By Paul Honda
Some post-game notes from the semifinal game between Konawaena and ‘Iolani in the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships at Blaisdell Arena last night.
The defending champion Wildcats won 54-22 in what was the second-widest of margin of victory in a semifinal, according to the “Wizard,” longtime statistician and former sportswriter Frank Mauz.
The Wizard, this morning: “The largest semi-final margin was 33 points (Kamehameha 73, Radford 40 in 1992) and close behind was 32 points (Konawaena 52, Kahuku 20 in 2005). If ‘Iolani had not made that 3-pointer at the buzzer, it would have been THE most lopsided semi-final.”
Frank has been at almost every girls basketball state tourney since its inception.
• The thievery continues: Konawaena has 40 steals in two games. Lia Galdeira and Dawnyelle Awa have 14 steals each.
• At first glance, Konawaena didn’t have a major size advantage on ‘Iolani in the frontcourt. But factor in the advantage of guards Dawnyelle Awa (5-foot-9) and Lia Galdeira (5-8) against ‘Iolani’s backcourt, plus Konawaena’s rebounding and defense on the low post, and it added up to a 42-19 edge on the glass.
The third quarter provided a sample. Misi U‘ulopa commanded the paint for Konawaena with four points, three boards and a block during the third, and the ‘Cats opened the lead to 38-14.
• Konawaena scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter, using a mix of recently-promoted JV players and starters. Back-to-back baseline buckets by freshman Hokulani Liftee extended the lead to 51-14 with 2:55 left.
• It was a stunning loss for the ILH-runnerup ‘Iolani, which has two players making significant contributions despite knee injuries. Lahela Usui (partially torn MCL) and Kylie Maeda (torn ACL) were key factors in the win over Farrington.
‘Iolani’s voyage this season was memorable, to say the least. A summer (2009) trip to Beijing to play games (some against college teams) and visit the Great Wall, followed by a season of tribulations (injuries) and a hearty upset win over Farrington in the state tourney.
Now Konawaena moves into the final and the Lahainaluna Lady Lunas. More on that in the pre-game blog.