Tuesday Preview: State Girls Hoops Tourney
The opening games of the Hawaiian Airlines / HHSAA Girls State Basketball Championships take place tonight on the island of Oahu, and for another straight year, the Big Island is expected to make a major showing in this year’s tournament. #1 Konawaena is the top seed in the Division I tournament, and has been the favorite since the beginning of the season to cut down the nets.
Meanwhile, ninth ranked Kamehameha-Hawaii is in the running to take home the Division II title, getting the second seed in the twelve team field. The Warriors, like Konawaena, will begin play on Wednesday.
Here’s a preview of games featuring BIIF teams on Tuesday:
– Division I: #10 Roosevelt vs. #5 Waiakea (4:50 pm, ESPNHawaii.com)
Waiakea enters the tournament as the BIIF runner-up, losing to Konawaena 47-30 on Saturday night in the league championship game. The Warriors played well, leading the Wildcats at halftime by a point before losing control of the game in the third quarter. Before that game, the closest to tough competition that Waiakea received was their two wins against KS-Hawaii.
The Rough Riders of Roosevelt entered the OIA tournament as the fourth seed out of the East, and got a chance to make the tournament after defeating Kaiser at the buzzer in the OIA tournament. Two consecutive losses to Pearl City and Roosevelt have them backing in to the tournament.
– Division II: Honoka’a vs. Seabury Hall (5:00 pm)
The Dragons enter the tournament winning four of their last six games, and their two losses have been five points or less. Honoka’a got their ticket to the state tournament by defeating Ka’u last Friday night 36-29 behind a solid team effort, led by Precious Chong’s 11 points and Yvonne Daniels following up with 10. They nearly took the league title over Kamehameha-Hawaii, watching their lead slip away late to lose by 5 to the Warriors.
Seabury Hall is a relative unknown to the state tournament field. The champion of the Maui Interscholastic League finished play with a measly 5-1 record, and are the team very little people on Maui are paying attention to, thanks to the success of Division I Lahainaluna.
– Division II: Hawaii Prep vs. University High (7:00 pm)
HPA punched the Big Island’s final ticket to the state tournament by defeating Ka’u handily in the league’s third place game last Saturday. Ka Makani have been regular visitors to the state tournament, being the West division’s best Division II squad for the last few years. Hawaii Prep lacks some size as compared to recent years, but does bring improved shooting from guards Tiana Tabac, Chancis Fernandez, and Nani Lum.
The Junior Bows of University High come into the tournament winning their last five games, and not losing a contest since January 7th. That last defeat came at the hands of the ILH champion Maryknoll, who enters the tournament unblemished in league play.