Somebody take a note — when you get to the state tournament, make sure to get off to a good start.
That was the key for Kamehameha-Hawaii on Thursday night in the HHSAA Girls’ Division I State Championship at Afook-Chinen Auditorium when the Warriors used a 19-2 get off against Farrington to roll to a 51-37 victory and advance to Friday’s semifinal matchup against top-seeded Mid-Pac.
Farrington, the Oahu Interscholastic Association champs, advanced to the quarterfinals after disposing of Lanai in the first round, but it was overmatched at the start by a full court press that created turnovers and layup after layup.
“We tried to make adjustments for this,” said Farrington coach Caroline Tatupu, whose team wore warmup shirts in memory of Kobe Bryant, killed in a recent helicopter crash, “because we knew the tempo was going to be faster here at state, but yes, that hurt us, no doubt.”
Farrington turned the ball over the first four times it had possession without getting the ball in the front court. By that point, the Warriors were up 8-0 on the way to a 17-0 run to break things open early.
Kamehameha shot 45 percent from the floor on 18-of-40 field goal attempts, which was enough to counterbalance a 32-30 deficit on the boards.
“We came out with high intensity, that was very good to see,” said Kamehameha coach Dom Pacheco, “and that was big for us, jumping out like that.”
The coach’s daughter, Dominique Pacheco, was the subject of a box-and-one defense that held her in check somewhat, thought she finished with 13 points, but perhaps more importantly, she led both teams with seven steals, most of which were converted to baskets at the other end, including all three of her assists.
With a lead in the fourth quarter, Pacheco had his team spread the floor and his daughter took over, driving to the basket and exploiting the open floor.
“It really helps us when we play D-I teams,” Dom Pacheco said, “it gears us up for the energy we need to play teams like this at state.”
Kamehameha had three players in double figures, led by Sarah Schubert’s 14, followed by 13 from Pacheco and 10 from Megan Baldado, who started for the first time all season.
Schubert led both teams in rebounds with 12.
Next up for the Warriors is at 7 p.m. Fruday Mid-Pac (10-1) , one of the favorites to make a run through this tournament.
“We need to come with the intensity and keep it going,” said Pacheco, “it will take all we got.”
Trailing 19-2 after the first quarter, Champagne Leopoldo gave the Governors a bit of lift at the start of the second quarter with a 3-pointer, one of two she had in the quarter as Farrington tried to climb back in the game.
While the Governors finished the game shooting only 28.9 percent on 13-of-45 attempts, Leopoldo kept them in the game by making 4-of-9 3-pointers.
The second quarter was more of the pace Farrington seemed comfortable to play as it picked up 10 points and made up some ground, closing the gap to 25-12 on Leopoldo’s second basket from behind the arc, but junior Ka’ulaweo Liwis knocked down an 8-footer and senior Juliana Pakele made one of two foul shots for an 11-point quarter and a 28-12 lead at halftime.
MJ Lorraine Peralta led both teams in scoring for Farrington with 16 points, Leopoldo added 14.
It was after that opening burst that Farrington settled in and played its game, outscoring Kamehameha 35-32 in the final three quarters.
Farrington played the game without the services of Shaylen Tatupu-Timu, one of its top scorers, who injured her hamstring in the previous day’s game and had to sit out.
Also on Friday, BIIF runner-up Hawaii Prep plays Campbell in a consolation game at 11 a.m.
At Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium
Wednesday’s first round
HBA 54, HPA 16
Farrington 44, Lanai 36
Damien 37, McKinley 35
Hanalani 64, Campbell 29
No. 4 Kamehameha-Hawaii 51, Farrington 37
Hanalani 63, No. 3 Waimea 60
No. 1 Mid-Pacific 59, Damien 41
Hawaii Baptist 50, No. 2 Seabury Hall 37
Lanai 46, McKinley 32
Hawaii Baptist vs. Hanalani, 5 p.m.
No. 1 Mid-Pacific vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.
Hawaii Prep vs. Campbell, 11 a.m.
Seabury Hall vs. Waimea, 1 p.m.
Damien vs. Farrington, 3 p.m.
Championship: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.
Third place: Semifinal losers, 5 p.m.
Fifth place: Consolation winners
Seventh place: Lanai vs. HPA-Campbell winner, 7 p.m.