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Carvalho is top hoopster

It must be in the blood. Her great season earned Brittney Carvalho the KIF Girls Basketball Player of the Year award.

The Kapa‘a junior’s father, Bernard, who works for the county, used to coach defensive linemen at the University of Hawai‘i and in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins.

Carvalho keyed the Warriors’ comeback during an up and down season, which led to the KIF title and a seventh place finish in the state’s division II tournament.

Carvalho has two brothers — Brennan at Portland State and Bronson at Alcorn State — -currently wreaking havoc in the world of college football.

Certainly Brittney gained some of the family’s athletic prowess, as well as mother Regina’s passion, on her way to the KIF’s top honor for a girls hoopster.

Carvalho is joined by three teammates on the all-star list.

Kaua‘i senior Rachel Taira, a former player of the year, and Kapa‘a senior Kennilyn Nakamura make up the all-star guards.

Taira led the Red Raiders in scoring and capped off a brilliant high school career with a strong senior season.

Nakamura’s tenacity and ability to score from anywhere on the court gave the

Warriors something to count on when the well went dry.

Along side Carvalho, Waimea junior Moani Durant rounded out the all-star forward slots.

Durant did it all for the Menehune, pouring in buckets at the most opportune times.

Kapa‘a junior Poe Gantt, who came up with big shots down the stretch, earned honors at center.

Gantt’s presence in the middle was the difference for the Warriors, especially during the championship game against the much smaller Menehune squad.

Kapa‘a’s senior Michelle Toy lived up to her all-star utility selection. Toy kept the Warriors together during tough times and chipped in with key baskets in the big games.

Kapa‘a’s Gary Kodani garnered coach of the year honors, leading a highly talented squad to the top.

His Phil Jackson-like performance on the bench will be talked about for years to come.

The 2006 KIF girls basketball all-stars were selected by the coaches.

• Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco.com.

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