JV boys basketball earns comeback victory against Sabers


The Warriors’ Jared Puu-Robinson attempts a shot past the Sabers’ Justine Dancel at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku gym, Wednesday, November 21. Having lost to the Sabers twice before in this season, the boys and their fans were especially jubilant about the 48-40 win.

By Landon Ballesteros, news writer

After suffering two wide-margin losses to Maui High early in this season, the KS Maui junior varsity boys basketball Warriors came out with a narrow victory, 48-40, against the Sabers tonight at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku gym.

“I think it was a big improvement for us,” sophomore Zackary Lopez said. “Now, to come out showing what we can do against these teams better, it just makes me proud to see our guys stepping up.”

Seventeen seconds into the game, freshman Keiran Kauka scored the first point of the game with a free throw, closely followed by four points from Lopez. The Sabers closely trailed the Warriors 5-4 before freshman Kaupena Morando and sophomores Dayson Damuni and Lopaka-Titus Kealiʻinohomoku added six more points to the Warriors’ score. The foul-heavy first quarter finished 11-5 in favor of the Warriors.

The second quarter was off to a sloppy start, and the Sabers pushed through and secured four points before sophomore Keoni Frampton put up the first two points of the quarter for the Warriors, over two minutes into the quarter.

“We took some bad shot selections,” Lopez said.

Then, freshman Jared Puʻu-Robinson landed two free throws, bringing the score to 15-9. The Sabers scored two more points before the Warriors stepped it up and added six points by freshmen Maikaʻike English, Puʻu-Robinson, and Kulana-Alika Wilhelm. The first half ended 22-12, with the Warriors in the lead.

The third quarter was a struggle for the Warriors. The Sabers began their ascension on the scoreboard, earning seven points in the first three minutes, compared to two for the Warriors, and pulling to within three points of the lead.

But, Frampton scored on a free throw, starting the Warriors’ steady comeback. Kauka opened up the lead to 29-24 , and sophomore Micah Ing ended the third quarter with a basket and the Warriors leading 31-24.

“We can play good defense,” Lopez said. “We were moving our legs and using communication.”

The final quarter proved to be an intense battle, with the referee stopping play at one point to caution both teams to “knock it [the aggressive play] off.”

In the last minute of the game, a rapid succession of fouls gave both teams several chances at free throws. Out of the Warriors’ nine free throw attempts, six were successful, thus concluding the game and locking in a win, 48-40.

Kauka was the lead scorer, contributing 13 points to the win, and Puʻu-Robinson also had a great night with many rebounds and eight points on the scoreboard.

“We forced a lot of shots, but other than that, I think we did pretty good overall,” Lopez said. “It’s just the little stuff we can get better on.”

The JV basketball boys’ next game is against King Kekaulike on Tuesday, November 27, at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku gym.