Top seed Jaclyn Fontanilla of Kamehameha was chasing her third title, but was outlasted by Kari Okubo of Aiea in the 154 girls final.
Okubo overcame mental and physical hurdles — an injured right ankle — prior to the tourney.
“I really had to fix my attitude this weekend. I was really down about facing a two-time state champion,” said Okubo, who was a defending champion in her own right. “I had to get a motivational talk from my parents. My parents told me I had to get my heart right with God. They told me whoever wanted it more would win. They said, ‘You have the heart of a champion.’ ”
Her ankle got treatment from her father, Garrett, a physical therapist. That was a huge benefit, gaining back some flexibility, but it wasn’t at full strength, so she shifted tactics.
“I usually use drop seo nage (hand throw), but I just osotogari. I had to use throws that work for me,” Okubo said.
“It’s all about the heart. I have an amazing coach, Dustin Iwabuchi.”