Girls hoops: Pupule’s Fab 40

Chanelle Molina tops Paul Honda's list of 40 players to watch in the state girls basketball tournament. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser
Chanelle Molina tops Paul Honda’s list of 40 players to watch in the state girls basketball tournament. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Pupule’s Fab 50: Girls Basketball
With the state tournament right around the corner, Jerry asked me for a list of 15 for office/photo purposes. So I made a list of nearly 50. Am I missing anybody? Let me know.

Note: This is not a final all-state list or anything like that. It’s just my opinion, and there are a few players on this list I haven’t seen. But most of them have been watched by these Pupule eyes.

Pupule’s Fab 50 (rough draft)
Subject to change. Maybe daily.
1. Chanelle Molina, Konawaena, G/F, Jr. > Offered by UH as a Soph. Plus: Great all-around skills and athleticism. Q: Can she hit the 3?

2. Cameron Fernandez, Lahainaluna, G, Jr. > Plus: Tremendous slasher, physical to the basket and long defensively. Q: Can she hit the 3?

3. Keala Quinlan, Roosevelt, G/F, Jr. > Plus: Developed a solid post game to go with her 3-point range. Q: Can she avoid unnecessary fouls?

4. Alexis Pana, Hilo, G/F > Plus: Tremendous defender, fast in transition. Q: Can she dominate offensively while having to play the post defensively?

5. Cherilyn Molina, Konawaena, PG, Fr. > Offer from UH. Plus: 3-point range, great court vision and penetration. Q: How will she fare in her first state tourney?

6. Jerri Maluyo, Leilehua, G, Sr. > Plus: Relentless defensive effort, good slasher, 3-point range out to 23 feet. Scored 27 points against Moanalua and 24 against Roosevelt in the playoffs. Q: How will she handle double and triple teams?

7. Celena Jane Molina, Konawaena, F/C, So. > Offer from UH > Plus: Great passer and rebounder, held her own against 6-4 and 6-2 posts of Riverdale Baptist, Miramonte, St. Mary’s. Q: How consistent is her mid-range J?

8. Victoria Kintz, Kaimuki, G, So. > Plus: Tremendous 3-point shooter, fearless against double teams, finishes strong at the basket. Q: Can she avoid unnecessary fouls?

9. Maegan Martin, Maryknoll, F/C > Plus: Excellent all-around skills. Q: Can she take over a game when they need points?

10. Jasmine Moody, Radford, F/C > Plus: Athletic defender at 6-1, persistent attacker of the rim, lefty shooter, can hit the mid-range J. Q: Can she go right?

11. Patria Vaimaona, Kailua, F/C, Sr. > Plus: Reliable low-post scorer. Q: Can she elevate her team in her final state tourney?

12. Tyra Moe, Punahou, F/C, Jr. > Plus: Versatile, reliable FT shooter. Q: Can she become a dominant scorer?

13. Folau Hafoka, Lahainaluna, F, Sr. > Plus: 3-point range, can outrebound taller posts. Q: Can she outplay the state’s best?

14. Va‘e Malufau, Punahou, F/C, Jr. > Plus: Possibly the strongest interior defender in the state. Q: Can she hit the elbow J?

15. Starr Rivera, Roosevelt, G, Sr. > Plus: Tenacious on-ball defender, good rebounder for her position, a blur on the fastbreak. Q: Can she get to the FT line more often?

16. Sharice Kawakami, Roosevelt, G, Sr. > Plus: NBA range on her 3, tough defender, key to her team’s fastbreak. Q: Can she stay out of foul trouble?

17. Shantel Appleby, Mililani, F (injured) > Apparently suffered a knee injury late in the regular season.

18. Riana Arima, KS-Hawaii > Plus: High hoops IQ, strong to the basket. Q: Can she score big while running the offense?

19. Fiemea Hafoka, Lahainaluna, G, Jr. > Plus: Key part of her team’s great swarming fullcourt press. Q: Can she consistently hit the open 3 with the departure of three senior shooters?

20. Lindsay Bates, Konawaena, G, Sr. > Plus: Physical and tough, fearless against rebounders a foot taller, can hit the open 3. Q: No questions.

21. Elle Uyeda, Punahou, G > Plus: Good court vision, unselfish almost to a fault, solid mid-range shooter. Q: Can she knock down the 3 when defenses pack it in on Moe and Malufau?

22. Tywanna Abbott, Leilehua, F/C > Plus: Dominated the OIA West, very quick against post defenders. Q: Outplayed by Quinlan in the playoffs, will she bounce back?

23. Aloha Salem, Konawaena, G, Sr. > Plus: Arguably the best streak shooter in the state, hit 14 treys and finished with 46 points against HPA. Q: When defenses lock down, what will she contribute?

24. Camy Aguinaldo, ‘Iolani, G > Plus: Aggressive penetrator. Q: Will she develop a mid-range game?

25. Mikiala Maio, Kamehameha, PG, So. > Plus: Strong ballhandler, good court vision, has a nice game around the basket. Q: Can she avoid foul trouble?

26. Ciera O’Brien, Nanakuli, G > Plus: Very quick, at her best in transition. Q: Can she help her team minimize turnovers?

27. Brooke Ho, Kaiser, C > Plus: Developed tremendously in the low post over the past three months. Q: Can she stay out of foul trouble?

28. Ihi Victor, Konawaena, F/C > Plus: Experienced, key contributor in the post. Q: Can she take advantage inside when defenses focus on her team’s guards?

29. Alexis Delovio, Maryknoll, G > Plus: Quick, smart playmaker. Q: Can she thrive in a guard-heavy state tourney?

30. Keleah-aiko Koloi, Lahainaluna, F, Jr. > Plus: Rangy wing is athletic and long. Q: Can she hit the perimeter shot consistently?

31. Molimau Heimuli, Farrington > Plus: Speedy guard is a menace defensively. Q: Can she lift her team to another level?

32. Sierra Buscher, ‘Iolani, F/C > Plus: Strong post defender, long arms, plays within herself. Q: Can she get better at basketball when volleyball is her primary sport?

33. Shantel Aleki, Kamehameha, C, Sr. > Plus: Smart defender, quick to the ball on rebounds, unselfish offensively. Q: Can she develop a solid perimeter shot at the next level?

34. Tau Williams, Kailua, G > Plus: Fast and very effective when aggressive. Scored 44 points in a game last year. Q: Can she get stronger with the ball and create more layups?

35. Tara Takata, Kailua, PG, Sr. > Plus: Solid perimeter shooter who looks for her post (Vaimaona). Q: Is there still gas in the tank after a season of long minutes?

36. Kyle Johnson, Aiea, 18.8 ppg

37. Emily Nomura, ‘Iolani, G > Plus: Sneaky scorer who is relentless in her team’s fullcourt press. Q:

38. Kamaile Kandiah, Punahou, G > Plus: Very good on-ball defender. Q: Can she hit shots more consistently? That might be the difference between another state title or not.

39. Taylor Bates, Konawaena, G, Sr. > Plus: Solid defender, ballhandler and 3-point shooter

40. Brooke Maeda, ‘Iolani, G > Plus: Quick defender, dangerous on the transition 3.

Close… (no particular order)
Shalyn Guthier, Hilo, G, Sr.
Tayhila-Lee Chong, Waianae
Kaylie Espinas, Kalani
Allani Tatapu, Farrington
Sienna Ho, Moanalua
Melina Souza, Damien
Naal Solomon-Lewis, Kohala
Rose Shimaoka, Kaiser, G

All-Defense (no particular order)
Kamaile Kandiah, Punahou, G
Shantel Kawakami, Roosevelt, G, Sr.
Chanelle Molina, Konawaena, G/F, Jr.
Alexis Pana, Hilo, G/F
Celena Jane Molina, Konawaena, F/C, So.
Jasmine Moody, Radford, F/C
Cherilyn Molina, Konawaena, PG, Fr.
Starr Rivera, Roosevelt, G, Sr.
Fiamea Hafoka, Lahainaluna, G, Sr.
Sierra Buscher, ‘Iolani, F/C, Sr.
Molimau Heimuli, Farrington, G


  1. George Kaeo February 10, 2015 5:42 am

    Having only seen teams from the west oia division would also add Elborne from Radford, Abbott from Leilehua, and Marfil from Nanakuli. Elborne a freshman that has a great upside, playes a 2 or 3 guard, has the structure of a good baller and has some hops. Abbott a junior has the structure of a good small forward but plays the center position, with a strong inside game. Marfil is a senior and has been consistent defensively in the paint, and will boost her team with more offensive touches.

  2. Paul Honda February 10, 2015 7:27 pm

    I like Tanisha Elbourne’s raw potential. She’s already a weapon on defense. She had three steals tonight against Mililani. Offensively, her game is inconsistent, but once she gets a little stronger, Tanisha will be very good. She’s plays bigger than her 5-6 height. I like that she’s aggressive with her 3-point looks, always open and ready to launch. But until she produces consistently, I’d have her in the 40s, maybe high 30s.

    Abbott is a force down low against most defenders. Smart with the ball, strong and quick. She can be very intimidating to defenders who don’t bring a physical mindset. I was looking forward to her battle with Roosevelt’s Keala Quinlan during the OIA playoffs, but Quinlan dominated. That’s not a knock on Ty; Keala is a clear Top 3 player in my perspective. But I thought she’d do better.

    We’ll see how Marfil and the Golden Hawks fare tonight. So far, they’re down 29-8 against Hilo.

  3. Rob Jacobi February 11, 2015 12:10 pm

    Keep an eye on the freshman Rhianne Omori from Maryknoll. She may belong on the list, definitely close. Watch for her ball handling, tenacity & fearlessness to lead the Spartans far into the states.

  4. Paul Honda February 12, 2015 2:15 pm

    Rhianne is very good for a freshman. She had 12 points against Hilo, four turnovers. She’s not an elite PG yet, but that day is coming soon. Watching her play against boys the past two years, I’m not surprised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email