Konawaena claims another 1


POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2009

All hail the women in black and green.

Lia Galdeira poured in 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals as second-seeded Konawaena outlasted No. 1 seed Punahou 54-50 in two overtimes last night in the final of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships at Neal Blaisdell Arena. A crowd of 1,687 included a strong following from the Big Island.

Konawaena, loaded with prime-time sophomores and freshmen, closed the season with 24 wins in a row and captured its third state title in the last six years.

“;Punahou made a great run. We lost some composure and got a little rattled,”; coach Bobbie Awa said of the Buffanblu's rally from 11 points down. “;Kara (Hanato-Smith) showed great leadership, telling her teammates, 'It ain't over, settle down.'”;

Punahou won four of the previous six state crowns—10 overall—but had to settle for its third runner-up finish since 2004.

“;I'm not hanging my head. Our kids fought and earned some pride,”; Buffanblu coach Mike Taylor said. “;I love playing against Kona 'cause they're classy. It's a rivalry, but there's mutual respect.”;

Galdeira, a freshman, was voted the tourney's most outstanding player. She showed some of her youth down the stretch in regulation, missing some key free throws, but her teammates picked up the slack.

Kim Brown, one of just three seniors, added 13 points and seven rebounds for Konawaena (27-2 overall). She stepped in defensively and got two charging calls against Punahou's high-scoring slasher, Janelle Nomura, to highlight a defensive struggle for both teams.

Nomura, a senior guard, led Punahou (18-4 overall) with 20 points and four steals.

Galdeira scored on a layup to give Konawaena a 47-45 lead with 2:18 to go in the second overtime, and after Nomura missed a shot, Galdeira scored off a pass from Dawnyelle Awa. The Wildcats led 49-45 with 1:15 to go.

“;I think they thought we were going to keep stalling,”; Dawnyelle Awa said.

Punahou's Rebecca Lau missed a 3-point try from the corner, but Punahou was still close after Galdeira missed two foul shots with 53 seconds remaining.

Nomura drove for a quick bucket and Punahou trailed 49-47 with 42 seconds to go.

Against Punahou's pressure defense, Hanato-Smith found Galdeira on the low post, and Galdeira scored to make it 51-47 with 26 seconds left.

After a miss from 22 feet by Nomura, Awa went to the line and sank both free throws for a 53-47 lead with 11 seconds left. Awa then stole the inbounds pass, and Hanato-Smith scored Konawaena's last point on a foul shot with 6 ticks remaining.

A 3-point bank shot by Brittnie Lau at the buzzer closed the scoring.

A tight game turned into a potential blowout when Konawaena went on a 9-0 run midway through the second half. Galdeira connected on a 3-pointer from the top and hit two foul shots as the Wildcats surged to a 40-29 lead with 7:42 left.

Punahou regrouped and rallied with a 15-4 run. Nomura's drive and three-point play cut it to 44-37 with 4:04 left, and she added four more points to bring the Buffanblu within 44-41 with 2:21 to go in regulation.

Galdeira missed the front of three 1-and-1 opportunities in the final 3 minutes, giving Punahou a boost. Mysha Sataraka hit a foul shot, and Nomura drove for a basket with 35 seconds left to tie it at 44-all.

Galdeira missed a 22-foot try from the top as time expired.

The two teams made just one point each in the first overtime period. Punahou had the ball for a last shot, but Nomura's 10-foot runner in traffic missed off the glass.

Punahou met Konawaena on Dec. 12, winning 55-44 at the 'Iolani Classic.

Third place
Lahainaluna 56, Farrington 52
Fifth place
Roosevelt 51, 'Iolani 48


Konawaena 54, Punahou 50, 2OT


















































































































































































Wildcats (15-0)
Awa, M.1-20-01120213
Hanato-Smith, K.1-73-42452436 
Awa, D.1-62-26248340
Hanato-Smith, T.1-21-44431127
Team  1



Buffanblu (13-2)
Lau, R.0-80-21102135
Nomura, Ja.7-216-704202540
Nomura, Ju.0-11-23210120
Lau, B.1-10-0003010+
Team  6

Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fould; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime—Konawaena 21, Punahou 18
3-point goals—Konawaena 1-10 (Galdeira 1-4, Hanato-Smith, K. 0-3, Awa, D. 0-3), Punahou 1-12 (Lau, B. 1-1, Nomura 0-5, Lau 0-6).
Steals—Konawaena 8 (Galdeira 4, Awa, D. 3, Hanato-Smith, T.), Punahou 12 (Nomura, Ja. 4, Sataraka 3, Ching 2, Lau, R., Merrifield, Brand). Blocked shots—Konawaena 1 (Brown), Punahou 4 (Ching 2, Sataraka, Brand).
Officials—Ray Fujino, Terry Arista, Patrick Santiago. Attendance—1,687.