HILO — The Waimea High girls basketball team fell to Seabury Hall in the fifth-place game at the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Snapple Girls Division II basketball championship Friday afternoon at the Hilo Civic Center.
The Menehune, who lost to Hanalani, the six-time defending state champion, 63-60 Thursday afternoon, struggled, according to coach Natalie Mata.
“We just didn’t play to our best performance,” Mata said in a post-game interview with The Garden Island. “Defensively we just weren’t on our game.”
The undersized Menehune struggled against some of the taller off-island teams in the tournament. Still, Mata said the height disadvantage was something they dealt with since the start of their regular season in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation competition.
“Defensively, we just weren’t on our game,” Mata said. “Everyone was bigger than us, and that is no different from us being on Kauai; it was just their night, and not ours.”
The Menehune, who will lose only two seniors from their KIF championship team, enter next season with optimism, according to Mata.
“We have a lot of goals that we would like to realize, and we will have to continue to focus on our offseason training,” Mata said.
Mata said she considered this season a success and hoped to build on that for her underclassmen.
“We have more goals than just winning the KIF,” Mata said. “For us as a team, we were successful, and we didn’t realize our potential for our season, and that doesn’t always depend on the KIF. Hopefully, next season it will be a new season for us.”