Honoka`a Ends Championship Reign of Kamehameha-Hawai`i
It was a methodical approach that led the Honoka`a Dragons to the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II championship.
The Dragons defeated Kamehameha-Hawai`i 54-32, ending the six-year reign of the Warriors as league champions. Honoka`a earned the BIIF’s seeded berth in next week’s Hawaiian Airlines / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division II Girls Basketball Championships.
Honoka`a (23-10 overall, 11-2 BIIF) opened the game with a calculated gameplan, choosing not to dial up the tempo but, instead, move the ball, and the Warriors defense, until it got a favorable shooting opportunity. Honoka`a took just 11 shots in the first half, making seven of them, and held a 21-12 halftime advantage.
Down by 12 heading into the fourth quarter, Kamehameha-Hawai`i decided to employ a trapping press defense to force turnovers and change the outcome of the game. Honoka`a beat the press everytime, leading to easy baskets. Chancis Fernandez scored 10 points on layups in the fourth quarter to help the Dragons pull away.
Fernandez scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and shot 7-for-10 from the field. Teammate Hunter Liftee, who didn’t play when the two teams met in December, added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i (18-8, 9-4) was held to just 25.6 percent shooting (10-for-39) from the field. Casey Poe, the team’s leading scorer during the season, scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The rest of her team combined for 4-for-25 shooting and only 14 points. Riana Arima and Makamae Gabriel combined to score just five of those points.
Honoka`a will receive an opening round bye in the state tournament. While Kamehameha-Hawai`i and Kohala, the third-place game winner over Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, will open on Wednesday, the Dragons will play Thursday against an opponent yet to be determined.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 4 8 6 14 – 32
Honoka`a 9 12 9 24 – 54