LIHU‘E — Neither Kapa‘a High nor Island School qualified for the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II 2020 Snapple Boys basketball championship, but that is inconsequential to the players playing in Friday night’s season finale.
The Warriors capped their 19-win season with a 48-33 victory over Island School, who finished its first season as a member of the KIF boys’ basketball program.
For the Warriors’ eight seniors, it was the last time they would play together as a team.
Warrior senior captain Justin Faidley said his final game with Kapa‘a was more than just another game.
“It was the last game that we had, and everyone was enjoying the last minute and the game as a team,” Faidley said. “I’ve known these kids for a long time, and I know to have this sport bring us together, and some people I haven’t been as close as I could have (had) it not been for basketball, I wouldn’t be as close to some of my teammates. Basketball has brought more people into my life to contribute and make things better.”
The majority of the Voyagers will return to play another year of basketball. The Voyagers capped their first season with no senior on the roster.
Island guard Ethan Inanod said he saw a significant improvement in his team’s performance from the start of the year to the end of the season.
“We grew a lot from the beginning of the season, and my teammates grew as athletes,” Inanod said. “Our team grew a lot with confidence. We demonstrated a lot more intensity, a lot more aggressiveness, and our team became confident in ourselves, and trusting our teammates.”
Warriors coach Kamahalo Kauhane admitted Kaua‘i High is currently the benchmark by which KIF teams are measured, and reflected on a season that a saw total of nearly 20 victories.
“This team had a bunch of highs, lows, peaks and valleys, and they had some good games, and the seniors were very competitive,” Kauhane said. “The program over here, across the board, and everyone improving, and the JV program, looking towards the future, was also very competitive.”
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.