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Pack of gym rats proves too much for Wahine


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POSTED: Sunday, November 01, 2009

What did you talk about at halftime, Coach?

“;I asked them what they were seeing,'”; answers Dana Takahara-Dias. “;They said, 'Coach, they're physical.'”;

This wasn't from a conversation with her team. Rather, it was part of a brief meeting she had with the six male University of Hawaii students midway through their scrimmage against the Rainbow Wahine yesterday.

Our beat writer, Brian McInnis, quickly dubs them the Dudes. Since most of them look to be local guys, I call them the Braddahs. They're a couple of P.E. majors and a few intramural players. Observers aren't very impressed at first.

Just your typical gym rats, most of them with a little bit of high school experience and not much in the area of basketball skill.

That's what it looks like early. The Wahine edge them in the first 20-minute session, 29-28. But then the Braddahs go on a 20-5 run. The final numbers aren't good for the team with the long bench, the coaching staff, the real uniforms — and the looming Division I schedule. The pick-up artists outscore the Wahine 75-60.

At one point late into it, the Wahine let one of the Braddahs into the lane for an easy bucket. Takahara-Dias, normally one of the most pleasant people you'll ever meet, has seen enough.

”;Close the gate! I don't care how tired you are. It's about pride! Play like you know how!”;

Afterward, the former UH guard admits her team is still getting into shape with the season-opener only four days away.

“;We're not there yet. We're still conditioning,”; the first-year Wahine head coach says. “;They were in limbo during the summer. Not an excuse, but they didn't know what to expect.”;

Shawna Kuehu didn't play. The three-time Hawaii prep player of the year banged heads with a teammate last week, and sat out as a precaution. I think she would've been the best player on the court yesterday — no offense intended to Jayson Quon, a former Iolani offensive lineman and D-II hoops player who led the Braddahs with 24 points.

Quon, one of the P.E. students, says the Wahine are well schooled. “;They can shoot and they're fundamentally sound. No bad habits. Always in the triple-threat position.”;

Takahara-Dias says overall she's pleased, that the score yesterday doesn't necessarily reflect the execution.

Junior guard Leilani Galdones performs well, her 14 points including two long bombs near the end.

Galdones is the player who was at the center of the controversy that helped lead to Jim Bolla's exit as coach: a formal complaint that Bolla “;kicked at”; her during a practice.

“;Oh yeah, that happened,”; she says. “;I didn't know what to do (at the time). I just blew it off and it surfaced later.”;

She's happy now, with a coach who comes from where she is.

“;I think it's a plus. The biggest difference is she wants to be here,”; Galdones says. “;Everything is 10 times better.”;

Specifically?

“;Communication with coaches. And chemistry, everyone wants to play for each other.”;

As for the Braddahs, are they ready for next year?

Pre-med student/gym rat Trent Ainsworth responds quickly.

“;How about next week?”;

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Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at starbulletin.com, and twitter.com/davereardon.