HHSAA Girls Basketball
KS-Hawaii sinks Saint Francis for fifth crown


Sat, Feb 3, 2018 @ Blaisdell

Final 1 2 3 4  
KS-Hawaii (8-4, 16-4) 13 781341
Saint Francis (15-0, 25-1) 6 7 12 732
N. Santos 16 pts  8/10 FTs
S. Aganus 18 pts  1 3pm  7/10 FTs
K. Kalei 8 tot  8 def
S. Aganus 11 tot  5 off  6 def
K. Kalei 3 ast
D. Pacheco 3 ast

KAKAAKO — The drought is over.

Kamehameha-Hawaii won its first state title since 2013 and fifth overall with a 41-32 win over No. 6 Saint Francis in the Snapple/HHSAA Division II Girls Basketball State Championship game Saturday night at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

It was a redeeming run to the title for the Warriors, who were the state runner-ups in the past two seasons.

"It feels amazing," said senior Saydee Aganus, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player. "I feel like we finally accomplished something. Three years is a long time and we finally got that koa (trophy)."

Aganus was at the forefront of the Warriors' championship win, filling the stat sheet with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks.

"She's the heart of the team," fourth-year KS-Hawaii coach Weston Willard said of Aganus. "She's a natural leader and she just puts it all on the floor. You can't help but root for her, and you can't but help but play hard for her. She's just an amazing player and she put it all out there."

Willard added that Aganus and the rest of the senior class, which include starters McKenzie Kalawaia, Jordyn Mantz and Taylor Sullivan, made his job easier as their experience in big games helped the Warriors withstand a third quarter run by Saint Francis.

"With the leadership on this team, I don't really need to coach this year," said Willard. "The players really handled it. It was their ability to just come through under pressure."

KS-Hawaii's experiences on the biggest stage likely gave the Warriors the edge over a Saint Francis team that was playing in its first title game since 2005. The Saints also dominated their opponents this year, winning 25 straight games before facing adversity against the Warriors.

"Their senior leadership was really good," Saint Francis coach Chris Hoe said of the Warriors. "I think with the experience that they had, the know what it feels like to be in these big games."

Other than trading two baskets to start the game, the Warriors led for majority of the contest. They took a 13-6 lead after the opening stanza and maintained their seven-point lead into the break.

It wasn't until the third quarter when the Saints started to catch steam.

A field goal after a pump fake by Nani Santos tied the game at 23 and a transition layup by Kaimi Kalei gave Saint Francis its first lead of the game, 25-23, at the 1:33 mark of the third quarter.

Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships Division II All-Tournament Team
as selected by the media and HHSAA

Dominique Pacheco, KS-Hawaii
Nani Santos, Saint Francis
Jordyn Mantz, KS-Hawaii
Kaimi Kalei, Saint Francis
Sunshine Vicente, Roosevelt

Most Outstanding Player: Saydee Aganus, KS-Hawaii

After a KS-Hawaii timeout, the two teams traded empty possessions before Aganus found Mantz for a corner triple to give the Warriors the lead with under a minute to play in the period.

"Jordyn, she always comes in clutch," Aganus said of Mantz. "Once she hit that 3, we just knew already that we were going to take the championship and we had more confidence."

Kalawaia, who added eight points and seven boards, scored on a post move just before the end of the third quarter to give KS-Hawaii a 28-25 lead heading into the final period of play.

From there it was KS-Hawaii the rest of the way as the Warriors outscored Saint Francis by six in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.

Santos had 16 points and three steals to lead the Saints in the loss.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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