Warriors Cruise to Division II Championship
When aiming to win an elusive championship, it doesn’t get any easier to win it than it was for Kamehameha-Hawaii on Friday night at the Neal Blaisdell Center, as the Warriors never trailed in a 57-36 rout of Kauai High in the division two championship game of the Hawaiian Airlines / HHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament.
The BIIF champions were carried by the fantastic Poe sisters, sophomore Casey and senior Chelsea, who combined for 30 of the teams 57 points, mainly in transition. Kamehameha-Hawaii started the game on an 8-0 run, thanks in part to poor shooting from the Red Raiders, and aided by transition offense by the Warriors, especially from the Poe sisters. The two combined for the team’s first 14 points, mostly on layups, with a few Chelsea Poe jumpers and two free throws mixed in.
By the team the older Poe hit her second jump shot of the game, her squad had already built up an 11 point lead. The rest of the way, Kauai would not be able to cut their deficit to single digits, as the Warriors were able to run through fairly easily.
Kauai’s Kristle Henry, one of the state’s best guards, was held to minimal results throughout the game. Battling foul trouble in the second quarter, as well as a tenacious Kamehameha-Hawaii defense, Henry was a non-factor. The guard led the tournament in scoring, dropping over 20 points per game coming in, but was held to just 7 on the afternoon on 2-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-6 from the free throw line.
Also silenced was Red Raider post player Kawehi Louis-Diamond, who was flustered throughout much of the first half. She did finish with 11 points, 7 of them coming in the second quarter, but shot an unimpressive 5-for-17 from the field, while collecting only five rebounds.
Head Coach Garrett Arima finally picked up his first state championship victory after falling short in his first few tries. “It’s always a great feeling winning a state title. We’ve worked real hard over the last year ever since losing the heartbreaker to Radford last year.”
The heartbreaker he was referring to came at the hands of the Radford Rams last year. Asked if that was used as motivation for his team, he said: “It’s always been talked about. In fact, after our loss, we told the girls to remember this feeling, you know, sit here and remember it for a little bit, and as the season comes up next year, we will remember this and hopefully turn that around.”
The Warriors didn’t get to face Radford, since they were knocked out of the tournament by Hawaii Prep on Wednesday night, but winning a championship, regardless of the opponent, is still good enough for them.
Kamehameha-Hawaii 22 17 14 4 – 57
Kauai 5 13 8 10 – 36
Kamehameha-Hawaii: 23-45 FG (51.1%), 2-5 3PT (40.0%), 9-12 FT (75.0%)
Kauai: 15-46 FG (32.6%), 1-6 3PT (16.7%), 5-11 FT (45.5%)
LEADING SCORERS: Kamehameha-Hawaii – Casey Poe 16, Chelsea Poe 14, Riana Arima 7, Shaylyn Kahawai 6, Namele Naipo-Arsiga 5, Shaila Apele 5, Bobbi Montibon 2, Keana Kaohimauna 2. Kauai – Casey Anacleto 11, Kawehi Louis-Diamond 11, Krsitle Henry 7, Giselle Dante 2, Caitlyn Rapozo 2, Bristy Agu 2, Jennifer Grady 1.