Kapa‘a gets defensive, makes 2nd-half comeback
LIHU‘E — The Kapa‘a High Warriors came back from a 21-18 halftime deficit to surge to a 47-44 edge over Kaua‘i High Saturday night during the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation girls basketball game at the Kaua‘i High gym.
Playing before a smaller-than-normal audience, the Warriors combined their second-half shooting rally with a tough, never-give-up-on-the-ball defense to keep the Red Raiders off balance throughout the night, the demonstration of its effectiveness coming by holding Hema Naka‘ahiki-Young to just seven points on the night. The Raiders’ woes also showed on the charity stripe, where they capitalized on just 16 points of their 29 attempts.
Kapa‘a went to its rubbish pickers Haley Overmyer and Olivia Malafu to surge forward and tap the victory.
Trailing 42-37 in the final three minutes of play, Overmyer, whose play was questioned due to her needing medical-support equipment that contained questionable material, closed the gap with a putback, followed by Malafu’s second-effort pulling Kapa‘a to within a digit, 42-41, with two minutes remaining.
Kaua‘i answered with a Jaley Medeiros bucket, giving the Raiders some breathing room, 44-41, only to have Malafu’s third-try effort on a Hinali‘i Grance three-ball again draw Kapa‘a to within a digit, 43-44 with a minute showing.
With just 36 ticks remaining in the contest, Overmyer capitalized on a Kaua‘i inbound play to put the Warriors up, 46-44, for the first time in the evening, the opening end of a charity pair by Grance sealing the contest, 47-44.
Overmyer finished with 13 points, including a pair from outside the three-point arc, followed by Malafu netting 10 points, eight in the fourth period, when Kapa‘a outgunned Kaua‘i 17-14.
Angeline Nizo, Jadelyn Reynolds and Jaley Medeiros each had eight points for the Raiders, followed by Naka‘ahiki-Young getting seven points.
Information and results from the KIF boys basketball games featuring the Kaua‘i High School teams at the Wilcox Gymnasium at Island School were not available at press time.
With the interruption of the KIF winter-sports season due to COVID-19, the basketball season turns to a best-overall-record format instead of the traditional two-round season format.
The Heide &Cook Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball Division 2 state championship games are scheduled to play Feb. 16 through 19 on O‘ahu, leaving the KIF with little time or available dates for makeup or playoff games. The KIF team with the best record following the Feb. 2 games will be the Kaua‘i representative to that tourney, with the finals at the Neal Blaidsell Arena on Feb. 19.
Kapa‘a High travels to Waimea today for a single game at Clem Gomes Gym at 6:30 p.m.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.