(A little extra on last night’s opening round of the ‘Iolani Classic girls basketball tourney. This piece has some bonus info on the Konawaena-Incarnate Word game and a little more on the other three contests, plus all four boxscores.)
Dawnyelle Awa scored 12 of her game-high 21 points during a crucial second-half run as Konawaena rallied for a 52-45 win over Incarnate Word (Saint Louis, Mo.) last night in the opening round of the ‘Iolani Classic.
Awa, a 5-foot-9 point guard, added six assists and three steals and Lia Galdeira had 10 points and four steals for Konawaena (12-0). The two juniors sparked the Wildcats, who trailed by 13 early in the second half before a switch to zone and traps turned the tide.
“The intensity came up. Everyone just plays well together when it’s a running game,” Awa said. “We weren’t going to give up. We just wanted to be in the next game. We never won it in two years.”
Galdeira, the 2008-09 state player of the year, was much more aggressive with the ball in the second half.
“We were kind of sleeping in the first half. We weren’t talking on defense, boxing out, hustling back, making easy shots,” Galdeira said.
This is the Wildcats’ first venture in the tourney’s semifinal round in three tries.
“Every year we’ve been here, we fell short, so this feels great. Second half, I really feel the girls came out with more confidence,” coach Bobbie Awa, Dawnyelle’s mother.
Incarnate Word was in control for one half, allowing few second-shot chances by the smaller Wildcats.
“I’m a little disappointed. We had an opportunity to win the game, but we just didn’t take care of the basketball. We wanted our seniors to step up,” coach Dan Rolfes said, noting that four seniors graduated from last year’s team. “We’re battling a lot of inexperience. (Konawaena) spread that zone pretty far, so in two time outs we said to attack.”
The Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10, will play the Farrington-Brea Olinda (Calif.) winner tonight. Brea Olinda is ranked No. 2 in the nation. Rita Flynn, a 6-foot post, led the visiting Red Knights (4-1) with 15 points and six rebounds. Flynn was dynamic in the first half as Incarnate Word used a precise pick-and-roll offense to frustrated the Wildcats. Flynn, who has committed to Division II Maryville University, scored 13 first-half points, mostly on easy layups on feeds from point guard Lateesha Deloach (five assists).
Down 29-16 in the third quarter, Konawaena began chipping away. Awa hit a 17-footer, then a 3-pointer before the Red Knights called time out. The Wildcats then scrapped their man-to-man defense for a 2-3 matchup zone, and that proved to be a major factor.
Incarnate Word, playing just its fifth game, struggled with its zone offense. Konawaena sagged back and crowded the paint, and when the ball was at midcourt, the Wildcats trapped proficiently.
Wildcats post Anuhea Wall came alive, scoring five points on drives through the paint during her team’s 27-6 run. The ‘Cats took a 32-30 lead on two free throws by Awa. After three more lead changes, Awa used a crossover move to score on a fastbreak, giving Konawaena a 36-35 lead with 6:44 remaining, and the ‘Cats never trailed again.
Konawaena extended its defense to fullcourt, using traps to maintain momentum, but the Red Knights pulled within 43-39 on a follow shot by Brianna Puni with 3:50 left.
Misilosa U‘ulopa then scored six points in a row for Konawaena, all in transition, to help Konawaena open a 51-39 lead in the final 2 minutes.
Long-range shooter Brittany Carter, a commit to Ball State, added 10 points. The Red Knights shot 59 percent from the field in the first half. After the break, they shot just 23 percent (6-for-23) and committed 10 of their 17 turnovers.
Puni, who has committed to Illinois State, tallied nine points and five boards.
Konawaena shot just 26 percent in the first half (6-for-23), but was 14-for-25 in the second (56 percent). The smaller Wildcats were nearly even with Incarnate Word (23-22) on the boards and had just 10 turnovers.
Incarnate Word 12 15 8 10 — 45
Konawaena 9 7 18 18 — 52
IW: Nekiah Bell 5, Nia Roth 0, Sam Savio 2, Teresa Scannell 3, Lateesha Deloach 1, Brittany Carter 10, McKenna Treece 0, Brianna Puni 9, Rita Flynn 15.
Konawaena: Thea Hanato-Smith 4, Makayla Awa 2, Staysha Galigo 0, Lia Galdeira 10, Anuhea Wall 7, Courtney Kaupu 0, Dawnyelle Awa 21, Misilosa U‘ulopa 8.
3-point goals: IW 4 (Carter 2, Bell, Scannell), Konawaena: 3 (Awa 3).
Memphis Central 65, Tsinghua (China) 30
Danielle Ballard poured in 20 points and Aaliyah Whiteside added 14 as the Lady Warriors stifled the Dragons. Nina Davis added 10 points for Central, which used its fullcourt pressure to open a 24-4 first-quarter lead.
Rong Wang led Tsinghua with 12 point and Tong Jiang added eight.
Memphis Central 24 19 14 8 — 65
Tsinghua 4 8 8 10 — 30
MC: Kahdeja Howell 0, Meme Hill 0, Aaliyah Whiteside 14, Darianne Butler 2, Jalen O’Bannon 8, Danielle Ballard 20, Yasmeen Brady 4, Nina Davis 10, Marissa Knox 3, Tia Wooten 2, Jasmin Cincore 2, Moneicia Stevenson 0.
Tsinghua: Jiaying Ma 0, Yue Chen 0, Xiaoran Li 2, Tong Jiang 8, Ming Li 2, Rong Wang 12, Danlei Feng 4, Chen Chen 2.
3-point goals: MC 1 (Ballard), Tsinghua none.
Brea Olinda (Calif.) 72, Farrington 24
Justin Hartman scored 14 points and Keitra Wallace added 13 in the Ladycats’ win. Brea Olinda raced to a 17-0 lead before Farrington’s Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo’s layup put the Governors on the scoreboard with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.
Brea Olinda 17 17 23 15 — 72
Farrington 2 8 8 6 — 24
Brea: Chanel Dicrose 4, Taylor Spears 9, Olivia Reynolds 3, Alexis Perry 9, Shelby Makris 0, Carly Bishop 2, Ana Kim 4, Jeanier Olukeme 3, Jamee Katsuyama 0, Jasmine Ruidera 4, Justine Hartman 14, Jazmin Sauser 5, Amanda Arter 2, Keitra Wallace 13.
Farrington: Sierra-Marie Wong 0, Diena Peterson 0, Ashley Savusa 0, Peti Timoteo 0, Sallie Lazaro 0, Losa Foki 0, Chasity Scanlan-Sevao 0, Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo 14, Koleti Siliga 0, Kamalani Medeiros 0, Cacharel Alualu 2, Kirsten-Marie Liana 3, Tereena Aivao 1.
3-point goals: Brea 1 (Sauser), Farrington none.
Archbishop Mitty 50, ‘Iolani 41
Speedy Ashley Watson scored 12 points and Desirae Sanchez added 10 to lead the the Monarchs’ backcourt, while a sizable frontcourt helped to nullify several comeback rallies by the host team.
Saphyre Rezentes (13 points) and Kylie Maeda (12) connected on three treys each for the Raiders.
The Monarchs hit two early 3-pointers and rolled on the fastbreak for easy layups and an 11-0 lead.
Kaitlyn Tom’s 15-foot jumper ended the drought for the host Raiders with 5:15 left in the opening quarter, and ‘Iolani rallied. Kylie Maeda’s three-point play on a breakaway layup tied it at 20-all late in the second quarter, and it was a frantic, fullcourt-pressing, back-and-forth grind for both teams from that point.
Archbishop MItty, from San Jose, Calif., steadied its ship and went to its dominant post players, 6-4 Vanessa Leo and 6-3 Amanda Lovely to take command. The Monarchs led 34-27 entering the fourth quarter, and extended the lead to 12 in the next two minutes.
The Raiders battled back and were within 45-41 after a 3-pointer from the corner by Saphyre Rezentes with 1:23 remaining, but the Monarchs closed the game out with free throws, mostly by point guard Desirae Sanchez.
Archibishop Mitty will face Memphis Central, ranked No. 8 in the USA Today Super 25, tonight in a semifinal.
Archbishop Mitty 16 8 10 16 — 50
‘Iolani 9 12 6 14 — 41
AM: Vanessa Garner 2, Desirae Sanchez 10, Emily Dinger 4, Amanda Lovely 5, Kelli Hayes 1, Courtney Lisowski 3, Kalyn Simon 3, Margaret Sun 0, Ashley Watson 12, D’Andreee Galipeau 4, Vanessa Leo 6.
‘Iolani: Kylie Maeda 12, Saphyre Rezentes 13, Klein Masutani 0, Katie Tom 0, Jelene Wong 0, Erin Napier 0, Kaitlyn Shikada 1, Abrianna Johnson-Edwards 0, Lahela Usui 4, Loxley Keala 0, Alyssa Liilii 1, Alex Masaquel 6, Taimane Passi 2.
3-point goals: AM 2 (Sanchez, Watson), ‘Iolani 6 (Maeda 3, Rezentes 3).