KAPAA — Kauai High School’s Kaimani Tecson and Gavin Toyofuku each scored five points in the second quarter Thursday night during the Kauai High School boys basketball games at Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.
The 10 points led a 20-10 comeback from the Red Raiders en route to a 41-34 win over the Kapaa High School boys.
“This was a defensive contest all the way,” said Kapaa coach Kamahalo Kauhane. “A lot of guys played with a lot of heart, and we did a good job sharing the ball. But we lost focus for a while and couldn’t finish.”
Kapaa built an 8-0 lead behind three-point contributions from Moses Ho and Alakai Gonsalves while its defensive efforts kept the egg in Kauai’s basket for nearly half of the quadrant.
“Kapaa is always a tough opponent,” said Kauai’s Gavin Toyofuku, who dropped his game-total five points in the comeback second frame. “We were slow getting started, but coach told us to keep the defense up and keep our heads, and playing our game. Once we got in the groove, it was comfortable.”
Tecson broke the goose egg with 4:35 showing in the opening frame, bucketing one in heavy traffic in the paint and closing the quarter down 10-6.
The physically defensive slugfest overflowed into the second quarter when Keane Tibon put back a three-ball attempt by Tecson to tie the match, 17-17 with 2:35 showing in the half.
Nehmiah Sanchez dropped the opening end of a charity pair with 1:32 remaining in the first half to give the Raiders its first lead, 18-17.
The Raiders built from that point, never letting go of the lead and sealing the deal on high-point honors by Tecson’s 14 points.
“Our defense wasn’t getting our share of the rebounds,” Kauhane said. “We didn’t get that second shot. We keep trying to put it together — little by little. We still have a tough game ahead of us — Waimea plays tough.”
Following Tecson’s lead, Christopher “CJ” Cromartie pounded out eight points, including a first-half trey, and Tibon ended the night with seven points, six dropping in the first half on the wake-up call.
Gonsalves topped the Warrior effort on 11 points, seven coming from the free throw line where he finished with a seven-for-eight showing. Justin Faidly dropped a trey in the first half toward his seven points, and Kilakila Hepa nailed a three-ball in the fourth quarter toward his game total five points.
Earlier in the evening, Kauai’s Xaerys Dela Cruz poured in 21 points to lead the junior varsity Raiders to a 39-32 edge over the JV Warriors.
Poki Tafea and Sage Martin-Oldfield topped the JV Warrior effort with eight points apiece with Akela Nu‘uhiwa-Gonda lending six points.
Kapaa travels to the Clem Gomes Gym to face Waimea today when the JV contest tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity matchup.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.