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Wildcats Sports

Honolulu Advertiser Player of the Week

Posted Tuesday, March 03, 2009 by Bobbie Awa
Galdeira led Konawaena's youth movement to top

By Wes nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
Konawaena's Lia Galdeira (23) was one of three freshmen in the starting lineup for the Wildcats, who defeated Punahou for the girls' state championship.  (andrew shimabuku | The Honolulu Advertiser)



The freshman phenom from Konawaena did not take long to flourish.

Lia Galdeira, a 5-foot-7 guard/forward, wasted no time in living up to her early promise last week by leading the Wildcats to their third Hawaiian Airlines/ Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball Championship in the past six years.

Close basketball followers had known about Galdeira's prodigious talent since her pre-high school days in Waimea, and she gave Honolulu fans a preview at last year's Mufi Hannemann Jamboree.

But Galdeira truly lived up to the hype last week, when she averaged 19.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 3.0 assists in three victories, including a game-high 23 points plus nine rebounds, four steals and two assists in a thrilling 54-50 double-overtime win over Punahou in Friday's final.

Galdeira made an impression all three nights.

In Konawaena's opener against Baldwin in Wednesday's quarterfinals, she had a game-high 17 points, 10 steals and five assists and added eight rebounds to help the Wildcats win, 50-28.

The next night, Galdeira again led all scorers with 18 points and five steals, and added six rebounds, two assists and two blocks as Konawaena defeated Farrington, 51-43.

She was off to another spectacular night in the championship game, scoring 17 points, grabbing seven rebounds and making four steals in regulation, but she did hit a rough spot when she missed five consecutive free throws late, including two front ends of one-and-ones.

That helped Punahou overcome a 40-30 deficit early in the fourth quarter and stay in it through the two overtimes. But Galdeira — one of three freshmen in the starting lineup — said the pressure was not a factor.

"We weren't nervous," Galdeira said. "We just made some mistakes we shouldn't have made."

Konawaena coach Bobbie Awa agreed that Galdeira and fellow freshman starters Makayla and Dawnyelle Awa are veteran basketball players who have poise.

"People talk about them as freshmen, but they're really only freshmen in age," Awa said. "They all have a lot of basketball experience."

That includes a lot of court time together in the offseason.

"Those kids play together all year-round, they know each other's games," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said. "You can tell by the way they make their passes and know exactly where their teammate will be.

"It's beautiful basketball to watch ... if you aren't sitting on the other sideline."

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