WAIMEA — The Menehune split their final home stand in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation boys basketball Friday night, but that did not stop fans from cheering the boys in blue at Clem Gomes Gym.
Wade Pimsaguan, one of six Menehune seniors celebrating senior night and continuing on to play basketball at Pacific University in Oregon following his final walk on the Waimea campus, topped all scorers with a game-high 15 marks, including a second-quarter three-ball, in an effort that came up short, 67-45, in the varsity matchup, versus Kaua‘i High.
Kaua‘i High earned the KIF boys basketball championship Tuesday night with a win over Kapa‘a High, had strong showings from Ricky Malu Ralston, Luke Hunadi and Keane Tibon, each bucketing 11 points to lead the Reed Raider attack.
Menehune fans, possibly distracted by the Blue-and-White softball contest taking place at nearby Waimea Athletic Field, set the tone for the hoops action when Joey Perpose, another of the six 12th graders, broke the scorebooks open on a breakaway drive that gave Waimea its short-lived lead that was answered by the Raiders, who went on to score double digits in all four quarters.
Perpose did not stop there.
“Yes, that was his first points of the KIF season,” said Waimea coach Brandon Moises. “It wasn’t because we didn’t try. He had touches in other games but couldn’t score. I even told Kaua‘i coach Ipo, ‘I hope he scores tonight.’”
Ipo Yoshioka, following the 22-point victory where all 14 members of Kaua‘i’s roster touched the ball, discretely adjourned the Raiders through the outside back door to allow the Menehune their senior night glory — all but Ralston, who quietly visited the court to accept congratulations from Menehune fans.
Other Menehune seniors being cheered included Arnie Fernandez, who finished with four marks coming in the third stanza; Perpose, who continued to stoke the fans by dropping the final Menehune basket — a long ball; and Eilon Jamorabon, who recovered from an early court injury to finish with seven second-half marks, including a three-ball in the third quarter when Waimea came up with its most productive frame at 17 points.
Matsu Shigematsu did not show any points on the scorebooks, but brought the cheering to its peak when, with the help of fellow hoopsters, he did a hanging dunk following his pledge to his mother (she passed earlier in the year) on making her proud.
Mason Broyles, amidst the senior hoopla, celebrated his birthday by coming off the bench to finish with six points.
Earlier in the night, the Waimea junior varsity squad made its mark when Damien Akita scored his second bucket of the night with less than a minute showing to break a 45-45 deadlock and give Waimea the 47 -45 edge.
Hekili Dizol, hobbling off the court with an injury, topped the victory on 12 points, with Kainoa Moody adding 11 points.
Ethan Smith led the Kaua‘i JV effort with 11 points, with Syrus Delos Reyes chipping in nine first-half marks.
Kaua‘i next prepares for the 2020 Snapple Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II boys basketball championships that will be contested on O‘ahu Feb. 19 through 21.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.