HHSAA Girls Basketball
Hanalani, Maryknoll to meet in all-ILH final for Division II crown


Thu, Feb 8, 2024 @ Kalani

Final 1 2 3 4  
Hanalani (9-3, 12-4) 11 4151343
Kapaa (12-0, 14-5) 16 5 11 840
O. Malafu 14 pts
E. Klemp 26 pts  6 3pm
O. Malafu 17 tot  6 off  11 def
E. Klemp 13 tot  2 off  11 def
J. Okuhara 3 ast

It will be the Royals and Spartans one more time this season, this time with a Division II state title on the line.

Hanalani got the go-ahead basket from Tamlyn Celestino with just over 30 seconds to play to edge defending champion Kapaa, 43-40, in a down-to-the-wire semifinal of the Motiv8 Foundation/HHSAA Division II girls basketball state championships.

"It wasn't really working the inside passes, but we kept trying and got it to work (on that play), so I'm really glad that happened," said Celestino of the play.

Ellana Klemp had 26 points and hit six three-pointers, nearly surpassing a season-high mark of 28 she set just a day ago against McKinley. What's more she also accounted for the first 13 points that Hanalani put on the scoreboard, keeping her team in it early on.

"It was good to get me shooting early, fresh legs, and I just felt it and it felt good today, so I just kept hitting them," said Klemp.

Hanalani hit nine threes in the contest, six from the aforementioned Klemp, and the other three, extremely timely ones that came all in third quarter by Jayda Okuhara.

"She just has to keep shooting it," said Klemp of Okuhara. "She always has that she just has to find it in the games."

The redemption win for the Royals was a sure cause for celebration, but was the tone was definitely a bit more subdued in Kalani Gymnasium, as both teams gathered following the final buzzer to check on Denise Antonio, who suffered an apparently leg injury late the fourth and was unable to return.

Kapaa, who trailed 38-35 coming out of the injury stoppage, responded immediately with a game-tying three by Taira Samiano with 3:09 left, then took back the lead with a Trinity Guillen bucket with 2:36 in regulation. Klemp tied the score once again with a pair of free throws with 1:38 to play, and the Celestino's short-range make proved to be the difference.

"We were motivated from last year, and didn't want to lose again," said Klemp. "So we all worked hard today and all glory to God."

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The first semifinal of the day at Kalani saw seventh-ranked Maryknoll topple eighth-ranked Kamehameha-Hawaii, 48-34, a game that saw the Spartans jump out to a big lead that the Warriors never were able to rally from.

Madision Guillermo matched her season-high with 17 points in the victory, which also saw her hit a season-best five triples. That scoring output, almost 10 points better than her league average, proved crucial as the Spartans' leading scorers, Isabella Arrisgado and Hailey Perez, were held to a combined 13 points.

"Madi starting the game off strong and making those shots it was super big," said Arrisgado. "It was a change of momentum and everything, it pushed us off to a good start."

That lack of offense, however, was made up for in spades with defense, as the Spartans helld the dynamic scoring duo of Maela Honma and Keanu Huihui to just 17 points combined, marking the first time this season that either player failed to reach double figures.

"Coming into the game, we knew they were the two we needed to focus on, and we're super happy with the way we played," said Arrisgado. "Our gameplan was to front the post then have the backside come and help and we did a pretty good job with that."

Maryknoll has won both meetings against Hanalani this season, the first a 47-19 rout on Jan. 3 (Klemp DNP), and the other a more tightly contested 49-37 win on Jan. 8.

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