Nā Ali’i outplay jv girls basketball as season nears end

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Photo by Mehana Lee

Freshman Keely Lindsey shoots during the JV girls basketball team’s second game against King Kekaulike High School on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku. The Maui Warriors lost, 23-8.

By Mehana Lee, news editor

The Kamehameha Schools Maui junior varsity girls basketball team played a strong defensive game against King Kekaulike High School on Tuesday, November 27 at the Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku gymnasium, but ended with a 23-8 loss.

Nā Ali’i had a height advantage when it came to rebounds and were generally more cohesive when it came to stealing and getting the ball to the basket.

The Warrior highlights included a few fast breaks and a two-for-two free throw turn by sophomore Kelia NeSmith.

“Playing-wise wasn’t the greatest, but effort-wise it was the best we ever did. We learned more than what we knew when we first started,” sophomore Lilia Lorenzo said.

The Maui Warriors were up on defense, while Nā Ali’i were strong in their offense.

Freshman Ofa-Helotu Koka scored two points with 3:15 minutes left in the first quarter. The points doubled later in the quarter with NeSmith’s free throws. The first quarter ended 8-4 with Nā Ali’i in the lead.

With five fouls made by the Maui Warriors and two fouls made by Nā Ali’i, it was obvious that the Maui Warriors wanted to keep the ball out of Nā Ali’i’s posession.

The Maui Warriors put up no points in the second quarter, but their fouls doubled to ten as did King Kekaulike’s score, and the teams went into halftime with Nā Ali’i in the lead 16-4.

In the third quarter, Koka scored another two points, but Nā Ali’i remained on top, ending the quarter with a 16-6 lead.

Freshman Megan Miguel scored the last two points of the game in the fourth quarter with an assist from Koka with only 37 seconds left.

The girls have not won a game this season, but their hard work was rewarding for the team and coaches.

“I am so proud of those girls. They lived through all the hard work over the course of a month and a half to play basketball. They are winning because they come to practice, it’s not showing on the scoreboard yet, but just give us a couple years,” Head Coach David NeSmith said.

The JV Maui Warriors will take on Baldwin High School as their last Maui Interscholastic League season opponent this Thursday at Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium at 5:30.