Konawaena’s drama, destiny and 4-peat

Konawaena’s Tanniya Uchida (3), Mikayla Tablit (2) and Cherilyn Molina (11) celebrated the Wildcats' fourth consecutive D-I state title on Saturday. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Epic?

This was rematch squared. A continuing saga of Shakespearean-level drama and destiny. In the end, the talented, deep, top-seeded Maryknoll Spartans still couldn’t topple the big green Wildcats at the top of the mountain. Konawaena’s 47-32 win for a state-title four-peat was a demonstration in death by a thousand paper cuts. The Wildcats executed Coach Bobbie Awa’s game plan to the nth degree of success. By the end, it was as if Konawaena (26-2 including nonconference games) extended its lead — once it was theirs for the taking in the third quarter — by one inch at a time, nothing more and nothing less.

Not once, not twice, but three times as of this season, the Spartans reached the championship game of the Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships. Konawaena’s dynasty paid little heed. Even after losing Chanelle Molina to graduation in 2016, Konawaena managed to beat Maryknoll in the 2017 state final to repeat.


Maryknoll (28-3 overall including nonconference games) was on the verge of something monumental, taking a cohesive, hard-working group of freshmen and winning the ILH title in ’14, then every year since. Four ILH crowns in four seasons. But as a senior-heavy group — 11 in all — there was no way they would be denied of at least one title. Especially with Konawaena down to its last Molina sister, Cherilyn.

Especially after Maryknoll throttled the Wildcats 56-37 early this season.

Especially since the tall, long and rangy Spartans had beaten almost every foe on the schedule, local and mainland, by hearty margins. For Konawaena, which also lost (at home) to longtime MIL powerhouse Lahainaluna in nonconference play, it didn’t matter how many titles or how many trophies were stacking up back home in Col. Ellison Onizuka Memorial Gymnasium.

All the Wildcats knew was that they were seeded second, given little to no chance to beat the Spartans, let alone compete with them. Especially with this starting lineup (all heights estimated since they’re not listed on the roster):

>> Cherilyn Molina, 5-foot-4, Sr. Reigning Star-Advertiser All-State player of the year
>> Mikayla Tablit, 5-5, Sr., returning all-state selection
>> Tanniya Uchida, 5-2, Jr.
>> Kawena Kaohimaunu, 5-5, Sr. Transfer from Honokaa.
>> Caiyle Kaupu, 5-9, So.

Even with a tough-nosed rebounder and defender in Mo‘o Mo‘o Fautanu, at 5-7 she was much smaller than most centers. She proved her value in a quarterfinal win over Moanalua, stepping in for Kaupu (foul trouble) and grabbing four offensive rebounds in one quarter.

The puzzle that puts Konawaena and Maryknoll together for this one night is almost a perfect storm, but for which team? Maryknoll hadn’t faced a team as small as Konawaena since beating the Wildcats three months earlier, and the Wildcats hadn’t seen a team as long and athletic as Maryknoll in a long time: 6-1 center Isabella Cravens, 5-10 wing Kamalu Kamakawiwo‘ole, 5-8 forward Moe Notoa, 5-8 wing Kodee Viena, 5-8 wing Chayse Milne — the litany of talented wings and posts could seemingly go on forever — and a point guard in Rhianne Omori with equal parts skill, verve and experience.

Konawaena’s Mikayla Tablit looked for room to attack the basket against Maryknoll’s Rhianne Omori in the first half of Saturday’s D-I title game. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Konawaena evolved, as Awa dictates every year. The Wildcats often put in a new package on offense, keeping good defenders on the move for 30, 60, even 90 seconds as they deliberately space the floor, use screens on and off ball, and when the options fail, they start over. That’s how a great team can get past Maryknoll. The best Konawaena defense is its offense: In all, the Wildcats took just 26 field-goal attempts, using a highly effective attack to take 32 free throws.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were 8-for-10 at the foul line and Maryknoll was 2-for-4. Instead of breaking the game plan, they stuck to it, spreading the court, playing keep away, drawing contact, taking fouls and wound up 24-for-32 at the charity stripe. Maryknoll finished 5-for-8.

The senior guards: evolution
Molina amassed 26 rebounds in three state-tourney games. Tablit, who had 10 boards in the semifinal win over Lahainaluna, added seven against Maryknoll. For a third night in a row, the Wildcats outrebounded their foe (30-26), and even more so, their timing was unimaginable. Case in point: with a 37-25 lead, Uchida misses the second FT, but Tablit sneaks in for the offensive rebound and another chunk of momentum is taken from the Spartans with 2:07 remaining.

Tablit and Molina combined to make 15 of 20 free-throw attempts in the final quarter. Ice-cold clutch.

“Mikayla, senior leadership, did you not see senior leadership out there? That was Mikayla. She had her head on straight the whole night. I’m so proud of her,” Awa said. “She led this team.”

Molina, who will soon suit up for Washington State, was consistent and explosive.

“Cherilyn led by example, scoring. Both girls did. Both girls got to the line. Both girls protected the ball. Both girls rebounded. They played hard,” Awa said.

Tenacious defensively. Poised offensively. Tablit and Molina may be the best combination backcourt ever in Hawaii, but they think strictly in terms of team rewards. That meant breaking the mold of what most guards do. Rebounding. Defending bigs. Constantly attacking the paint to draw fouls.

It wasn’t just the sheer hustle of Tablit and Molina. Former standout point guard and current co-head coach Dawnyelle Awa occasionally reminds the guards to crash the offensive boards every chance they get. That mentality led to 34 combined offensive rebounds by the Wildcats in two earlier tourney wins.


Maryknoll seemed to be on the verge of taking command inside and out after one half. Konawaena wasn’t going to sneak away with 16 or 18 offensive rebounds in this game, but Awa had a bigger concern on the other board.

“That was our problem in the first half. They got the offensive rebounds and we talked about boxing out and getting boards,” Bobbie Awa said.

The corner 3
There aren’t many coaches who add a wrinkle in mid-stream, but that’s what Awa did early in the third quarter as the Wildcats rallied. She told Kaupu to get to the 3-point line, square up and shoot a 3. With Cravens staying in the paint, Kaupu was wide open with the splash, tying the game at 22. Moments later, Molina’s free throw gave Konawaena the lead, and it seemed like this would be a see-saw battle to the end.

Instead, Maryknoll struggled in the second half, shooting 3-for-23 from the floor. Konawaena, which showed glimpses of matchup zone earlier in the week, stuck with man defense.

“Auntie Bobbie said to get out to the line and set my feet,” the sophomore said.

“We spread the floor to get the big on her. She (Isabella Cravens) has to play her honest or Caiyle can shoot the ball, so yeah, I told her to step out. Sometimes she falls in love with (the 3), but this is the night we told her to take that,” Awa said.

“She has confidence,” Molina said.

“Which is good,” Tablit added. “Some people don’t have confidence when they shoot the ball. For a big, especially, she has confidence. When she has the ball, she can drive or shoot, so opponents have to play her somehow.”

Awa was ecstatic after the game. Her team executed the death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts game plan flawlessly. Seeing Kaupu surprise Maryknoll with her first 3-point attempt of the game was classic Awa. The longtime coach may not change a lot of things from season to season, but when the adjustments are fundamental, Awa is willing to play her cards within the element of surprise.

That shift-in-stride mentality also carried over once Konawaena gained the lead. The ‘Cats spread the floor and narrowly escaped steals by the Spartans many times. For the most part, though, they were able to make the right decisions with the ball, particularly after some penetration into the elbow area, before kicking the ball back to the top.

The gunner and the slasher
Kawena Kaohimaunu arrived from Honokaa in the offseason, a perfect fit as a 3-point bomber and capable ballhandler. She was also a tough defender and rebounder. Her ability to contribute in multiple ways was another reason the Wildcats were able to succeed with a slower tempo, relying on a shorter rotation without losing steam in the late going.

They also did it with key underclassmen. Kaupu didn’t have big statistics, but she stayed out of foul trouble despite two early fouls and contested everything in the paint. Unlike last year’s state final, when Uchida hit two key 3-pointers, this time it was her decision-making and overall ballhandling that were, for a second state tournament in a row, huge factors.

“She had such a great season. People underestimate her because she’s so tiny, but she’s so crafty. She’s smart, she can shoot the ball, she can get to the rack, she sees the floor so well,” Awa said.

Just about every one of their nine state titles — the current streak of four in a row matches what Kamehameha did 1990-93 — has involved timely contributions from underclassmen. And it all began a quarter-century ago with a group of cousins, 6 and 7 years old, playing for a club created by their auntie and uncle, part of a uprising of club hoops to play in leagues at the then-new Kekuaokalani Gymnasium.

Awa didn’t start out with a plan to become the most successful girls basketball coach in the state. But out of those humble beginnings and simple aspirations, there still were very few believers in 2018. Not with Maryknoll playing the role of Goliath perfectly.

The Konawaena Wildcats upset top-seeded Maryknoll 47-32 on Saturday at Blaisdell Center to capture their fourth consecutive girls basketball state title. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Feb. 3, 2018)

Crystal balling
Every year, a new challenge. It’s been the same since the first championship group that featured Jessica Hanato (now a longtime assistant coach), Jazzmin Awa-Williams and Nancy Hoist. There were heartbreaks along the way — two title-game losses in overtime — and some down years when they won the BIIF, but didn’t get as far at states.


Next season’s team has surefire elite players in Kaupu and Uchida, who missed some time this season due to injury. The Wildcats also return some key role players, but unless those returnees develop this offseason, the lineup in the 2018-19 season might have more in common with the late-aughts team that featured Hina Kimitete and Mana Hopkins, two future college players who saw their state title dream end in the quarterfinal round.

The entire state has a multitude of young talent, which should make next season as surprisingly appealing as this one was. Even if the cupboard might seem bare with the graduation of Molina, Tablit and Kaohimaunu, history now tells us that the Wildcats will probably end up in the final picture. It may be, once again, a matter of destiny.

COMMENTS

  1. The Real Deal is Back February 4, 2018 8:49 am

    Physical and athletic mismatch but Awa and Konawaena won with superior coaching and execution. Nice to see the swaggering and full of themselves Spartans eat some humble pie. If one attends games in which their programs (boys and girls) are participating in you’d be familiar with the behavior and level of class shown by their team and fans.


  2. raider4life February 4, 2018 9:26 am

    32 to 8. All that needs to be said. 32 free throws to 8. Are you kidding me? 2 photos on scoringlive, showed no foul on Maryknoll #25, but an out of control Kona player, resulting in a whistle.


  3. The Rim February 4, 2018 9:35 am

    Congratulations Kona! What a thing of beauty, disciplined play and flawless execution against all odds.


  4. rabbit ears February 4, 2018 9:44 am

    coach furtado got outcoached once again. Maryknoll clearly had the more talented squad.


  5. The Real Deal is Back February 4, 2018 10:37 am

    raider4life…..you looked at photos??!!! Were you even watching the game at all? Maryknoll had to repeatably foul and put Kona on the line at the end of the game resulting in the free throw attempt disparity. Kona had a masterful game plan, Spartans looked confused and dispirited. Get a clue, Horace. Oh yeah. OWNED.


  6. The Rim February 4, 2018 10:45 am

    Can’t depend on talent alone, making adjustments and dictating the style of play against your much shorter opponent falls on game planning and coaching.


  7. OGshar February 4, 2018 11:22 am

    Hats off to Coach Awa and the Wildcats, they were relentless to the end. It’s hard to teach that kind of perseverance, let alone survive the heartache of consistent one sided dictatorship from the people that you rely on to protect the values and integrity of the game; that it will be on a fair playing field. Eloquently sending “only” the best to the foul line 16 times???? That match up, the replay, the pics from all angles, rewatch the Hard truth of making your mark, congratulations I hope you can still hold your head high! Konawaena was resilient, they used those windows of opportunity to excel. A great win for a great group of young people. Ball is life, the end result is not what we perceive, but do not dismiss the heart from Maryknoll that fought the best they could in those circumstances to the end! Real Deal, that is class… do not mistake that “level” you proclaim behind a falsetto. Where we come from you love hard and cheer harder for the people you love, no matter the outcome!!! Check yo-self you might need a hug


  8. ahinalu February 4, 2018 11:34 am

    Coach Awa is in Hawaii High School Record Books as a Legend !
    I love them Rubber Slippers !


  9. The Rim February 4, 2018 11:38 am

    #2 raider4live – All that needs to be said is 2-20 from the field in the second half and 0 points in the third qtr. Don’t mask the obvious.


  10. Rabbit ears February 4, 2018 12:13 pm

    All Maryknoll needed to do was post up the bigs on offense. Play a zone on D. If Maryknoll did their homework . They would know that Konawaena was not a 3 point shooting team.


  11. ??? February 4, 2018 12:20 pm

    Congratulations to the girls of Konawaena basketball 🏀 and their awesome coaching staff🤙🏽 Whoa, gotta go SuperBowl starting😂


  12. Bobby Command February 4, 2018 12:35 pm

    Kona’s Super Bowl was Saturday night! Nothing can top that on Sunday. Congrats Wildcats.


  13. Whhy February 4, 2018 2:32 pm

    Bring in the shot clock already. I hate the stall game. It’s counter productive, 30 seconds to take a shot. Nowadays little kids playing in outside league using shot clock.


  14. The Rim February 4, 2018 3:24 pm

    Like the Spartans would benefit from a shot clock? Give me a break, they got out played and out coached. Go insert a shot clock and they still lose…last year they said Awa couldn’t coach and she won on talent alone. Whats the excuse now? Bad calls and stalling…sounds pretty sore loser to me.


  15. OGshar February 4, 2018 3:33 pm

    #1 Real Deal, that is class… do not mistake that “level” you proclaim behind a falsetto. Where we come from, we love hard and cheer harder for the people we love, support comes with no boundaries no matter the outcome!!! Look at the most astounding factor in how the game was being called, comparing first and second halves? Hard to compete fairly under those kind of circumstances; which should have protected the integrity of the game rather than blatantly making a mockery of the system.
    Not taking away from the excellent execution of Coach Awa and her resilient Wildcats, they played an incredible game. Big props to them for coming out on top!


  16. OGshar February 4, 2018 3:40 pm

    HawaiiPrepWorld, why do you keep dismissing my comments “awaiting moderation”? I have been an avid followerer and supporter of much of your work. You let others call out the obvious and pass judgment on a game they don’t even know much about and leave little representation from the people that keep your voice alive? Sadly, sign of the times.There is something wrong in the gaming system and it is not getting better…


  17. The Real Deal is Back February 4, 2018 6:23 pm

    Want an example of a Maryknoll supporter Inwas talking about? Exhibit 1: OGshar. Pure class. If being delusional about why your team lost the game helps you sleep at night by all means do what you need to do. Typical. Sure how the “game was called” explained why Maryknoll didn’t score in the 3rd qtr. and making its first FG in the 2nd half with a minute left. BTW you do know that your team kept fouling and sending Kona to the lline because was Maryknoll was losing, right?


  18. Casual Observer February 4, 2018 6:33 pm

    Been watching Konawaena since 2004 when they won their first State Championship. What Coach Awa has accomplished is special and spectacular especially considering they are a small public school. Someday soon, maybe she sill share her thoughts and techniques with those who want to learn how to be a great coach.


  19. TARHEELS Nation February 4, 2018 6:38 pm

    Konawaena made the adjustment in the 2ndhalf and Maryknoll did not they were double teaming the Spartan center all night and they still try to force it into her with no results.
    In the middle of the 3rd quarter the other players for Maryknoll starting to forced their shots WHY!!! Because there was no other game plan poor coaching and execution from the Spartans.
    And by the way there is a reason why Chico Furtado doesn’t win the big one because he is unprofessional in the way he talks to the officials and shows at the end of the game where the Maryknoll fans and students starting throwing rubbish on the court.


  20. ??? February 4, 2018 6:45 pm

    Casual Observer
    Yes you are!
    Konawaena recruits kids just like all ILH schools so it isn’t a shock that they win championships. coach Awa is a great coach, take nothing away from her but you gotta have talent to execute!


  21. oldtimer808 February 4, 2018 8:27 pm

    #20 Your comment about recruiting to Konawaena doesn’t make a lot of sense to me considering this is the Big Island. Konawaena have been developing players thru their youth league program. If you want to recruit a basketball player a little height would be a good target but if you look at Konawaena this season, you have a 5’9 sophomore starter as the tallest player. I think the development program has always and continue to be the success of this program under Awa.


  22. The Real Deal is Back February 4, 2018 11:33 pm

    An eyewitness account taken from a post on the Star Advertiser:
    My family and I went to the game, but we have no allegiance to either teams. Based on what we saw, Konawaena was the better team and deserved the win. Their point guards were awesome…Great job Wildcasts!! Unfortunately, where we were sitting, it got a bit ugly when Maryknoll supporters started screaming at the referees for any call against their team. And rather than being positive and cheering their Spartans on, some Spartan fans were heckling Konawaena players throughout the game…we thought that was no class. Nearing the end of the game, Maryknoll’s Isabella Cravens supporters started to throw rolled up paper streamers onto the court. The game had to be stopped. Coach Furtado did nothing. Other Maryknoll supporters gave them a cheer of approval. The Cravens family and supporter were met by Blaisdell security who asked them to leave the arena, and police officers were called. It was a great game, but even my daughter (who also plays high school basketball) couldn’t believe the things coming out of the mouths of the Cravens family faithfuls. As long as Furtado is there, no amount of humble pie will change things at Maryknoll.


  23. Rebel February 5, 2018 1:17 am

    She a good coach, but wearing slippers is bad and actually could be a violation of dress code in DOE, but all about Winning!!!


  24. PublicSchool February 5, 2018 7:07 am

    Congratulations to both teams! What a game! Big congrats to Konawaena. That team knows how to win championships (obviously). Kept their composure and kept chipping away. These neighbor islands teams (especially) got that chemistry from playing together since small kid time. Gotta love that.


  25. Whhy February 5, 2018 8:20 am

    The Rim – No high school basketball (boys and girls) in Hawaii would be more competitive if they installed a shot clock. This is why there are so many fouls at the ends of the games. The team sometimes with a 2-3 point lead basically stops playing and tries to run out the clock. To quote the article “Spreading the court, playing keep away, drawing contact and taking fouls”.

    I’ve watched several boys and girls high school basketball games that have been a snooze fest due to the constant stalling. There have been articles about it. Motions by coaches to install the shot clock. It’s taking the game of basketball backwards.


  26. Basketball Enthusiast February 5, 2018 9:44 am

    Awesome game, great win Konawaena!!!! I also have no allegiance to any teams. Someone that I was talking to made a good point, with all the seniors on Maryknoll’s team, they don’t have a true leader on the court. No one was talking or giving directions to each other. When you look at Konawaena, you could clearly see that the Molina girl was the leader of that team and she showed it. always taking control, setting up plays, talking to her teammates, always in control. Not going away from their game plan.


  27. Casual Observer February 5, 2018 10:23 am

    #20 If Konawaena recruits…like from where and what do they offer? Imagine a private school like Punahou or Iolani – and what they can offer. Have you seen their facilities? Even their coaches probably make 3 to 4X income than public school coaches. High school sports is high school sports. Even though some kids have been through programs, many are also just beginning the awareness of their athletic skills and interest so many kids are “projects” – full of potential. Additionally, developing a team and players that can play heady basketball is a big challenge because of the fast pace of the game, not to mention the physical challenge. Teams that are well coached show that in their play and good coaching shows up with consistency year after year. Coach Awa has more than proven herself. Unfortunately there is little about her and her techniques.


  28. Jaydawg February 5, 2018 12:57 pm

    Konawaena next year has some Freshmen Girls coming in that are Beasts!!! Will be exciting to see how well those freshmen girls develop and adjust in the Konawaena System and buy in to the culture built there to be successful and carry on, hopefully, a winning tradition. The Next Generation of Wildcats are coming


  29. The Rim February 5, 2018 1:32 pm

    Whhy-I’m not opposed to implementing a shot clock for high school basketball, the well coached teams would make adjustments and play within the perimeters of whatever time they have, its just good strategy to hold the ball at the end of the game with a lead and force fouls. Keep in mind, forcing fouls does not guarantee the kids would make their free throws, so that strategy might backfire. My point is, thats not the case now, there is no shot clock so why put down teams that play within the rules. Iolani boys for years played that style and people would get upset with them. Solution, take the lead and hold the lead so those teams cannot stall……but…..if that was your team winning, you would be yelling to run clock.


  30. OGshar February 5, 2018 2:03 pm

    Wow- #1 why you mad? First you accuse, “you’d be familiar with the behavior and level of class shown by their team and fans” then you post comments from an “anonymous” account calling out the names of family and singling out a player? Where’s the taste in that? But hey people only see what they want to see… Maybe there is reason for concern, “anonymous” rethink participating in a sport like this? It is a physical contact sport. If that wasn’t obvious. There was a TON of fouling going on out there by both sides!! That’s the game. I’m not even talking about the regular reach, hanging on someone, over the back kind… sneaky stuff- legs were getting taken out underneath while players were in the air rebounding, players falling on top of each other tripping and elbowing, lowering shoulders into defenders to take their wind out, bangin away? Hmmmm no whistle. That’s the game, You don’t cry, you bang back. That’s the game. But how do you defend against the FT line? How do you teach that? Just lay down and give up?! Surely y’all got it figured out, enlighten… Here’s the REAL… Both teams had hell of a season, (I swear Kona blew out a team during season 100+ – 8, yikes! is that class? Chico should take notes, stats mean everything for ranking!) Both teams built on great potential, both teams comprised of awesome talent – your pick of D1 athletes, both teams with eyes on the prize knowing their adjustments would determine the outcome. Loyal, passionate fans from any sport; (maybe you don’t get out much?) cheer hard and loud. This was no band wagon event. As for obscenities to the Kona fans???? That sounds delusional… Here’s one, no mention of the Kona fan that stood up and heckled the Maryknoll fans on both sides, lol. Hey, THAT’S THE GAME. So it must be bad sportsmanship to cheer up a team that had HUMBLE PIE all over their face in that 3rd & 4th qtr??? One sided again. There is never an exception for excuses. Merely pointing out the obvious. Why have 3 refs running the court if only 1 is going to actually blow their whistle???? Totally different game in that 2nd half. Kona executed exceptionally in that half, they dominated the boards, size was no obstacle. Kona’s guards were tenacious, aggressive in attack, what a great display of awesome coaching and strategy. Coach Awa is amazing and she has the respect of every player in her command. They are loyal and they believe in her system, they believe in her. Hawaii is so lucky to have someone with such powerful influence to evolve for success. Sadly that is not common. Again, don’t lose sight, that these are high school athletes, their successes, their defeats will teach them life lessons, athletics is just a vehicle. The pressures and ugly of what’s waiting for them in adulthood is far worse. Don’t hate the player for leaving everything they have on the court, don’t bash the fans for not giving up on them, don’t hate the coach until you walk in his shoes, hell- don’t hate the officials for not seeing everything! Hate the fact that you got on at the end of it and didn’t catch the ride through the journey! #1 I got yo hug 🙂 no worry!


  31. PublicSchool February 5, 2018 2:06 pm

    Once upon a time, cost was one of the deterrents in adopting the shot clock. I don’t see the OIA and ILH schools going there any time soon. It is frustrating when your team is down and the other team stalls. But like The Rim stated, take the lead and hold the team, then no problem. Iolani boys are known for stalling. But props to them. They stall because they can. Not every team out there has the guards necessary to pull that off. And not every team out there wants to play that style. But they do.


  32. ruffles February 5, 2018 3:08 pm

    Getting away from all the above back and forth, by the way nothing wrong with all you backing the teams you root for, that’s what sports are for. I was just wondering if any of you knew if Konawaena’s Mikayla Tablit has gotten a scholarship offer and I’m not gonna get into that good or not good enough for D-1 or whatever, I’m just curious. I’m really no expert but from a fan’s perception she sure showed great leadership, toughness, clutchness (is that a real word?) ball handling, offensive and defensive skills to play at the next level. Boy, I would love to see her at UH (psst, psst, Coach Laura). Anyway whatta scoop?


  33. ??? February 5, 2018 3:21 pm

    #26
    Your comment was Kona was just a small public school.
    I just said they recruit a few players.
    Nothing negative; they don’t do it on an ILH level but kids always transfer to Kona for girls basketball because coach runs a good program from Keiki time, so kids from different parts of Big Island have played there. Not all girls have been from Kona. Congrats to coach and the girls!


  34. Casual Observer February 5, 2018 5:24 pm

    #30 OK got it but Is it recruiting if the players and their parents want to go to that school, even if its for basketball? And if its recruiting, why are they recruiting the 5’2″-5’5″ players? And if its recruiting where people are flocking to the program, then why is it that they only have 8-9 players on the team? I think last year they had to bring some up from JV because they didn’t have enough players, then one got hospitalized at the time of the state tournament so they won with one less player. I don’t know if they recruit or not but I only see a consistent team that plays quality basketball and wins state titles all under Coach Awa.


  35. Casual Observer February 5, 2018 5:26 pm

    Oops correction. Meant #33 not #30.


  36. Whhy February 5, 2018 5:44 pm

    The Rim and Public School… Its true that its legal, is it sportsmanlike? I don’t think they are necessarily the same thing. Which is why I say again, bring in the shot clock already. The outcome of the game may not have changed but I can tell you that the pace and strategy of both teams surely would have. Having no shot clock here when you have them in outside league (ive seen it for 8 year old games in Diamond head and other places)… then in every college, and beyond makes our kids here look like street ball pick up games. We already generally have a height disadvantage competing with the kids playing in the mainland. Without a shot clock it allows our kids to play keep away (playing not to lose) instead of playing the game the way… oh every other competitive league plays it in the world. Its a disservice to the kids and fans. It makes the hard work that coaches and athletes put into this game a disservice, it becomes how few points can we score and still win versus two teams just playing their hearts out.


  37. The Rim February 5, 2018 6:39 pm

    Whhy-Wow, I don’t know what coaching style you’re talking about but your explanation of disservice to the game just baffles me. I feel stupid for trying to explain strategy to someone like you who just posted your way into the abyss. Good luck with that coaching mentality, I would love to coach a game against you. Btw, Konawaena scored 47 points, I don’t think they were trying to as little points to win. You did however, confuse the heck out of me. Funny


  38. Bobby Command February 5, 2018 8:12 pm

    Shot clocks are great, but the other shoe is cost. The initial outlay of $300 for the equipment is not so hard, but the minimum $25 per game that the school will have to shell out for an operator would come out anywhere between $1,400 to $1,600 a year (based on 15 home games each in both boys and girls varsity and JV). Unfortunately, everything costs money.


  39. Whhy February 5, 2018 8:38 pm

    The Rim… Okay sure, in your eyes Hawaii is ahead of the curve you will soon see the competitive high school leagues, NCAA, NBA, International Pro Ball, Olyimpics… All of them will throw out their shot clocks. Because they are stupid… Or they will keep them and only you will think that Hawaii playing without one makes complete sense.

    Bobby Command… I go back to my earlier comment. I have seen 8 year old kids play at various locations with a shot clock implemented. I doubt it would be that expensive to use or they wouldn’t use it. Its not hard and cant be that expensive to run. I would assume schools with new displays like Moanalua probably have that capability built in we just aren’t using it. BTW, they have kid statisticians already, both teams bring their own one. Having another kid who hits the shot clock button when possessions change probably no more complicated a work than they are already doing.


  40. The Real Deal is Back February 6, 2018 12:12 am

    @OGshar, post #30. Sorry, you lost me at “Wow”. Might want to try posting while you’re not inebriated. Could explain some of the mentioned observed behavior during the game however.


  41. ??? February 6, 2018 4:05 am

    #34
    If I live in Hilo but I or my parents like me play at Kona because I played on their club team since small kid time, I cannot just go to that school cause I feel like it, I have to live in that district!!
    I love the way Kona plays & the way coach Awa coaches and I’m happy they always win cause they deserve it 🤙🏽


  42. Toomeke February 6, 2018 5:23 am

    Congrats to all the players who played hard and all the coaches who coached hard.

    As for all the rellies who are crying hard?? Doooooont explain yo life. Season pau aredy.


  43. The Rim February 6, 2018 6:37 am

    Whhy – Are you unable to comprehend basic sentences? I am NOT opposed to having a shot clock you imbecile, I said the good coaches will adapt and play within the rules and make necessary adjustments. Even with a shot clock, you can eat away at the clock by using good clock management. Sorry but you sound like an idiot trying to defend something that is not an issue during this tournament. I’ll end with this, Konawaena outplayed and out coached Maryknoll, who had far more talent and depth in all areas. If you can’t handle that I don’t know what more to say. And for the record, if you have followed my posts throughout the years, I’m not a Konawaena parent nor do I live in Kona. Add a shot clock and the good coaches like Awa will adjust, they always do and thats why they keep winning and you keep complaining.


  44. ??? February 6, 2018 6:49 am

    Hawaii NEEDS the shot clock for Boys & Girls Basketball. Live in the Now & not the past!


  45. OGshar February 6, 2018 8:12 am

    Oh dang… #40 my bad on the novel,

    too many words??? Maybe less emotion and more heart should be at the forefront of your perspectives instead of trying to demoralize specific players and fans. Wait- that might be my behavior talking again….
    #33 HELLyeh- Mikayla is an exceptional product of D1 potential; any D1 program would be fortunate to have her.


  46. Whhy February 6, 2018 2:59 pm

    The Rim — Yeah, so nobody follows your posts throughout the years… lol…


  47. John tsue February 7, 2018 12:45 pm

    Konawaena seems to always play well. This particular game
    was inspiring – makes me want to go out and mow the lawn
    and do other chores; maybe more. Hope we all can behave
    with as much class – win or lose – as Konawaena and their coaches.
    Aloha, J. Tsue


  48. MK96814 February 7, 2018 2:20 pm

    Let’s not forget when they stopped the game and requested that spectators not throw things onto the court for the safety of the players….which was done after a “bad call” on one of the Konawaena players. Both sides had good and bad supporters, as any sport with passionate fans.


  49. ruffles February 7, 2018 5:25 pm

    I guess nobody knows if Konawaena’s Mikayla Tablit got scholarship somewhere, somebody tell coach laura go get um. If you wanna attract the fans get the local girls (with skills) winning attitude. I know, how can you turn down a PAC 12 education and facilities, but why would you want to play on a bottom tier team in no matter the conference. What kind of legacy is that? Make Hawaii great again, better chance to make a impact in the Big West than power conferences. I know, I know, how can you turn them down. Oh well, one can only dream.


  50. Kimo February 13, 2018 3:16 pm

    Wildcats!

    These girls been beating these Honolulu teams since “small kid” days!
    Defense wins championships …………..checkout the box outs and plan old defense on film during all the games. ILH b-ball is just scoring without defense and rebounding (positioning). History has proven for the past 4 years. Stacked teams might work in the ILH, but at states ………….nope! The championship game was Luna vs Wildcats.

    Sting Rays basketball sets the fundamentals for success.


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