Freshman force


POSTED: Sunday, April 05, 2009

SHE claps, gives daps and looks for her teammates' approval no differently than any other 14-year-old.

Whether it was with her Konawaena teammates or new friends on Team Aloha, it's all about relationships and self-sacrifice for Lia Galdeira.

Unselfishness. Hustle. Court vision. Those intangibles produced one of the greatest freshman seasons in state history as Konawaena ascended to the state title. Galdeira's production was more than enough for coaches and media to vote her Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Galdeira arrived for her freshman year as one of the state's most hyped basketball players since Shawna-Lei Kuehu went to Punahou.

Galdeira handled the spotlight with aplomb. The 5-foot-8 guard/forward put up the numbers—13 points, eight rebounds and five steals per game—and had the court savvy to help lead the Wildcats to the state championship.

The former Pop Warner football sensation was arguably the best defensive player in the state, reading passing lanes and using her immense physical talent to challenge every foe. Her offense was more efficient than prolific. Eschewing her own point totals, she played within coach Bobbie Awa's motion and backdoor-cut attacks. She was especially difficult to contain at the state tournament.

In the quarterfinals, she accumulated 17 points (8-for-14), eight boards, five assists (with just two turnovers) and a whopping 10 steals in a 50-28 win over MIL runner-up Baldwin.

Galdeira then took command against OIA champion Farrington. She had 18 points, six caroms, two assists, two blocks and five steals as the Wildcats vetoed the Governors 51-43. Her athleticism helped the 'Cats stifle Farrington's starting frontcourt, which combined for 15 points on 5-for-21 shooting.

She saved her best performance for No. 1 Punahou, amassing 23 points (10-for-16), nine rebounds and four steals. Konawaena limited the Buffanblu to 31 percent shooting in the 54-50 double-overtime win. It was the Wildcats' third state crown in seven years.

Punahou coach Mike Taylor has been a believer for some time.

“;She's just so explosive off the dribble, even without the ball. She has that innate quality about her,”; Taylor said. “;She knows when to cut, how to cut, and her timing on rebounds and blocked shots is fantastic. She's like that silent assassin. She picks her spots.”;

Galdeira was a narrow selection over Punahou senior guard Janelle Nomura, who led a relatively young team to the state final. Nomura overcame various injuries to average 14 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

Awa outpointed Taylor for coach of the year. Todd Rickard (Lahainaluna), Caroline Tatupu (Farrington), Doug Furlong (Molokai) and Marlene Zeug ('Iolani) also received votes.

“;Her and Coach (Shelly) Fey were the two female coaches I used to watch and go, 'Wow!' They don't yell. They address their team and bring them back down to earth,”; Zeug said. “;She's an amazing coach and very respectful. The way her team responds to her, You can tell they just love her.”;







Rank/Name SchoolHtCl.
1 Lia Galdeira Konawaena5-8Fr.
2 Janelle Nomura* Punahou5-4Sr.
3 Milika Taufa Lahainaluna6-0Jr.
4 Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo Farrington5-9So. 
5 Kalei Adolpho Molokai6-1So.
6 Natasha Helsham#Aiea5-8Sr.
7 Kamie Imai Waiakea5-8Jr.
8 Lori Yamashita 'Iolani5-4Jr. 
9 Johnelle Kapua Mid-Pacific5-4Sr. 
10 Mikela ThoemmesRoosevelt5-9Jr.
11 Kanisha Bello# Waiakea5-7Sr.
12 Kara Hanato-SmithKonawaena5-4Sr.
13 Tressa Torres Punahou5-9Sr.
14 Lindsey Wong Kamehameha5-7Sr.
15 Maiki Viela Lahainaluna5-4So.


        *-Signed with CS Northridge #-Signed with Idaho

Coach of the Year
        Bobbie Awa, Konawaena





        In order of vote total

        Varsity girls—Kim Brown, Konawaena; Kylie Maeda, 'Iolani; Dawnyelle Awa, Konawaena; Raecha-Ann Kauahikaua, Sacred Hearts; Olivia Phommachanh, Kaimuki; Rebecca Lau, Punahou; Pualei Furtado, Kamehameha; Tayler Wang, Hawaii Prep; Ashley Agcaoili, Maryknoll; Natalie Mata, Farrington.

        Keaton McFadden, Mid-Pacific; Kirsten Liana, Farrington; Ashlyn Onaga, Kalani; Rachel Tailele, Kahuku; Violet Alama, Kalani; Kylie Sato, McKinley; Pua Kailiawa, Ka'u; Mysha Sataraka, Punahou; Ashley Yamachika, Mid-Pacific; Tasia Kamakawiwoole, Roosevelt.

        Jenna Savusa, Mid-Pacific; Shauna Ah Yen, Baldwin; Kylle Roy, Kamehameha; Minna Watanabe, St. Andrew's; Mai'lika Napoleon, Kapaa; Jondi Das, Kapaa; Lala Latu, Kahuku; Danna-Lynn Hooper-Juario, Molokai; Tami Konishi, 'Iolani; Ashley Jacobs, Kailua; Nicole Ramirez, Roosevelt; Bui Baravilala, Radford; Keely Bitanga, Kaiser.