The Kamehameha girls were in the unfamiliar position of having to play on the opening day of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II state basketball tournament.
But they still have Casey Poe, and the Warriors still retained the look of the two-time defending state champion.
Poe scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Warriors raced past Le Jardin 56-37 at Kalani High on Honolulu.
Warriors coach Garrett Arima said Poe, a two-time Most Outstanding Player at states, could have scored 40 if she had made all of her layups.
“Typical Casey, she came to play and a had a big game,” Arima said.
Poe was 11 of 30 from the field. She scored 18 in the first half as Kamehameha took a 35-14 lead at halftime.
Riana Arima and Makamae Gabriel added 11 points apiece for the Warriors (10-4), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up. Caitlin Poe had nine points. In addition to giving her team the third scorer it needs to complement Casey Poe and Riana Arima, Gabriel collected 12 rebounds. The Warriors won the battle of the boards 57-41.
“It was really light 11 for Makamae because she was in foul trouble,” Garrett Arima said. “She’s becoming a threat.”
Kamehameha faces Farrington (9-3), the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, at 5 p.m. today in the quarterfinals at Kalani. Arima described the Governors as “big.”
Usually, the Warriors have a bye into the quarterfinals, but Honokaa ended their six-year reign atop the BIIF with a 54-32 victory last Saturday in the finals.
However, Arima said that loss hasn’t seemed to affect the Warriors.
“It’s weird, I didn’t see any wet eyes after the game, which is what I expected,” he said. “They were still focused.
“It’s one game at a time now, and we know it’s going to get tougher.”
Kelly Kuchenbecker led Le Jardin (7-5) of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu with 20 points, and Kacey Kuchenbecker had 10 points and 20 rebounds.
Neither team shot well. The Bulldogs shot 26.5 percent, while Kamehameha was at 28.4.
In a 7 p.m. quarterfinal at Kaimuki High today, the top-seeded Dragons (11-2) take on Kalani (7-7) of the OIA. The Falcons downed University 65-48 in the first round.
Castle 65, Kohala 47: Shaney Tiumalu scored 16 points and the Knights dominated the boards (52-30) to win a first-round game at Kalani High.
Tezrah Antonio led the Cowgirls with 14 points, Hauoli Sproat-Lancaster added 12 points and Naai Solomon-Lewis finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Kohala (7-7), the BIIF’s third-place team, will be back at Kalani at 3 p.m. today to face Le Jardin in consolation action.
Castle (7-7) of the OIA draws second-seeded Hawaii Baptist at 7 p.m. today at Kalani in the quarterfinals.