KEAAU — Resurgent Kamehameha seemingly had Christian Liberty right where it wanted it.
The Warriors have specialized this season in neutralizing upper-echelon teams with draws, and Kamehameha found itself in a familiar spot Tuesday — tied during the second half against a Division II elite.
The Canefire feature some specialties, too, however. One of them is Nakaiya Kerr, who specializes in fast rushes, blistering shots and racking up goals in bunches. The senior striker notched the go-ahead goal, his second of the match, and Christian Liberty beat the Warriors 3-1 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation boys match on its field.
“It seemed like they were trying to make sure I didn’t turn with the ball, just trying to stay in front of me,” Kerr said. “I just try to go back and forth. I can use both of my feet to try and make an opening.”
Kerr’s second goal was vintage Christian Liberty (4-1). Kerr took a pass from his brother Sequoya Kerr from about 12 yards out and rifled a shot that deflected off Warriors goalkeeper Sean Miday’s hand.
Any thoughts of a tie disappeared when Sequoya Kerr added another assist, his specialty so far this season, when Louis Moylan headed in his corner kick. Moylan played on the backline during the first half, but the senior moved up to help spark the offense during the final 40 minutes.
“They kept rotating (defenders) on Nakaiya, but he’s so explosive and can go right or left and is playing disciplined,” Canefire coach Troy Rimel said. “We started Louis on the back to shake things up. He’s so mature with communication when he’s in the back.”
But when the Kerr brothers are teamed together with Moylan on the attack, they form a dangerous trio. The schedule has been light at times, but Nakaiya Kerr has tallied 14 goals this season, Moylan has 10, and Sequoya Kerr has chipped in with 11 assists.
“We’ve been playing together for years,” Nakaiya Kerr said. “We’re just continuing to build upon that chemistry.”
He scored during the opening rush of the match, but John DeRamos netted the equalizer for Kamehameha (2-2-4) in the 16th minute by redirecting Colton Hill’s centering cross.
The Canefire carried play during both halves, holding a 20-10 advantage in shots. Ben Houston also was credited with an assist.
Ka‘u 9, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science 0
Two goals apiece by David Pilette and Andrew Garcia in Pahala helped the Trojans (3-6) to a TKO victory.
Kupono Palakiko, Anthony Emmsley-Ah Yee, Carlos Uribe-Bounos, Thanchit Khofaklang and Raycin Salmo-Grace also found the back of the net against Na Naia (0-9).
Kamehameha 7, East-Pac 0
Tiana Iwata and Harper Hottendorf each scored twice to lead the visiting Warriors, who have earned at least a point in three of their past four matches.
Layn Taylor Glenn, Sachi Iwata and Kekai Wong Yuen also added goals for Kamehameha (3-3-1).
East-Pac fell to 2-3.