LIHUE — The Kauai High School girls’ basketball team has relied on two players to do the bulk of their scoring for the entire year and got contributions from both Marissa Layosa, and Amalya Sales.
The scoring tandem combined for 38 points, carrying the Red Raiders to a 47-33 victory over Kapaa Wednesday afternoon at Kauai High School, to set up a crucial game Friday night with Waimea High School.
Sales tallied a team-high 21 points, and Layosa finished with 17.
The Red Raiders (6-3 KIF record) were able to top a Kapaa team that has suffered a series of injuries to starters and still looking for their first KIF victory of the season.
Red Raiders’ head coach James Dingus said the team had experienced a lot of continuity since the start of the season in their second-consecutive win over the Warriors.
“I think this team experienced a lot about basketball since the beginning of the season,” Dingus said. “They are learning to stay out of foul trouble and reacting well in-game situations.”
Naia Maka-Adric led the Warriors with nine points in the loss.
The victory over a Warriors’ team, still looking for it’s the first win of the season, set up a critical second-round match at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Waimea.
The Menehune (8-1 KIF) is on the cusp of qualifying for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II state basketball tournament.
Standing in the way a KIF crown is the Red Raiders. However, if the Menehune defeat Kauai on Friday, and winless Kapaa Monday, they will be headed to the state basketball tournament.
If the Red Raiders were to win the final two games against Waimea, that would force a playoff, and both teams would face each other to qualify for state.
Kauai has defeated the Menehune once this season, something Dingus hopes to change in Friday night’s matchup.
“We have to take the next step, and that is competing with Waimea in all of our games with them,” Dingus said. “The Menehune have a lot very talented set out of players, and this game Friday night is going to be one fun game, and our team is learning more about ourselves every day.”
The role of spoiler
In the event Waimea defeats Kauai, they will still have to overcome a Kapaa Warriors’ team that depleted of their starters. Warriors’ Kapaa coach William Aki was forced to call up two players from the JV to help aid his team.
The Warriors, who lost to the Menehune, 78-29 Tuesday night, could shake up the KIF in the event they could pull off an upset.
“This team has depleted, and we have a lot of injuries, and I had to bring up a couple of players from the JV just to make a competitive team,” Aki said. “We have a couple of more games left, and players on my team aren’t going to be coming back, and our goal is to make sure we stay competitive.”
Aki credited the Red Raiders and said he felt the team would be active as they prepare to face Waimea moving forward.
“They have a talented group of players, and this game will be fun on Friday night,” Dingus said. “We will continue on our path, and we learn more about ourselves in the games coming up in the next few days.”
This story has been edited to reflect accuracy.