Basketball Warriors post first season win against Sabers

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Photo by Shayna Ho

Senior RJ Moku goes under the net to score against Maui High School, December 28, at the Sabers Gymnatorium in the first regular season game for the Kamehameha Maui Warriors. The Warriors won, 51-34, in their first outing.

By Shayna Ho, sports writer

The Kamehameha Maui boys basketball Warriors were victorious against the Sabers in Friday night’s game, Dec. 28, at Maui High School. After four sweaty and exciting quarters in the humid gym, KSM ended the night in triumph, 51-34.

“[It] felt good. It was a good opener to our season giving us momentum for games to come,” said senior RJ Moku, who scored 11 points throughout the game, 9 of them in the first quarter.

The first quarter seemed like an even match-up. Starting off, the Maui High Sabers made the first shot of the night. Senior Luke Batoon made a free throw, making the score 2-1, Sabers up. Following soon after, the Warriors took the lead with senior Kolby Ah Sau’s layup, followed by another Saber basket.

From there, Moku expanded the lead with back-to-back shots, and sophomore Keawe Rindlisbacher assisted senior Kamaka Keawekane’s for another two points.

The Sabers ended the first quarter with two three-point shots in a row, met by a basket and a three-pointer by Kamehameha’s Moku, and the score was 14-11, Warriors in the lead.

Erin Lindsey started off the second quarter with a goal and one free throw shot escalating the Warriors’ lead to 16-15, and from there, the Warriors never looked back. They kept the lead until the end of the game.

Rindlisbacher, Batoon and Keawekane all scored during the second quarter, and senior Kahiau Andrade ended the quarter with a successful shot from the three-point line. The Warriors went into halftime ahead 29-20.

Coming back from the locker room, the Warriors increased their lead with 8 points by Andrade, and additional points from Ah Sau, Rindlisbacher and Batoon in the third quarter.

Keawekane started the fourth quarter with a two-point shot, and the rest of the Warrior points in the fourth quarter (6) came from free throws in a foul-heavy period. Ah Sau fouled out with five minutes left in the game, and the Sabers also lost a player to the maximum fouls soon after.

All players were rotated into the game near the end, and Zach Lopez ended the night with two successful free throw shots.

The Kamehameha Maui Warriors left with a 19-point win over the Maui High Sabers and a final score of 51-34.

The senior-heavy team, who had uneven results against both island and mainland teams in pre-season tournaments, showed promise for the coming season in this first game. Passing errors, a common characteristic of last year’s team, were nearly non-existent, and the boys were vocal and communicative on the court.

Update: The Warriors lost, 54-36, in their next game against the Lahainaluna Lunas on the following night, December 29. In a heated home game, the Lunas wore the Warriors down with their full court offense, then out-shot the Warriors by capitalizing more consistently on possessions.

Standout Luna, senior Jake Francis, excelled at positioning himself in the corners. He scored on four three-point shots and made regular two-point goals as well.