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Wildcats Sports

State Tournament Preview Star Bulletin

Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by Bobbie Awa

Konawaena (12-0)


Quarterfinal foe: Baldwin or Moanalua.

On paper: The BIIF switched to divisional play this season, eliminating many of the D-I/D-II crossover wipeouts that prevailed for many years. Konawaena didn't seem to get the message, though, and shellacked Hilo 65-39 and Waiakea 66-25 in the playoffs.

While Hanato-Smith, Galdeira and Awa have often scored in double figures before sitting for stretches in blowout games, Konawaena has seen key development elsewhere. Makayla Awa blossomed and is a legitimate scoring threat now.

The skinny: Coach Bobbie Awa gave her young team opportunities to gain experience early with trips to the 'Iolani Classic and Lady Luna Classic. The 'Cats went 5-1 in those off-island games, even as their coach rolled her eyes with every hint of immaturity.

There may be no starting five as athletic as Konawaena. Growing up, Galdeira was a Pop Warner football sensation and reads the court like a defensive back when Konawaena turns to its fullcourt press.

X factor: They're young, but after 27 games, the Wildcats are seasoned. Roughly half of the team plays club basketball, so tougher competition isn't going to intimidate them. However, Galdeira and Awa are 5-foot-7, and Hanato-Smith is 5-5. How will they handle playing bigger teams -- Farrington looms ahead -- under the spotlight?

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