KEALAKEKUA — When you’re hot, you’re hot.
Behind a scorching shooting performance from 3-point land and a bevy of forced — and some unforced — turnovers, Konawaena (9-0) blasted by Kealakehe 100-8 on Wednesday at Ellison Onizuka Gymnasium.
Five Wildcats reached double-figures, led by Kawena Kaohimaunu with 27 points — all coming on 3-pointers. Mikayla Tablit scored 23 and Cherilyn Molina added 19.
The three-time defending Division I state champs led 39-3 after the first quarter, and extended their margin to 73-3 by the half. The lopsided scoreboard forced a running clock, but the Wildcats still became the first BIIF team to score in triple-figures this season late in the fourth quarter.
Iolani Kamakau hit a 3-pointer for the Waveriders, and Sira-Claire Hauanio score three.
Before the pitchforks come out about the Wildcats running up the score, it should be noted that the team did what it could to limit the lopsided affair, especially in the second half. Even most steals that resulted in wide-open fast breaks were slowed down, and the ball was always passed around before a shot was taken.
There was no bench fleet for the Wildcats to send in to make the game more even, as Konawaena carried just seven players for the contest. They all played, and they all scored.
It’s not a rare occurrence for Konawaena to dominate a BIIF opponent. The squad hasn’t lost a league game in a decade, with a legendary winning streak currently sitting at 113.
Konawaena has played two league games decided by less than double digits and has won its nine league games by an average of 50 points.
Kealakehe, on the other hand, is on the other end of the spectrum, sitting at 1-8 this season. Outside of a 51-33 win over Pahoa on Jan. 15, none of the Waveriders losses have been decided by single digits.
When the two west-side schools matchup in most sports, it is usually referred to as a rivalry showdown. However, it’s been a while since the teams were on equal ground.
The closest was likely back when four-time All-BIIF selection Saundra Cariaga was running the show for the ‘Riders. Cariaga, a 2004 grad, went on to have a solid career at UH-Manoa after leading the Waveriders to their first state berth in 2003.
Around the same time, the Awa-era went into full-swing in Kealakekua, with the Wildcats bringing home their first HHSAA D-I crown in 2004.
The “rivalry” hasn’t been very close since, and until the Waveriders can take one from the Wildcats, it will probably remain without the rivalry moniker.