LIHUE — The ninth-grade girls from Barrow, Alaska bombarded the hoops with 10 three-point bombs Thursday afternoon as the 11th Annual Kauai Hoops Classic got underway at three different sites.
Jenilee Donovan and Sierra Brower of the Barrow Lady Whalers (9th and Under) led the attack with three bombs apiece as the Alaska team outgunned the Kauai Lynx ninth-grade girls, 62-22, in one of the early opening games.
Justine Balanza and Camerin Toelau each nailed a pair of treys to round out the long-distance attack by the Alaskans as the Lady Whalers took a 30-12 lead at the half after holding the Lynx scoreless through the first half of the 16-minute, stop time half.
“We have two teams in the ninth grade division,” said Coach Clarence Sales. “This is the younger of the two teams. We’ll have the older girls playing the Barrow girls a little later in the day. We kept to the ages to give the girls the most playing time.”
Donovan topped the Lady Whaler scoring with 19 points followed by Caitlyn Brower adding 10 points, all on field goals, and Sierra Brower finishing with nine points.
Mikayla Labanon, Cairee Quinones and Emma Burgess led the Lynx effort on four points apiece followed by Ciaralan Tolentino dropping the sole trey for the Lynx ninth graders. Kadee Parubrub drew first blood for the Lynx in the first half, dropping the tail end of a charity pair, and she added a bucket in the second half for her three points.
Pool play continues for the Kauai Hoops Classic with games at all three sites — the Bernice Hundley Gym at Kapaa High School, the Kauai High School gym and the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. The first games start at 8 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and championship Sunday.
Teams participating come from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, competing in teams as young as seventh grade, boys and girls, and reaching 12th grade, boys and girls.
“There are 60 teams participating so this is a lot of basketball,” Sales said. “And the weather looks like it’s going to be hot through the weekend. With this many teams, for this tournament, we’re working with the Exposure Events app that can be downloaded to a smartphone. People can click on a team and it’ll give you the schedule as well as results. We’ve also listed the schedule on www.kauailynx.com.”
Calvin Tsukayama was busy making the rounds, his grandson starting play at the Bernice Hundley Gym with the Westside Basketball Club against Isle Hoops in the ninth grade boys division.
He stopped at Kauai High School just in time to watch the Westside Basketball Club 12th grade boys team tip off against Top Notch Basketball, which built up an eight-point margin, 23-15, in the first half behind a 10-point showing from Masyn Johnson who dropped a pair of treys.
The Westside 12th grade boys were led by six points from Wade Pimsaguan and three points from Aden Ringor.
“Kapaa, Kauai high schools, and then Kalaheo,” Tsukayama said. “That’s a lot of driving. I’m glad we don’t have to go to Waimea High School.”
There is no charge to view any of the competition, and there is a food concession at each of the sites.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.