Warriors girls basketball begin season with loss to Lunas

Freshman+Ashley+Peralta+takes+the+ball+down+the+court+with+Keleah+Akio-Koloi+in+hot+pursuit.+Akio-Koloi+was+a+high+scorer+in+in+last+night%27s+girls+basketball+game+against+the+Maui+Warriors+in+their+regular+season+opener+in+Ka%CA%BBulaheanuiokamoku+Gym.+The+Lunas+won+73-20.

Photo by Ashley Morishita

Freshman Ashley Peralta takes the ball down the court with Keleah Akio-Koloi in hot pursuit. Akio-Koloi was a high scorer in in last night’s girls basketball game against the Maui Warriors in their regular season opener in Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gym. The Lunas won 73-20.

The Lady Lunas lived up to their reputation as two-time Maui Interscholastic League champs as they dominated the Kamehameha Warriors, 73-20, in girls basketball at Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium last night.

“It was butterflies all over again,” new Head Coach Mathew Weeks said about the Warriors. Coach Weeks previously served the team as an assistant coach. “Though we did well during our two pre-season games, it’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to playing Lāhaina.”

The Warriors came ready to play, as they ran up and down the boards, passed with intensity, and handled the ball better than in the previous three years, but it was still a rough start in the first quarter. Kamehameha accumulated 6 points to the Lunas’ 24 points. The first points were scored by senior Jayden Almeida, junior Rebeka Revelle and starting freshman Kimani Fernandez-Roy.

In the second quarter, the Warriors added 2 free throw points from starting freshman Ashley Peralta. She played a rough game against the Lunas last night, falling several times as she hustled for the ball.

“As far as our team’s intensity goes, I liked it but as far as fundamentals, we’re not there yet,” Coach Weeks said.

Also in the second quarter, Almeida made another 2 points on a breakaway lay-up, advancing the Warriors to 10 points against the Lunas at 46.

It was definitely a David versus Goliath game that paired up the Lunas, last year’s Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association third place team, against the Maui Warriors, a team that placed last in the Maui Interscholastic League.

“I think for our first game, we did okay. there is definitely a lot to work on, however, before we play them again,” Almeida said.

During the third quarter of the game, the Warriors fought for four more points, moving them up to 14, but the Lunas stayed solidly ahead with 60 points. Almeida and Fernandez-Roy each scored another two points for the Warriors.

Wrapping up the final quarter of the first season game, the Warriors made an additional six points from Almeida, leading scorer of the night, who scored a 3-pointer, Fernandez-Roy with a 2-point lay-up, and Ashley Peralta with yet another successful free throw.

The Lunas are just getting warmed up, but their aggressive style of play and talent for stealing and executing plays were clear.

“Offensively we have things to work on, but there’s a lot of energy, and our girls work really hard defensively,” Luna head coach Todd Rickard said.

Though the Lunas won decisively, these young Warriors have a lot to offer this season with nine talented freshmen out to earn a place in the league, under the leadership of veterans Almeida and senior Kelia Nesmith.

Catch the new Warriors in their second basketball season game on Saturday, December 27 at 7 p.m. as they face off against Nā Aliʻi at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku gymnasium.