POSTED: 9:47 p.m. HST, Feb 8, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 9:55 p.m. HST, Feb 8, 2013
Life without big sister hasn't been too bad for Casey Poe.
She learned to adjust with her larger leadership role. On Friday night, the 5-foot-11 junior guard thrived.
Poe poured in 28 points, including 14-for-16 shooting at the free-throw line, as top-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii rallied past Honokaa 55-46 in the Division II final of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships.
Poe scored 68 points in three tourney games and was a rock-solid source of stability for KS-Hawaii (12-3). Her partner in arms last year, older sister Chelsea Poe, graduated, leaving Casey to carry on the legacy.
"We were down six points, but it wasn't that much. We knew we could come back," Poe said of coach Garrett Arima's halftime talk.
It was the second state title in a row for Arima and the Warriors.
"Honokaa's a great team. We knew it would be a battle," Arima said. "I told them, defense will win the championship game."
The Dragons (10-4) were led by center Hunter Liftee's 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kizzah Maltezo added 11 points and Keana Kaohimaunu, who played on KS-Hawaii's state title team last year, added eight points.
Honokaa's magical ride was unprecedented. This was the first-ever all-BIIF final in the state tourney, but the young Dragons — they have just two seniors — wanted more.
"We just needed to cut down on the turnovers in the second half," coach James Lukzen said. "That cross-court pass, Kamehameha was just too lengthy."
Honokaa outrebounded KS-Hawaii 31-23, but committed 22 turnovers, including nine in the third quarter.