KEAAU –The showdown for first place between Kamehameha and Ka’u turned into a survival of cold shooting and ball security.
The Warriors warmed up in the second half to pull away for a 51-30 victory over the Trojans in a BIIF Division II game on Wednesday night at Koaia Gym.
Nique Pacheco scored 10 points in the first half, before injuring her ankle and not returning, to spark the Warriors (4-4), who shot 44 percent, including 55 percent in the second half. Kailee Kuaulua-Stacy led the way with 13 points while Mihalani Mortensen and Pomaikai Evans-Bautista added nine points each.
Kianie Medeiros-Dancel scored 12 points, and Reishalyn Jara added six points for the Trojans (3-4), who converted only 21 percent (11 of 53) on field goals. They missed from pretty much everywhere: under the basket, on layup attempts, midrange jumpers and from long distance.
Both teams struggled with their ball-handling. Kamehameha finished with 33 turnovers while Ka’u had 26 giveaways, including just three in the second half. When tight ball-pressure or traps were applied, more often than not a turnover followed.
The Warriors led 27-16 at halftime and shot just 35 percent from the field. They had 17 turnovers.
The Trojans had all sorts of ball-handling issues and had 23 turnovers in the first half. They shot just 26 percent from the floor.
Ka’u had a nice opportunity to make a run when Pacheco injured her ankle with 5:58 left in the second quarter and didn’t return.
Medeiros-Dancel, her team’s top scorer, picked up her fourth personal foul with 2:49 left until halftime. Somehow, she didn’t foul out.
At one point in the second period, both teams couldn’t play defense without fouling. Out of 10 possessions, there were eight trips to the free throw line.
For the game, Kamehameha made 10 of 21 free throws while Ka’u buried just 8 of 24.
In the second half, the Warriors did one of two things: they either had a turnover or dropped in a layup. They had six layups.
Despite cleaning up their ball-handling, the Trojans couldn’t make any sustained type of run. Whenever they got a wide-open look, the ball found a way to not drop through the hoop.
Kamehameha kept beating Ka’u in transition and stretched the lead to 36-23 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the JV game, it was Kamehameha 33, Ka’u 22.
Ka’u 7 9 7 7 — 30
Kamehameha 12 15 9 15 — 51
Keaau 57, Honokaa 53: Ace Bernal scored 19 points and the Cougars overcame a third-quarter lapse to come back and win on their home court.
The Dragons fell to 1-3, despite getting 21 points from Isaac Jardine. Tyler Fojas scored 11.
Keaau (3-2) led at the half, but Honokaa put up 22 points in the third quarter to take a small lead entering the fourth.
In JV, Keaau won 40-37.
Konawaena 77, St. Joseph’s 48: The Wildcats (4-1) got back in the win column on with a win over the visiting Cardinals, putting up a season-high offensive output in the victory.
Aldrin Gadot had 22 for Konawaena, with Ethan Neru adding 18.
Dylan Costales netted 13 for the Cardinals (0-4), with Nathan Faletoi close behind with 12.
Hilo 6, Honokaa 1: Riley Patterson upped his goal total to 28, scoring five times on the Dragons’ field.
Josh Rosario also had a goal for the Vikings (7-2), while Elijah Aguilar scored for Honokaa (3-8).
Hilo 6, Honokaa 0: Miya Clarke scored two goals and added a season-high four assists as the visiting Vikings ran their record to 10-0-1.
Jordyn Pacheco also scored, giving her 16 to tie her with the team lead with Clarke, Haley Miyasato tallied a goal and an assist, and Payton Saguid and Hollie Saplan also scored for Hilo.
Anaseini Sipinga and Kali’u Boteilho each had a hand in the shutout of the Dragons (2-8-1).