA — The Kapaa High School girls basketball team outshot Waimea in the final quarter Monday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation basketball playoff for the league championship at Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea.

Paced by Hailey Overmyer, a second half starter, the Lady Warriors teased the twine for 28 points to Waimea’s 22 points with Overmyer marking 12 of her game-total 14 points before an engaged overflow audience.

But the effort fell short at the final buzzer, 74-67, as the Warriors gathered themselves after leaving 100 percent on the hardwood. Jaliyah Casem, Tasia Kamoku and Lilya Cummings fouled out. They were joined by Waimea’s Kaye Serapio, who hit the bench with a little less than six minutes remaining in the contest.

“This was a test,” said Waimea coach Natalie Mata. “It was all on me. It was my decision. I wanted to see if the girls could handle, and thankfully, they passed.”

Kaye Serapio also came through, firing up 17 points to help the Menehune clinch the KIF girls basketball title with the fast-paced, physical victory that was watched by the entire Westside community basketball girls teams following their matches at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

“Not tonight,” said Kapaa coach William Aki following the hard-fought game that was witnessed by the Kauai High School junior varsity and varsity girls. “Both sides played hard and well. Good luck to Waimea at the state games.”

Waimea, the holder of the KIF round one, was forced into the title playoff after Kapaa clinched the second round, undefeated — until Monday night.

The KIF championship advances Waimea to the Snapple Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II state championships on Oahu starting Feb. 6.

“This was a good game,” Mata said. “This is what can happen when you have eight on the roster, and only seven available to play. The girls played with heart. Heart is the only thing you can’t teach, and we are lucky the girls all have it. I believe in each one of these girls.”

Gummerus posted a season-high 31 points, including a trey that came late in the opening frame to ignite the Menehune. She was also on the foul line for 24 appearances, dropping 20 points after being pushed out of her favorite right lane straightaway that skirted the sidelines.

Hazel Serapio nailed four bombs from outside the three-point mark toward her game-total 14 points, and Braelyn Cayaban ended the night with 10 points.

Casem topped the Lady Warrior scoring on 24 points, including a pair of three-balls. Cummings poured in 11 points before hitting the bench. Alexie Ann Yam found the net for eight points after the Menehune defense held Mele Tafea scoreless in the outing.

“There is no rest for us,” Mata said. “Nah, I might give them Tuesday off to heal from the bumps and bruises. Then, it’s back to work.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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