Lia Galdeira was so hot, she was fever-hot.
The junior guard, who had a case of fever and flu-like symptoms overnight, sparked two first-half runs as the Wildcats overwhelmed ‘Iolani 60-29 in the Division I semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/Hawaii High School Athletic Association girls basketball state championships.
Galdeira finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a sharp, precise performance for the top-seeded Wildcats (31-1 overall).
"She’s comfortable with the ball, setting up the offense," coach Bobbie Awa said. "She didn’t get too fancy. She did a good job as a point guard. That first quarter, I was a little worried."
Awa’s concern grew after her daughter, Dawnyelle, picked up two quick first-quarter fouls with the game still close. She left with 5:12 to go in the first quarter and didn’t return until the second half, but the Wildcats committed only four turnovers in the first half.
"It takes five to be on the court. I had to step up like all our girls," Galdeira said. "We were smart with the ball and made smart passes."
Konawaena plays Punahou tonight at 7 at Blaisdell Arena for the Division I state title.
Guard Thea Hanato-Smith came through with eight points and six boards, and post Anuhea Wall added seven points and nine caroms.
The game remained close until the Wildcats went on an 18-2 run that started near the end of the first quarter. Galdeira, a high-leaping 5-foot-8 junior, scored 12 points during the blizzard of Wildcats fast-break buckets, and they led 30-15 late in the first half.
The second half didn’t help ‘Iolani, which came into the tourney as one of the hottest teams in the state. Konawaena opened with an 8-0 run, getting four points each from Wall and ambidextrous sophomore Courtney Kaupu.
Kaupu, making a rare start, scored both buckets on lefty layups in transition to give the ‘Cats a 40-18 lead.
The Raiders never recovered.
Wall fortified Konawaena’s defense with a game-high nine rebounds. Konawaena outrebounded ‘Iolani 41-23.
‘Iolani got 13 points from junior guards Kylie Maeda and 11 from Lahela Usui, who left the game in the second half after aggravating an ankle injury. Sophomore post Alex Masaquel had foul difficulty most of the way and finished with four points and three boards.
It was a similar result to a November matchup between the teams at the Konawaena Winter Classic.
"We knew they were going to run a weave (offense) and slip out for 3-pointers," coach Awa said. "And we saw what happened last night."
On Tuesday, ‘Iolani hit five first-quarter 3-point shots en route to a win over Farrington. Last night, the Raiders were 11-for-43 from the field against Konawaena’s trapping man defense, including 2-for-13 from the arc. They finished with 17 turnovers.
Dawnyelle Awa, who scored 20 points in Konawaena’s opener against Kaiser, was relieved.
"I wasn’t surprised. My teammates always step up," she said. "Whatever team we play (tonight), we’re just going to play our game."
Galdeira, a breakfast cereal fanatic — she’s known to eat as many as eight bowls of the stuff before a game — will get her fill before the championship game.
"I’ll get it tonight," she said.
KONAWAENA–Amanda Varron 2, Thea Hanato-Smith 8, Makayla Awa 7, Chrysa Dacalio 0, Taylor Awa 0, Staysha Galigo 4, Melissa Simon 0, Lia Galdeira 16, Makani Wall 0, Zoe Acdal 0, Anuhea Wall 7, Courtney Kaupu 8, Dawnyelle Awa 2, Misilosa U’ulopa 6, Katie Andrade 0.
‘IOLANI–Kylie Maeda 13, Saphyre Rezentes 1, Klein Masutani 0, Katie Tom 0, Jelene Wong 0, Erin Napier 2, Kaitlyn Shikada 0, Lahela Usui 11, Loxley Keala 0, Alyssa Li’ili’i 2, Alex Masaquel 0, Taimane Passi 0.
3-point goals–Konawaena 2 (Galdeira, M. Awa). ‘Iolani 2 (Maeda, Usui).
STATE GIRLS BASKETBALL DIVISION I
» Waiakea 52, Kaimuki 47
» Farrington 58, Kaiser 52
» Kahuku 46, Kapolei 29
» Konawaena 60, ‘Iolani 29
» Punahou 52, Lahainaluna 47
Fifth place, 1 p.m.
» Farrington vs. Kahuku
Third place, 3 p.m.
» ‘Iolani vs. Lahainaluna
Championship, 7 p.m.
» Konawaena vs. Punahou