HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Vicky Tagalicod and her Hilo Vikings played two games yesterday and won both. Tagalicod scored 28 points.
Twice is nice for Hilo’s Tagalicod
Two games in one day on the road? No problem for Hilo and Vicky Tagalicod.
The Vikings' multitalented forward hit a game-winning 16-footer with 1.2 seconds to play in overtime and Hilo rallied to defeat host Kalani last night, 43-42, for their second win of the day.
Hilo -- a threat to make the state tournament this year out of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation -- knocked off Aiea, 48-42, in a morning game to sweep their three-game road trip to Oahu.
"We knew our third (game) of the trip would be the most difficult," Hilo coach Ferdi Masulit said. "Luckily, they came ready to play."
Tagalicod showed no signs of fatigue after the morning game, scoring a game-high 16 points -- including the last five of the fourth quarter to force overtime -- and had six assists and five rebounds to lead Hilo (6-2).
On what turned out to be a busted play, Tagalicod curled around a screen and probed near the free-throw line, but bumped into one of her teammates. She improvised, falling back a step for a perfect shot as the Vikings bench erupted.
"We had our bigs set up on the top on the elbows. I curled around, and I knew I couldn't go all the way to the basket, so I went up for a shot and it went in," said Tagalicod, a 5-foot-9 junior from Pahoa.
After Tagalicod's basket, Kalani (7-2) called timeout and set up a fullcourt heave to Iwalani Rodrigues. But Hilo's Aisha Sueda knocked the ball out of bounds with one-tenth of a second left, and the Lady Falcons couldn't get off the tip-score they needed to win on the ensuing inbounds play.
"We tried to stay with (Tagalicod) and hope the other ones don't beat us, but hey -- that's a good team," said Kalani coach George Weeks. "(On the last play) we just tried to draw something up and execute it. That's a tough thing to do. It just didn't work out tonight."
Violet Alama led Kalani with 14 points and six rebounds, while Rodrigues added 12 and Rhianna Farm 10. Rodrigues had a chance to win it in regulation, but her tough 15-footer over a double-team at the buzzer clanged off the rim.
Kalani had size on the inside, with Farm and Alama operating a formidable high-low game, but Hilo's drive-and-kick offense kept them in it, as the Vikings nailed five 3-pointers to none for the Lady Falcons.
The Vikings were held to four points in the third quarter and trailed 38-33 halfway through the fourth -- but that's when it became Vicky time.
Tagalicod powered through Rodrigues on the block for a shot and hit the free throw for the three-point play. On the next possession, she crashed the glass hard for an offensive rebound, and calmly hit two free throws to tie the game at 38.
Hilo appeared winded over the middle of the game; several times the Vikings circulated the ball around the perimeter until Rodrigues or Alama picked off a careless pass. But they found their second wind when it mattered, as Tagalicod hit Sueda on the perimeter for their first basket of overtime.
Rodrigues went with a nifty crossover to a 12-foot jumper at the halftime buzzer to give the Lady Falcons a 25-24 lead.