LIHUE — Waimea bowling coach Todd Ozaki had one word for the Thursday night Kauai Interscholastic Federation bowling match at Kauai Bowl at Rice Shopping Center — “loud!”
“This was a big one for the Waimea boys and girls,” Ozaki said. “Winning in all three games rolled Thursday night, coach Keiko Sagawa-Pananganan and the Menehune girls captured the KIF title after winning in four straight weeks. It was an emotional night for them.”
Sparked by senior team captain Naomi Toki, the Menehune girls finished with a 2,185 pinfall after taking all three of its games — 691 first game, 730 second game, and 764 third game. High-game honors belonged to Crystal Kamakea, who finished with a 178.
“There were tears of joy on the faces of all 12 girls, but none more than junior Alicia Palacio, one of the most spirited Menehune we have,” Ozaki said. “If we’re ever losing momentum and things get quiet, we can count on Alicia to get on her feet and get a cheer started. This really gets both our girls and boys heads back in the game.”
The Kapaa High girls, led by the high game 201 from Dana Murata, finished second with a 1,961 series total, and Kauai High’s girls, led by the high game 167 from Sommer Luis, ended with 1,922.
Jana Sheatz posted a high game 188 to lead the Kauai Christian Academy girls to a 1,591 series total.
Murata leads the individual average standings for the girls, with a 183 average, followed by Luis at 170.
Waimea’s Toki is at 155, followed by Chloe Kamakea (150) and Crystal Kamakea (152).
Kauai’s Taylor Kusaka is at 152, followed by Tavia Rapozo at 143 average.
Jennifer Hayakawa, a first-year bowler at Kapaa, sits at No. 8 with a 147 average, and Waimea’s Palacio and Jaelynn Munar round out the Top 10 girls averages at 136.
“Waimea also came away with the win on the boys’ side, but it was one of the most exciting finishes I’ve ever seen,” Ozaki said. “We came away with game 1, then Kauai High put up a huge number in game 2 (900). We had a 13-pin lead going into in game 3. We knew if we could hang onto that we’d win week 4 and be tied for first with Kapaa in the standings.”
“Our first two bowlers, Jhay Quiocho and Kobe Perez Aguilar, each threw three strikes,” Ozaki said. “Draxton Banasihan then finished with a strike and a spare. The place was getting loud. No. 4 bowler Justin Luis tosses a pair of strikes and a seven count. At that point, we had covered the deficit — an incredible comeback at any level of bowling. Our captain and No. 5 man, Deiton Otoman, could take a ‘victory lap,’ just needing to keep the ball on the lane for a few pins.”
The Waimea boys took the night on a 2,510 pinfall after winning game 1 with an 865, and game 3 with an 828, led by Otoman’s high game 246.
Kauai boys spoiled Kapaa’s night by taking game 2 at 900 en route toward its 2,485 series total, led by Kaikoa Carvalho’s high game 222.
Zylan Pa-Conant’s high game 203 led the Kapaa boys to a series total 2,318. Kauai Christian Academy fielded just four bowlers, its high game coming from Nick Beydler, who rolled a 138.
Carvalho holds the lead for the boys’ individual average standings with a 218 average, a 12-pin gap over Pa-Conant, who is No. 2 with a 206 average. Waimea’s Otoman holds the No. 3 spot with a 197 average, followed by Kapaa’s Callum Meredith at 185, and Kalani Young, who is a pin back at a 184 average.
Waimea’s Aguilar is at the No. 6 spot with a 177 average followed by Kauai’s Shayden Peralta at 175. Waimea’s Banasihan is at 171 average followed by Kauai’s Kyllie Sasaki (168), and Waimea’s Quiocho rounding out the Top Ten Boys individual average on a 167. The KCA highest average belongs to Kevin Diehl at 109.
“Kauai High showed they are not to be forgotten,” Ozaki said. “If you look at their top 5, they have some big weapons in Kaikoa Carvalho, Elijah Kim, Shayden Peralta, Jozaiah Sarmiento and Kyllie Sasaki. The KIF boys title is still up for grabs, and Kapaa’s top 5 — Kaz Espina, Jotis Christian, Callum Meredith, Zylan Pa-Conant and Kalani Young — all have big game potential.”
KIF bowling takes a breather during the fall break, returning to Kauai Bowl on Oct. 17 for the fifth match of the season, when the first balls roll starting at 5:30 p.m.
“Any ties following week 6 would result in a one-game, sudden-death roll-off,” Ozaki said. “Should Kauai High School take weeks 5 and 6, we would have a three-way tie for the lead. Just one word comes to mind — ‘loud!’”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.