This is what a championship-level team does.
It does the hard work. Defense. Offensive rebounding. It resumes on Saturday night at Stan Sheriff Center for Kamehameha, which meets nemesis ‘Iolani for the girls basketball state title.
‘Iolani clamped down on four-time defending state champion Konawaena tonight, 43-22. Kamehameha? The Warriors are winning decisively this week.
Kamehameha vs. the world (competition at the Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships)
Kamehameha 41, Mililani 17, opening round
>> Mililani is OIA 3
>> Mililani shot 7-for-47 (.149)
>> Lady Trojans shot 0-for-7 from 3-point range
>> Kamehameha outrebounded Mililani 47-24
>> Kamehameha had 25 offensive rebounds
>> Mililani’s leading scorer, PG Dahlis Sablay, was limited to one point on 0-for-10 shooting, one assist and two turnovers
Kamehameha 47, Lahainaluna 30, quarterfinal
>> MIL champion Lunas seeded third
>> Lunas shot 10-for-41 (.244)
>> Lunas were 0-for-7 from 3-point range
>> Warriors outrebounded the Lunas 37-26
>> Lunas leading scorer Susitina Namoa had 15 points on 4-for-14 shooting, eight rebounds, five steals, one block, two turnovers
Kamehameha 62, Kalani 49, semifinal
>> Kalani is OIA 2
>> Falcons shot 16-for-53 (.302)
>> Falcons were 5-for-21 from 3-point range (.238)
>> Warriors outrebounded the Falcons 50-23
>> Kamehameha had 18 offensive boards
>> Kalani’s leading scorer, Kamalu Kamakawiwo‘ole, had 13 points on 4-for-15 shooting, 11 rebounds, no assists, two steals, one block, one turnover
Mililani was ranked as high as No. 9 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10. Kamehameha is currently No. 3. Kalani was at No. 3 early in the season. Two OIA teams. One MIL dynasty. Tourney opponents are shooting a cumulative 23 percent from the field. Kamehameha has outrebounded them 134-73.
Of course, the win over Kalani was highlighted offensively by senior Kalina Obrey’s state-tournament record 38 points. In three tourney games, Obrey has 62 points and 33 rebounds. She simply won’t stop working in the paint.
“I was just playing my game and doing what my teammates needed from me. I have their back and they have my back,” said Obrey, who was 11-for-21 from the field and 15-for-23 at the foul line. “I felt good, but it was also a grind. You get tired, but it’s also fun. You want to win. You want to go to the championship. You want to bring the koa (trophy) back home.”
She faced two stellar opponents in the post, Namoa and Kamakawiwo‘ole and advanced with her teammates. Namoa had already battled Obrey in preseason, the rare defender who could match the Warrior’s strength and aggression on the block. Lahainaluna consistently brought a double-team defender when Obrey got touches.
The result: she went 1-for-8 from the field, finished with eight points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Kalani doubled well when Obrey faced up to the basket, Kamehameha coach Pua Straight said. Part of that may have been because Kalani’s best post defenders, Kamakawiwo‘ole and Shelby McDaniels, collected early fouls.
“Kalina’s so used to having double, triple teams wherever she goes. I actually thought that their help when she faced up to the bucket was better. They helped in with that,” Straight said. “But when she posted up, they didn’t help as much. So they tried to get the ball out of her hands on the perimeter, and get the ball in her hands on the block. It kind of depends on how teams play, right, on where we try to get her the ball. This game, we wanted the ball in her hands on the post.”
The Warriors’ inside-out game was on display again. The double-trouble attack of Obrey and Noelle Sua-Godinet (10 rebounds, four blocks, four points) was a reliable weapon.
“Langi (Sua-Godinet), I love her,” Obrey said. “She’s a great player. I love playing with her for volleyball and basketball. I love her to death. I know she will always have my back and I will always hers. We work really well together because we look for each other a lot. The rest of my teammates, they’re amazing. I can’t do anything without them.”
Kamehameha was also efficient from deep. The Warriors shot 4-for-7 from the arc, getting two treys from Camille Feary (10 points).
Prior to the state tourney, five teams have scored less than 40 points against Kamehameha: McKinley (30), Kaiser (34), Mid-Pacific (33, 35), Hidden Valley (Ore.) 31, Punahou (25). Now, Mililani and Lahainaluna join this list.
Now the Warriors get one last shot at ‘Iolani. It was Kamehameha that came into ‘Iolani’s gym on Dec. 7 and stunned the Raiders in a 49-45 win, ending their 10-game win streak to begin the season. That increased the sense of urgency for ‘Iolani, which beat Kamehameha 58-45 and 60-48 in subsequent matchups.
‘Iolani is familiar with state-championship peak performance. It was the Raiders’ volleyball team that finished second to Kamehameha during the regular season last fall, then turned around and stunned the Warriors in the state-tourney final.