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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tiny La Pietra scores big victory to go 9-0

La Pietra vs. Punahou photo gallery

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

La Pietra's Courtney Gaddis goes in for two of her game-high 25 points against Punahou in last night's ILH Division II game.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Words of encouragement all week long from students at the tiny school nestled at the foot of Diamond Head gave way to screams of jubilation for the La Pietra girls basketball team, which captured one of the biggest wins in program history last night.

School support was in full effect as students packed the tiny gym, caught up in the excitement that comes with a newly successful program.

"It is big," junior Courtney Gaddis said. "Monday is going to be a big party for us. We're a small program with not a lot to point to (in our athletic history). This is one of our biggest moments."

Last night nearly 200 people packed the three-level bleacher gym, with fans lining both ends of the court and filling in four deep in the entranceway.

They witnessed La Pietra beating Punahou, 66-61, in Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II play. Both teams entered the game 8-0 and tied for first place.

"I think at every shot, (the fans) made a lot of noise," La Pietra coach Anthony Czaja said. "We have this small 'Hoosier'-type gym. I don't know if Punahou is used to that. The atmosphere was on our side."

La Pietra Physical Education teacher Beth McLachlin, who was the athletics director at the school for 25 years, said "everybody knew" what was at stake in last night's game.

"The whole school is supporting them," said McLachlin, who remembered La Pietra defeating Punahou in the late 90s. "I think this is the most crowded our gym has ever been."

La Pietra, an all-girls school founded in 1964, carries an enrollment of 245 students, in grades six through 12. Most of them knew about last night's game.

"Everyone is like, 'Hey, varsity! Undefeated!' and they say 'Hey, we'll be at your next game!' " said Gaddis, who scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

The La Pietra fans never wavered throughout last night's game, from the first basket by Gaddis to the final free throw by Ashanti Shih. Even after a 30-18 halftime lead was lost late in the game, the home-team cheers were never silenced for long.

"We're a small school and everyone is like sisters," said senior Megan Berardy, who scored 13 points. "The crowd is like our family. It brings us so much positive energy. They kept cheering for us.

"We kept reminding them two weeks before (that we were playing Punahou), and they started making signs a week before. It's so wonderful to be in this small school and have so much support."

As expected, most of the La Pietra fans were girls. But two cheering males in afro wigs — Jordan Berardy and Kainoa Gaddis, brothers of Megan and Courtney, respectively — were cheering and supporting the Lady Panthers just as loudly.

"I go to Punahou, but I'm cheering for my sister first," Kainoa Gaddis, 15, said.

While the win was one item in a long list of goals the team set before the season, including winning the ILH and earning a state berth, its significance was not lost on coach Czaja.

"In the past, we thought of ourselves as "Little La Pietra," he said. "Programs like Iolani, Punahou and Kamehameha have a certain mystique about them. And we haven't had that. I think this will help create a different way of thinking about what we can do here."

Arielle Daniels scored 19 points and Taila Autele added 15 for Punahou.

PUNAHOU (8-1) 10 8 21 22—61

LA PIETRA (9-0) 17 13 18 18—66

PUNAHOU—Aubrie Lau 6, Carly Wachi 7, Taila Autele 15, Kaliko Fernandes 0, Sarah Aratani 0, Erin Moon 2, Kelsie Gomes 3, Fransina Savusa 0, Erin Nagata 0, Pomai Stone 0, Larissa Nordyke 2, Yuree Nam 7, Brooke Ehrman 0, Arielle Daniels 19. Totals 22 15-28 61.

LA PIETRA—Sarah Peoples 2, Charity Caracol 2, Courtney Gaddis 25, Megan Giles 8, Leah Kaina 2, Tihon Nguyen 4, Ashanti Shih 10, Megan Berardy 13, Jenny Kim 0. Totals 23 20-38 66. 3-point goals—Punahou 2 (Autele, Gomes). La Pietra none.


Piilani Mahoe scored 18 points, Justine Sampaga added 11, and Word of Life raced to a 35-14 halftime lead in cruising past Le Jardin.

LE JARDIN (0-8) 5 9 7 5—26

WORD OF LIFE (6-3) 14 21 16 4—55

LE JARDIN—Ryann Kurahara 6, Rachel Grozen-Smith 0, Nico Jones 6, Kaitlin Kahahawai 3, Corelle Nakamura 10, Kaleo Schumann 1. Totals 9 7-26 26.

WORD OF LIFE—Samantha Khan 2, Krystle DeBorja 2, Jasmine Saquilon 8, Justine Sampaga 11, Nicoelle Hookano 0, Rayane Alvarado 7, Earl Lynn Phillip 0, Piilani Mahoe 18, Kanani Sagon 2, Tali Goeas 0, Brittany Iwamoto 0, Shayna Onosai 2, Moani McBraun 3. Totals 22 3-9 55. 3-point goals—Le Jardin 1 (Nakamura). Word of Life 8 (Mahoe 4, Sampaga 3, Alvarado 1).

Reported by Steve Lewis


Justine Jeremiah scored 17 points, Nicole Bereng added 12, and the Junior 'Bows rallied from a 22-13 halftime deficit and outscored the Pride 21-10 in the final quarter.

UNIVERSITY HIGH (3-6) 4 9 15 21—49

ST. ANDREW'S (2-6) 9 13 8 10—40

UNIVERSITY HIGH—Ku'ulei Baba 6, Nicole Bereng 12, Brennen Clark 8, Sarah Cockett 2, Brittany Copp 2, Justine Jeremiah 17, Desiree Memea 2. Totals 20 6-17 49.

ST. ANDREW'S—Jordan Higa 0, Angela Loh 0, Mimi Takamune 0, Ginger Grimes 0, Minna Watanabe 14, Leah Creamer 0, Denise Adams 0, Kellee Tom 19, Tricia Palupe 7. Totals 11 17-31 40. 3-point goals—University High 3 (Jeremiah 2, Baba 1). St. Andrew's 1 (Watanabe).

Reported by Kristina Jonathan



Nicole Fu scored 29 points, Kimberly Henderson added 12 and the Spartans beat the Warriors at Damien. Analee Viena Lota and Johanna Sai had 11 points each to lead Kamehameha.

KAMEHAMEHA (3-4) 14 12 13 17—56

MARYKNOLL (2-4) 9 15 16 21—61

KAMEHAMEHA—Miki Nakamura 8, Alexis Furtado 0, Johanna Sai 11, Analee Viena Lota 11, Tiana Abbley 2, Leah Godinet 7, Rhani Kaneaiakala 5, Kauiokeola Todd 6, Tatriana Lorenzo 6, Casey Lum 0. Totals 25 5-9 56.

MARYKNOLL—Kristen Canencia 5, Kristie Watanabe 7, Bowha Kang 3, Nicole Fu 29, Joni Wong 0, Kimberly Henderson 12, Samantha Chung 3, Soana Fifita 2. Totals 16 24-31 61. 3-point goals—Kamehameha 1 (Viena Lota). Maryknoll 5 (Henderson 4, Watanabe 1).

Reported by Steve Lewis



Jamie Ronolo scored 12 points and Na Menehune rallied from a 10-2 first-quarter deficit to beat the Cougars in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference Eastern Division game at McKinley.

Moanalua broke from an 18-all halftime tie to take a 30-27 lead into the final quarter, then outscored the Courgars 14-6 the rest of the way.

KAISER (4-7) 10 8 9 6—33

MOANALUA (4-6) 2 16 12 14—44

KAISER—Aja Yamamoto 4, Amber Nakachi 2, Jessica Dusich 2, Kellyann Inouye 0, Chelsy Okuma 4, Keely Bitanga 0, Renee Shitanishi 2, Sharde Pratt 19, Tashia Chase 0, Tiare Kepa 0. Totals 14 5-12 33.

MOANALUA—Brianna Lagat-Ramos 2, Jade Miller 4, Indah Widyakasuma 0, Jamie Ronolo 12, Britni Ronolo 9, Terina Blue 8, Nikol Felder 9. Totals 13 15-18 44. 3-point goals—Kaiser 0. Moanalua 3 (Blue 2, J. Ronolo 1). JV—Kaiser 32, Moanalua 31

Reported by Sarah Mae Burdios


The Red Raiders raced to a 21-4 first-quarter lead and never looked back in beating the Governors at McKinley gym.

Kahuku improved to 6-4. Farrington fell to 3-7. Details of the game were unavailable.

Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com.