Camille Feary scored 19 points, including 4-for-4 at the free-throw line in the clutch, as Kamehameha outlasted Hanalani, 43-38, on Tuesday at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium.
“She’s been a very clutch player for years. Last year, even her sophomore year, she steps up with confidence at the end of a game,” Warriors Coach Pua Straight said.
Feary looked every bit the part of a future college player. She signed Southern Oregon last fall and hasn’t missed a workout, even through the pandemic. Her free throws were smooth.
“We get a lot of opportunities to practice our free throws at practice. We get extra time for that. And at the end we run for our missed free throws,” Feary said.
Junior point guard Maddison Mangalao added 10 points, including two foul shots to seal the hard-earned win with 7.6 seconds left.
Hanalani was the 2020 Division II state champion. Talented enough to be in the mix of top D-I programs, just not as deep.
“We knew that Hanalani is a really good team,” Feary said. “We executed our game plan and we got a good start. Our team might have gotten a little comfortable and made mistakes, but we’re just happy we got the win. Hanalani can definitely bang with D-I.”
Kamehameha had the lead most of the way.
“We had a lead of about 10, 11, 12 points. A decent lead on them most of the game,” Coach Straight said. “We kind of gave that up slowly in the fourth quarter. Part of that is conditioning, but I was very pleased with the way they came together in the last two minutes. I called a time out and let them talk to each other.”
The Warriors also limited high-scoring Hanalani guard Faith Mersburg to five points.
“We were aware of where she was at all times. Both teams got good shots, but the field-goal percentages weren’t very high,” Straight said.
Mariah Ralar led the visiting Royals with 11 points. Charlie-Ann Hiers added eight points. Lishae Scanlan, a returning Star-Advertiser all-state selection, finished with two points after battling through foul trouble.
“Lishae’s a really good player, it’s just she was in foul trouble. They’re a good team, really disciplined,” Feary said.
“That was definitely the player we wanted to key in on,” Straight added. “When she was in the game, we did a pretty good job. We didn’t have a practice to get ready for this,” Straight said. “We have two girls, MacKenzie Dela Vega and Kalena Aukai, who are physical. We just wanted to contain her.”
Down 39-38, Hanalani got a big break on a Kamehameha turnover with 30.2 seconds left. However, the Royals committed a turnover of their own on an overthrown lob into the low post, stolen by Feary. The senior then sank two foul shots with 14.3 seconds for the final margin of victory.
Hanalani called time out with 10 seconds left to set up a potential game-tying shot, but the inbounds pass from midcourt to the corner was too high and fell out of bounds. Mangalao then clinched the win with two free throws.
Getting back to a sense of normalcy, even with exhibition games, is a relief for coaches, too.
“I feel great to be able to compete and coach in another game again,” Straight said. “When we started giving up that lead, as a coach, you get a little frustrated, but I told our coaches, I miss that feeling of the ups and downs, not having a great offensive night, but battling through. That’s what you live through. I’m so happy we could offer this opportunity to the girls. They had so much taken from them.”
‘Iolani and Kamehameha have a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday.
“They have an extremely talented group of girls that can do it all. We’re just excited to have a chance to compete and play. For us, at this point, it’s mental preparation. We only get one practice before we play them. We only get to practice a couple of times a week. But it’s mental preparation.
“The word that comes to mind is grateful. It’s a privilege to play your sport and rep your school. This is about the girls. They don’t get this time back.
Feary’s versatility as a source of power in the paint with swingman skills will be a factor.
“I know me and Maddy and Alize (Pratt) are the ones who really played against them last year. The main thing is to not be scared even though they’re back-to-back state champs. We just need to make sure we lock down on all of their players. All of them can shoot. All of them can drive,” Feary said.
The Raiders will wear masks, as all teams do in exhibition games. They will also have goggles on. They’ve worn face shields or goggles on campus for months.
“Goggles. That’s definitely going to be something difficult to look at, but that might be to our advantage,” Feary said.