Honoka`a Edges Past KS-Hawai`i in State Title Rematch
When Honoka`a needed a spark, senior Chancis Fernandez lifted her game and her team.
The Dragons struggled from the field, shooting 34% for the game, but forced 24 Warriors turnovers in a 42-37 victory Tuesday night at Honoka`a High School.
The game was tied at 32 with nearly four minutes and thirty seconds remaining when Honoka`a guard Kizzah Maltezo, a second-team All-West Hawai`i selection last season, went down after landing awkwardly on her right leg when attempting a jump shot. She did not return to the game.
That’s where Fernandez, a transfer from Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, stepped up her game. She sank a pair of free throws to put Honoka`a ahead 34-32 with 3:43 remaining in the game.
Following a turnover, senior guard Jasmine Castro added to the lead with a tough drive in the paint, switching the ball from her right hand to her left on her way in for the layup, to extend the lead to 36-32 with three minutes left on the clock.
Following a pair of free throws from KS-Hawai`i guard Caitlyn Poe, Fernandez closed out a sloppy possession that could have resulted in a turnover by driving into the paint and scoring to extend the Dragons’ lead to four with 1:18 remaining. After a steal on the ensuing Kamehameha-Hawai`i possession, Fernandez broke away for a layup to stretch the lead to six points with 55 seconds left to play.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i (11-5 overall, 2-1 BIIF) struggled to stay in the game despite its high turnover count. It didn’t help that two of the team’s most important players, Riana Arima and Makamae Gabriel, were held to a combined 0-for-7 shooting in the second half. The pair combined for 15 points, all coming in the first half.
That put the game in the hands of Casey Poe, the Warriors’ leading scorer entering Tuesday’s contest. Despite battling foul trouble in the first quarter and being held to only one shot attempt in the first half, the senior put up a team-high 13 points, including a layup and a foul with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter which gave the Warriors its only lead of the game, 26-24.
The Warriors also struggled from the free throw line, where they entered shooting 54% on the season. Kamehameha-Hawai`i shot 8-for-19 from the charity stripe in the game, a 42.1% average.
Honoka`a (13-7, 3-0) took 19 more shot attempts in the game, but missed some golden opportunities near the rim to finish the night shooting 34% (17-for-50) from the floor. The Dragons converted six of its seven free throw attempts and out-rebounded the Warriors 25-21.
Honoka`a, ranked ninth in the ScoringLive Girls Basketball Power Rankings, does not play until Dec. 30 when it visits Laupahoehoe at 7 p.m. Kamehameha-Hawai`i, meanwhile, returns to the court on the same day with a visit to Kealakehe.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 6 13 11 5 – 35
Honoka`a 11 13 7 11 – 42
Tuesday’s BIIF girls basketball scores
Konawaena 62, Kealakehe 8
Kohala 65, Pahoa 59
Waiakea 64, Hawai`i Preparatory Academy 42
Kea`au 62, Ka`u 40
Hilo 53, Laupahoehoe 8