Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball Fab 15: Bonus round

Here’s a look at the 2024 Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball All-State Fab 15 bonus round.

Voting by a panel of coaches and media.

1. Lola Donez, Lahainaluna, G, 5-11, Sr.
27 ppg, HHSAA record 41 points vs. Waiakea
Shooting is easy, but scoring is work. Donez’s relentless, persistent scoring attacks at all three levels is matched by a superb hoops IQ. More than one season of Donez would’ve changed the landscape for Lady Luna basketball, but sometimes, the journey provides the most growth — and the sweetest homecoming. She is on to Cal next season.

2. Nihoa Dunn, Kamehameha, C, 6-0, So.
14.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg, two-time Fab 15 pick
Dunn’s shooting range is exceptional, but in the Warriors’ schematic, she is most effective on the block and taking the occasional mid-range shot. She also received votes for most improved player. The ceiling is still much higher.

3. Justice Kekauoha, ‘Iolani, G, 5-7, Fr.
12 ppg, slashing scorer/playmaker for state champions
Despite injuries, Kekauoha managed to stay on the court. Her feel for the game is rare, and her ability to make tough shots in traffic during clutch moments is a difference maker.

4. Pua Herrington, Waiakea, G/F, 5-10, So.
19 ppg, tough rebounder, two-time Fab 15 selection
Shades of former Hilo and Punahou great Onaona Miller. Herrington’s ability to play multiple positions, to go coast to coast in transition, the shooting range, the toughness in the paint on both ends — all are difficult to stifle.

5. KeanuMarie Huihui, KS-Hawaii, G, 6-0, Sr.
25 ppg, 3-level scorer, a rare PG/C skill set
The versatile playmaker had some of her finest performances against D-I teams Konawaena and Waiakea, leading the Warriors to their first (unofficial) outright BIIF title. Talent-wise, she is a punishing offensive rebounder when she is on the block. As a wing scorer, she will be in a comfort zone at UH-Hilo.

6. Mia Frye, ‘Iolani, G, 5-7, Jr.
8 ppg. Overcame injuries, voted most outstanding at state tourney
The long line of alpha-level guards in the Raiders’ tradition continues with Frye. Unleashed defensively, she is a steal machine. Offensively, a tough rebounder against bigger opponents with three-level scoring ability. Often posting up on the foul line, making game-changing decisions — and buckets.

7. Mele Sake, ‘Iolani, C, 6-1, Sr.
7 ppg, returned from ACL injury to power Raiders’ title run
The Raiders were cautious with their returning All-State POY. Just nine months after the injury, she was on the floor and eventually was back to her normal minutes — and interior dominance — by the ILH regular season. Her love for the game has been infectious for a team built on chemistry, energy and sacrifice. The improved 3-point accuracy was a luxury that proved valuable in the final minutes of the state final.

8. Brooke Samura, Hawaii Prep, G, 5-4, Sr.
35 ppg includes 33 vs. Konawaena, 31 vs. Waiakea
High energy, physical strength, exceptional athleticism — the comparison to former Honokaa great Kahea Schuckert is apt. Samura did it all for an extremely young team, and her best games were against D-II powerhouses, as well as the rest of the BIIF.

9. Aliyah Bantolina, Campbell, G, 5-6, Sr.
14 ppg, No. 1 in All-Defensive team voting
A late-season injury didn’t deter Bantolina, who returned for the playoffs and state tournament. Tremendous range and explosion as a defender, unselfish offensively, occasionally too unselfish. A pure team player with lots of upside.

10. Olivia Malafu, Kapaa, C, 6-0, Sr.
Key ballhandler, 20 ppg despite late-season ankle injury
The injury didn’t keep Malafu off the court, but she was not 100 percent at states. Her ability to attack from the perimeter is the best among bigs in the islands. Promising future ahead at Southern Utah.

11. Tavina Harris, Konawaena, C, 6-0, Sr.
12 points, 11 rebounds per game at states
In a year of talented post scorers, Harris was a focal point upon arrival at Konawaena. She went from relatively low usage at Lahainaluna to high usage with the Wildcats, a willing passer and a strong presence on both ends in the trenches.

12. Jolie Mantz, Waiakea, G, 5-5, Sr.
18 ppg, long-range bomber with playmaking skills off dribble
Strong, physical and aggressive, Mantz was difficult to handle for most defenders on her explosive drives to the bucket. Streaky from deep, a good number of her 3-point attempts were from 24 feet and beyond. If she can adapt to becoming a drive-and-dish playmaker, the ceiling is very high at the next level.

13. Posia Wily, Kahuku, G, 5-5, Jr.
12 ppg, versatile floor leader for OIA champions
The potential for a dynasty in the North is built around the talent, work ethic and camaraderie of Kahuku’s core players. Wily is the floor leader of the bunch, an efficient, high-IQ playmaker on both ends with a tenacity largely unmatched on the boards.

14. Taysia Molina-Schulte, Campbell, G, 5-5, Sr.
13 ppg, clutch shooter for Lady Sabers
A smooth, rangy defender who evolved into a solid and reliable offensive weapon. When Aliyah Bantolina went down with an injury in the regular season, Molina-Schulte led the charge to keep Campbell in title contention.

15. Shailoh Liilii, Moanalua, C, 6-0, Jr.
14 ppg, elite shot blocker, All-Defense selection
Played through knee soreness, a force for Na Menehune on defense. Improving as a post scorer, comfortable with the mid-range jumper. Athleticism and work ethic could transform the lanky 4/5 to another level.

Coach of the year
Dean Young of ‘Iolani was voted All-State coach of the year after guiding the Raiders (26-3 overall) to a fifth state championship in a row. Pua Straight of Kamehameha was second in the voting, followed by Lahainaluna’s Iolani Kaniho, Maryknoll’s Chico Furtado and Hanalani’s Charlie Hiers. Donald Yamada (Kamehameha-Hawaii), Bobbie Awa (Konawaena) and Donald Kamai (McKinley) also received votes.

1. Aliyah Bantolina, Campbell
2. Shailoh Liili, Moanalua
3. Mele Sake, ‘Iolani
4. Mia Frye, ‘Iolani
5. Madison Guillermo, Maryknoll
6. Mikylah Labanon, Kamehameha
7. Hailey Fernandez, ‘Iolani
8. Isabella Arrisgado, Maryknoll
9. Elisa Holakeituai, Kahuku
10. Lola Donez, Lahainaluna

Most Improved
1. Mia Frye, ‘Iolani
2. Hailey Fernandez, ‘Iolani
3. Nihoa Dunn, Kamehameha
4. Madison Guillermo, Maryknoll
5. Keilani Stewart, Punahou

Top Newcomers
1. Lola Donez, Lahainaluna
2. Justice Kekauoha, ‘Iolani
3. Tailele Ava-Wily, Kahuku
4. Kamaka Fonoti, Kamehameha

Toughest gym
1. Blaisdell Arena. A total of 29 hard falls on a slippery court during six final-day games at the girls basketball state tournament.
2. ‘Iolani. Close confines create a positive shooting environment, but the aura of the Raiders’ dynasty with banners wall to wall are one of a kind.
3. Konawaena. Depth perception is a key at ginormous Col. Ellison Onizuka Gymnasium.

Best concession
1. Radford. Everything out of the kitchen is A-plus, even though the kal bi of yesteryear is missed dearly.
2. Kaimuki. The cowboy stew is one of a kind and so satisfying.
3. ‘Iolani Classic. Daily entree is always a winner, but the homemade desserts take it over the top.
4. Moanalua. Great variety, homemade desserts. A little bit pricey, but quality is elite.
5. Kamehameha. Ice cream. ‘Nuff said.
Honorable mention
McKinley: Tigers always have good stuff, but drop in this poll due to no soft serve. Their homemade grinds are awesome.

Best preseason tournament
1. ‘Iolani Classic
2. I Mua Invitational
3. Konawaena Invitational
Honorable mention: Pa‘ani Invitational, Menehune Peek, Black & Gold Classic

Game of the year
1. ‘Iolani vs. Kamehameha, HHSAA final
2. ‘Iolani vs. Campbell, HHSAA quarterfinal
3. Campbell-Moanalua (2 OTs)
Honorable mention: Konawaena-San Juan Hills (Calif.), Lahainaluna-Waiakea (Lola Donez 41 points).

2024-25 Top 4: Division I
1. Kamehameha
2. ‘Iolani
3. Kahuku
4. Konawaena
Honorable mention: Waiakea, Moanalua

2024-25 Top 4: Division II
1. Maryknoll
2. Hanalani
3. Hawaii Baptist
4. Kapaa
Honorable mention: Waimea, KS-Hawaii, Damien


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