HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Tagalicod gets raves; Punahou is first No. 1
In the midst of the swirl that is Hawaii girls basketball in mid-March, one thing is clear: Coaches love Vicky Tagalicod.
The Hilo freshman made her first appearance as a varsity player quite a stunning one last week at the Lee Cashman Classic. The 5-foot-8 name-your-position player dominated and left quite the impression.
"She is, by far, the best player in the tournament, and she looked like she was injured, too," Maryknoll coach Bobby Samson said. "She can do it all, inside and outside. Against Punahou's press, she broke it all by herself."
Radford coach David Lane added more.
"She's Nani Cockett again, except she's stronger at that age. I'm happy for our team that we got to play her," he said after Hilo outlasted Radford 46-38.
The Lady Viks finished third in the tourney as Tagalicod scored 60 points in three games despite the lingering effects of a sprained ankle. Hilo is 5-1, with a lone loss to Punahou, and landed at No. 8 in the first Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Top 10 of the season.
Tagalicod spent her early years honing skills with coaches like Hamilton Manley, who is an assistant at UH-Hilo and previously coached at Pahoa, Waiakea and now-gone school Henry Opukahaia.
Rumors swirled in the offseason about the possibility of Tagalicod transferring to Honokaa to join teammates from a summer-league team that played on the mainland. There was also the possibility of Tagalicod enrolling at Punahou, but for now, at least, she's a Viking.
Iolani or Punahou: The Raiders of Iolani have dominated foes in nonconference play and took eight of the 14 first-place votes in today's poll. However, defending state champ Punahou got the nod from the panel of coaches and media.
Kamehameha, which is also unbeaten, will have quite a rest. The Warriors, under longtime coach Clay Cockett, don't play until the Interscholastic League of Honolulu regular season begins March 31.