WAIMEA – Menehune player Skyelynn Ripley received a warm applause on Wednesday night during the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation women’s basketball game against Kaua’i High School at Clem Gomes Gym.
Ripley gave up both ends of a Plus One game to light up the scorecards which continued to show a Waimea lead, 14-11 after eight minutes of heavy defensive pressure from the girls coached by Natalie Mata.
The relentless defensive effort was adjusted by the Red Raiders who came back to claim a 57-32 victory behind the long ball thrown by Hema Naka’ahiki-Young.
Naka’ahiki-Young continued to launch missiles, finishing with eight points, including a pair of three balls before being sidelined with an injury in the second quarter.
“We really need the Hema to be healthy,” said Neil Fagarang, coach of Kaua’i High School. “But after he fell, the rest of the girls got up and did a good job carrying us. This is the raison d’être of the team, people step up when they need it. “
The highlight of Krystin Emproso who finished with 10 balanced points led the comeback effort against Waimea which also demonstrated the emergence of court leaders Hailey Mata and Hazel Serapio.
Red Raider Angeline Nizo blossomed for six of her eight total points in the second half to support Kaua’i’s push against Menehune’s defensive push. Jadelynn Reynolds led the Raiders’ first-half push with five points, including three for four on the charity strip.
Mata fueled the offensive in the first quarter with a three-ball and a bucket to his eight-point total, tied with Serapio who had six of his eight points in the fourth quarter.
Menehune Tristan Raposas collected his six points in the second half.
With the win, Kaua’i High School is preparing to welcome the Kapa’a Lady Warriors on Friday at Kaua’i High School Gymnasium. The Junior Varsity Contest will start at 5:30 p.m. and the Varsity Contest will begin 25 minutes after the end of the JV game.
Dennis fujimoto, editor and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or [email protected]