KAPA‘A — Kaua‘i High School basketball coach Ipo Yoshioka had just one word to describe the Red Raiders’ 58-51 win over Kapa‘a High School for the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation boys basketball championship playoff at the overflowing and loud Bernice Hundley Gym on Wednesday night.
“Unbelievable!” Yoshioka said. “Both teams were going at it to the end. We were fortunate it came out Red Raiders.”
Kapa‘a came from a 7-2 deficit in the first half to turn the tide and control the first half that ended with Kaua‘i staying close and chasing a 2-point deficit, 30-28.
Regrouping in the locker room, the Red Raiders entered the second half with a renewed fire, outgunning the Warriors 30-21 for the final read behind the spark of Syrus Delos Santos, whose seven points in the fourth quarter included a three-for-four showing at the charity stripe after the Warriors’ attempted to recover from a technical foul.
The difference Wednesday night was the Red Raiders were holding the lead advantage and forcing Kapa‘a to foul in an attempt at regaining the lead. Kaua‘i ended the fourth quarter with a 7-for-10 showing at the foul line, the margin of victory in the championship skirmish.
Defensively, the Red Raiders held Kapa‘a senior Mikey Questin to just six second half marks, while allowing Keaka Kauhane to notch a game-high 26 points, including five bombs launched from outside the 3-point arc.
Scully Tristan stoked the Kapa‘a hopefuls with four treys for 12 points, two of the 3-balls dropping in the fourth quarter on the Warriors’ comeback effort.
Kelson Yasay, bombing the 3-balls during the playoff for Round 2, was held to just a pair of free throws, Braxton Brooks had a bucket in the first quarter, and Moku Tolenoa had one half of a charity pair for the Warrior scoring.
Rego and Delos Reyes found their feet following the Round 2 playoff and the championship bout after the pair dropped 15 points apiece to lead the Red Raider attack. Isaac Mirey dropped six points in addition to being a critical guard and defender.
Kalaiakea Esteban pocketed six points, and Cade Myers added five marks, including a sorely-needed trey in the third frame. Noah Louis found the net for five points along with Bryan Brown, whose marks included a 3-ball in the second frame to keep Kaua‘i in the chase.
With the KIF championships in hand, Kaua‘i High School next participates in the 2023 Heide &Cook Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II boys basketball championship that will take place Feb. 8-10 on O‘ahu.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island