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Warriors clinch KIF girls hoops title

LIHU‘E — The Kapa‘a High School junior varsity team kept the audience at seat’s edge in the waning seconds of their Monday night meeting with Kaua‘i High School during a Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation girls basketball game at the Kaua‘i High School gymnasium students have labeled “The Raiderdome.”

With seconds remaining in the contest, the Red Raiders managed to trim the scoring deficit down to two points to ignite the fans, including members of both schools’ varsity squads that had come out in preparation for their match.

But the JV Red Raiders’ efforts fell short as the buzzer sounded on a 30-28 Kapa‘a JV win that came with the high point contribution from Ginger Nunez, who finished with eight points, including a pair launched from outside the 3-point arc. Kehakeha Lawhead and Aedyn Umalla each finished with seven points.

Kaua‘i JV’s Chloe Kaluahine finished with a game-high 12 points, including a pair of 3-balls, in the effort. Taylor Duran fired off a trey toward her nine points.

On the varsity court, Kapa‘a clinched the Central Pacific Bank KIF championship with a 92-32 victory.

Warrior guard Taira Samiano wowed the crowd when she launched five bombs, four dropping in the first half, toward her high 26 points that sparked the Kapa‘a win. Skylyn Fagarang counted a trio of 3-balls toward her game total 19 points and Olivia Malafu meted out 22 points, including 2-for-2 from the foul line.

The Red Raiders, missing the services of two of its players, opened the night on a 3-ball, and kept the momentum from the JV contest going for the first four minutes of play until Kapa‘a broke away from a 5-5 logjam and never looked back.

Tall post Lailah Kalani topped the Kaua‘i effort on eight points followed by Jazlyn Corpuz and Kamaile Manibog each getting five points, including first-quarter treys. Grace Alana saved her 3-ball until the fourth quarter, finishing the contest with four points.

Kapa‘a, the newly crowned CPB KIF girls basketball champions, will host Waimea High School on Wednesday night at Bernice Hundley Gym. The JV contest tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity girls game.

With the title, Kapa‘a will represent the KIF at the Heide &Cook Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division II girls basketball championships on O‘ahu from Feb. 6 through 9.

Kapa‘a, with coach Neal Fagarang at the helm, beat Hanalani, 54-37 to capture the 2023 title.
Source: The Garden Island

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