WAIMEA — The strong Menehune fanbase erupted in cheer, Monday night when Waimea senior Tiana Leigh Ramos found the hoop from outside the three-point arc in the fourth quarter during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball games at the Clem Gomes Gym.
Ramos’ long ball was joined by one from Cori Burton, and another from Braelynn Cayaban to ice a 70-28 win over Kapaa High School, whose roster was limited to just seven players suited up.
Ramos’ and Burton’s treys were only a preview of the Senior Night celebration where the two 12th grade students capped their respective introductions with a long ball to the delight of the Menehune supporters and the Lady Warrior players who waited amidst the celebration to present their Senior Night congratulatory gifts.
“It’s almost over,” said Kapaa coach William Aki. “We just have our Senior Night, Wednesday where we celebrate four seniors. We are just happy the girls played hard, tonight. We had nothing to lose. And, they had some fun, too.”
Waimea departed from its traditional approach, changing up its starting lineup to include the pair of seniors and flavoring the play with its experienced players — Kierstin Gummerus and Cayaban — leading the floor action where the Kapaa team kept the lid on the Menehune bucket until midway through the first quarter.
Gummerus opened up the baskets with a three-ball with a few ticks more than four minutes remaining in the first quarter, and Kaye Serapio came off the bench to give Waimea eight points, including a trey, in the final minute-and-a-half for the 13-9 bulge.
“It’s nice to see contributions from everyone (on the team),” said Waimea coach Natalie Mata. “The team was a little down, and everyone helped pick each other up.”
Gummerus topped the Waimea scoring on 16 points, including a trio of three-balls. Kaye Serapio came off the bench to build the lead on 14 points, and Hazel Serapio added eight points, including a pair of treys. Menehune seniors Ramos contributed six points, including a pair of long balls, and Burton finished with seven points, including her fourth-quarter long ball.
Hailey Overmyer topped the Kapaa effort on eight points followed by Tasia Kamoku and Angeline Roslin each adding six points.
The varsity squad’s Senior Night festivities was preluded by the Menehune Junior Varsity picking up its first season win, 43-34 after holding off a strong JV Warrior challenge in the waning ticks of the third quarter.
Shylah Kua topped the JV Menehune win on 13 points, including a third quarter three-ball, and Deyshia Kenney added 12 points, including a trey in her 10-point fourth period scoring surge.
Jada Nakamura topped the Kapaa JV effort on a dozen points, including a third-quarter long ball, and Tristee Souza added 10 points, joining Nakamura with a third-quarter distance ball.
Kapaa next hosts Kauai High School, Wednesday during its Senior Night at the Bernice Hundley Gym. The JV contest tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity matchup.