KAPAA — Kapaa High School senior Kaulu Rittmeister kicked in seven points, including a crowd-pleasing three-ball in the fourth quarter Saturday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys basketball games at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
Playing before an audience that was distracted by the waning minutes of the Queen’s Medical Center Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II boys championship match where Kapaa held a 1-0 lead on a first-half penalty kick by La‘a Gonsalves over Saint Louis High School on Oahu, emergency lighting bathed the gym in two separate occasions when the rain-punctuated winds caused power hiccups.
“This was a good day for Kauai (KIF) sports,” said Tori Kagawa, a Waimea fan and coaching staff on the Waimea High School boys soccer team. “Kapaa took the Division II title (Gonsalves, Ryan Banasihan and Johnny Movaghar being named to the all-tournament team), and Waimea girls basketball team won its game (Kierstin Gummerus and Kaye Serapio making the Division II all-tournament team) for third place. Did you see their shooting percentages? If they had done that against Hawaii Baptist Academy…”
As the distractions settled, Rittmeister joined the efforts of Michael Encinas, one of two Kapaa seniors honored at the Warriors’ Senior Night, and Alaka‘i Gonsalves, each Warrior tucking in 10 points in the second half to lead Kapaa to a 67-49 win over the Menehune.
“We took time to warm up, again,” said Kapaa coach Kamahalo Kauhane. “Waimea is always a tough competitor, well-coached, and plays hard. There was a lot of positive energy out there, and it was a good night for all the seniors.”
Waimea came out strong. Following lead exchanges, the Menehune topped the scoreboards, 13-10, at the end of the opening period behind five marks from Wade Pimsaguan and four from low post Matsu Shigematsu.
There were more lead exchanges before the Warriors settled down with adjustments that reversed the lead, 26-21, at the break.
“We just couldn’t make our shots,” said Waimea coach Dino Pabre. “Kapaa again shot out the lights — especially those treys. The seniors on both teams will do well, and we wish them only the best in the future.”
Pimsaguan topped the Menehune effort on 16 points followed by Lacin Montemayor and Eilon Jamorabon adding nine points apiece.
Kapaa senior Encinas led the Warriors’ victory with 20 points, including four bombs from outside the three-point arc. Justin Faidley added 14 points, including a pair of distance balls, and Alaka‘i Gonsalves dropped his 10 points all in the final quarter.
Rittmeister followed with seven second-half points. Nathan Gardner got his six points on a pair of treys, and Moses Ho added six points.
“We’re proud of our seniors and their leadership out there,” Kauhane said. “They’re just a small group to lead our young team. They had a great game and got to learn a lot of values they can talk about as they go on in the future. This was a good season for all the teams.”