Kapaa bowlers sweep KIF final

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Kapaa High School bowling teams do their pre-game cheer Thursday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation final bowling games at the Kauai Bowl in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Dana Murata is congratulated by her teammates for her strike during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation bowling games Thursday at the Kauai Bowl in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Dana Murata follows her ball for a strike during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation bowling games Thursday at the Kauai Bowl in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Kapaa High School boys bowling team, including Jotis Russell Christian, Callum Meredith, Zylan Pa-Conant and Kalani Young, settle in before rolling their first balls during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation bowling games Thursday at the Kauai Bowl in Lihue.

LIHUE — The Kapaa High School boys bowling team came out firing on all cylinders Thursday night during the final contest of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation bowling season at the Kauai Bowl.

The Warrior boys were joined by the wahine bowlers to take both ends of the final bowling contest.

“There are no losers in the KIF,” said Kapaa coach Joe Young. “It’s been a very competitive season with close games every week. Every team comes out winning with these types of games.”

For the Kapaa boys who rolled 900 games in the first two outings, the Warriors rolled into the night, and the KIF boys championship with a 2,661 pinfall over Waimea High School who ended with a 2,370 pinfall after taking the third set on a 783 led by the high game posted by Kobe Perez-Aguilar ending with a 220.

“First and foremost, congratulations to every team on what was an extremely competitive season with model sportsmanship displayed,” said Waimea coach Todd Ozaki. “The Kapaa boys came out firing 900-plus scores in Games 1 and 2. For the first time throughout the season, the outcome of the night didn’t come down to the final frame of the third game — Kapaa was flat-out impressive.”

Kauai boys finished third with a 2,344 pinfall topped by Kaikoa Carvalho rolling a night’s high game 198.

Kauai Christian Academy fielded only four bowlers topped by Kevin Diehl rolling a night’s high 127 that poked through in Game 3.

“Congratulations to Coach Chris Cullen who has really brought his KCA bowlers to a competitive level,” said Kauai High School athletic director Keli‘i Morgado. “This was a competitive season every week with very closely contested matches.”

Kapaa boys set the tone in Game 1 when Callum Meredith pushed the bar with a 266 high, and Zylan Pa-Conant adding a 224 to set the night’s pace at 901.

The Warrior duo set the mark, again in Game 2, Meredith rolling a 255 followed by Pa-Conant adding his night-high 244. Kalani Young upped his game to a 191 to lead the Warrior men to a 985 win.

Waimea’s Kobe Perez-Aguilar broke the 200-pin mark in Game 3 to lead the Menehune to its 783 pinfall, challenged by Kapaa’s 775 pinfall that was set by Pa-Conant’s 201.

Pa-Conant’s performance earned him the KIF Boys Individual Champion.

On the Boys Individual Average standings with the best nine games, Pa-Conant settled at the No. 2 spot with a 223 average, three pins behind Kauai High School’s Kaikoa Carvalho who holds a 220. Meredith is in the No. 3 spot with a 216 followed by Waimea’s Deiton Otoman at 206, and Young from Kapaa rounds out the Top 5 averages at 188, just a pin ahead of Waimea’s Perez-Aguilar (187).

On the girls’ lanes, Kapaa High School girls, led by the KIF Girls Individual Champion, and the top Girls Individual Average standings, Dana Murata, took all three games for a 2,204 pinfall.

“All season, we knew the Kapaa girls had the potential,” Ozaki said. “They finally had their moment and swept all three games.”

The Warrior wahine win spoils Waimea girls’ window for a perfect season after the Menehune clinched the KIF title with a successful Game 4 several weeks ago.

Second place honors for the final outing belonged to Kauai High School girls who finished with a 2,077 pinfall led by Taylor Kusaka’s high game 196 coming up in Game 3, and third place was awarded to the Menehune who finished with a 1,986 pinfall topped by Jaysha Oloves’ high game 157 rolled in the first game.

Kauai Christian Academy women rounded out the leaderboard with a 1,539 pinfall led by the high game posted by Heidi Eisemann at 169 in Game 1.

Top Individual Average Standings for the girls belong to Murata at 195 followed by Kauai High School’s Sommer Luis at 180. Waimea’s Naomi Toki holds the No. 3 spot with a 168 followed by Kauai’s Kusaka at 167, and Kapaa’s Jennifer Hayakawa is in the No. 5 position with a 162.

“I want to thank Adam Apo, Dave Freeman, the staff at Kauai Bowl, and all of the supporters — family, friends, faculty, and former KIF athletes and fans of the game,” Ozaki said. “The enjoyment of the experience —the weight of high pressure moments, the fears of embarrassment for first timers, the showboaters wanting to impress, and best of all, those gritty, motivating, breakthrough performances — and the opportunities for these student athletes to grow would not be the same without you.”

The KIF will next host the 2019 Billy Tees Hawaii High School Athletic Association bowling championships at the Kauai Bowl on Nov. 7 and 8.

The regular season bowling league was six weeks long.

“It feels like a long time since Kauai has been able to make some noise at States,” Ozaki said. “This may be the year, and we have home field advantage. “When comparing the scoring pace and individual averages to one season ago, the future of KIF bowling looks bright. Obviously, I don’t mean literal noise — Oahu may have been able to hear the cheers from Kauai Bowl, last Thursday night!”

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

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