BLOG: Transfers Boost Konawaena Girls’ Perimeter Game
The Konawaena High School girls basketball team is all but assured a spot in February’s Hawaiian Airlines/Hawai’i High School Girls Basketball Championships.
The bigger question is whether they have what it takes to get to the championship game.
The answer may come in the form of three transfers from state rival Lahainaluna, a potential boost to an otherwise thin team.
Konawaena, under veteran coach Bobbie Awa, opened its season with three wins at the Waiakea High School Girls Basketball Tournament. The Wildcats dominated Kamehameha-Hawai’i, Waiakea, and Maui.
In Thursday’s 64-20 win against Kamehameha-Hawai’i, the Wildcats suited up just five players. The three transfers, Lindsey Bates, Taylor Bates, and Aloha Salem, were not available. With just five players, including sisters Celena Molina and Chanelle Molina, the Wildcats cruised by last year’s Division II state runner-up.
All but one player suited up for Konawaena’s next matchup against Waiakea. In that game, the Wildcats scored the first 19 points and handily defeated the Warriors 77-21. All three of the transfers played substantial minutes, with Salem leading the way, scoring 14 points and shooting 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. As a team, the Wildcats hit 10 treys in the game.
“They can knock ’em down,” said Awa Friday. “It was just nice to get them on the court and play tonight. I know we’ve only had a few days of practice.”
Don’t forget about Chanelle Molina, one of the top players in the state, along with returning starters Ihi Victor and Celena Molina.
Konawaena closed the tournament with an 85-2 win against Maui.
The defending Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division champions will face tougher competition before jumping into league play. The Wildcats will travel to Lahainaluna, a potentially awkward situation given the aforementioned transfers, to play in a thanksgiving tournament. The Lunas and Wildcats won’t face one another, a disappointment given the long success of both programs. Konawaena will face Maui one more time before going up against Mililani and Leilehua.
Konawaena will host its own tournament between Dec. 4-6 and travel to Oahu to participate in the Nike ‘Iolani Classic. The Wildcats will open up play on Dec. 11 against California’s Miramonte High School.
The much-anticipated contest this year will be against Hilo, the only challenger to the Wildcats’ long league title reign. The Wildcats will host the game on Tuesday, Jan. 13.
Waiakea High School Girls Basketball Tournament results
Thursday, Nov. 13
Maui 69, Kea’au 24
Konawaena 64, Kamehameha-Hawai’i 20
Waimea 62, Waiakea 60
Friday, Nov. 14
Waimea 60, Kea’au 44
Kamehameha-Hawai;i 53, Maui 39
Konawaena 77, Waiakea 21
Saturday, Nov. 15
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 36, Waimea 26
Waiakea 50, Kea’au 31
Konawaena 85, Maui 2
Maui 56, Waiakea 31
Ted Fukushima Invitational at Kaiser High School results
Saturday, Nov. 15
Roosevelt 53, Honoka’a 19
Punahou 48, Hilo 37
‘Iolani 56, Honoka’a 29
Hilo 52. Kaiser 28
Sunday, Nov. 16
Roosevelt 48, Hilo 42
Leilehua 52, Honoka’a 46