HHSAA Girls Basketball
Maryknoll wins D2 girls basketball crown for first state title in 46 years


Fri, Feb 9, 2024 @ Blaisdell

Final 1 2 3 4  
Maryknoll (12-0, 24-3) 9 12111446
Hanalani (9-3, 12-4) 3 19 5 633
T. Celestino 12 pts  2/2 FTs
I. Arrisgado 13 pts  3 3pm  2/2 FTs
J. Sniffen 4 tot  2 off  2 def
I. Arrisgado 4 tot  1 off  3 def
P. Akiona 1 ast
H. Perez 1 ast

HONOLULU — It was a moment to remember for the Maryknoll girls basketball team.

The Spartans claimed their first state title since 1978 with a 46-33 win over Hanalani in the Heide & Cook Division II Girls Basketball Championships in the arena of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Friday night.

Maryknoll (24-3) trailed by one point at the half, but turned up the defense after the intermission as they outscored the Royals by 14 points in the second half to win the school's third overall state crown.

"It feels amazing," said senior guard Isabella Arrisgado, who led all scorers with 13 points. "I'm just so proud of everybody, I'm just so grateful of everybody and I'm so proud of all the girls. We've been through so much highs and so much lows. I couldn't have been more grateful for everybody. It feels super good to accomplish this."

It was also the first state championship won by Maryknoll coach Chico Furtado coaching a girls program. He was previously 0-6 in state title games during his stints with Kalaheo and Maryknoll.

"I don't think Chico has ever won a state championship on the girls side so I'm super happy we got that for him," said Arrisgado.

The Spartans made the transition down to Division II in the offseason due to the some transfers and low enrollment, but the road back to the top of the mountain on a lower tier wasn't without some adversity. They lost senior guard Janelle Yap (separate shoulder) to an injury in the semifinals and saw Arrisgado sit for most of the game in foul trouble.

But the Spartans banded together and got contributions across the board in their win.

Rebekah Lum Kee scored eight points and hit a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to push Maryknoll's lead to eight, Madison Guillermo chipped in eight points and had a game-high four steals and Hailey Perez and Khansas Tuisamatatele each scored six points to round out the top contributors for Maryknoll.

"One thing about our team is that we knew that we were going to have to pick each other up," said Arrisgado. "With the lack of depth and lack of size on our team, we knew that we all had to be there for each other. If someone is having an off night, pick them up. That's just kind of what we're all about."

It was the third meeting between the two teams this year. Maryknoll defeated the Royals, 47-19, in a home game on Jan. 3 and on the road in a 49-37 victory on Jan. 8.

Furtado had nothing but respect for the Royals (12-4) after the game.

"This thing was nip and tuck all the way through," he said. "That team is better, well-coached. (Hanalani coach) Charlie Hiers, my hats off to him. He's a great coach. That team from the start of the season to now, I'd probably rate as the most improved."

Tamlyn Celestino led Hanalani in the loss with 12 points while Pihaeu Akiona added nine. Ellana Klemp, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player despite the loss, finished with eight points for the Royals.

Klemp was the one player that Furtado and the Spartans didn't want getting hot.

"She's a tough player," Furtado said of Klemp.

Maryknoll started the game on a 7-0 run before making a few mistakes to trail 22-21 at the half. After a halftime discussion and adjustment, the Spartans came out and won the second half, 25 to 11.

"I think a lot of their points in the first half came from free throws and us fouling too much," said Arrisgado. "In the second half we kind of locked down a little bit more. We told ourselves we weren't going to foul and we were going to be more disciplined on defense and I think it really helped us out, it worked in our favor."

The Royals were making their second straight appearance in the state title game and were looking to capture their second state crown in school history. Their first championship came in 2020.

Maryknoll was in its first state title game since losing to Konawaena in the Division I final in 2018.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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