HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
No. 3 ranking a gift for Vikings
STORY SUMMARY »
The Hilo girls basketball team raided Oahu last week, returning to the Big Island with three wins and a leap of three spots in the Star-Bulletin's prep poll.
The Vikings rose to No. 3 after beating Mid-Pacific on Friday then doubling up to take care of Aiea and Kalani on Saturday.
Hilo jumped three spots in the latest Star-Bulletin high school girls basketball poll
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When the Hilo Vikings returned home last night, they didn't just bring Christmas gifts from afar. They brought home three wins over three good Oahu teams, all in the span of a little more than 24 hours.
"The girls are tired -- good tired," Vikes coach Ferdie Masulit said.
Wins over No. 10 Mid-Pacific, Aiea and fourth-ranked Kalani boosted Hilo three spots to No. 3 in today's Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Top 10.
"A lot of my returnees played in the Punahou tournament last year and we got wiped out by Punahou and Iolani," Masulit said. "This is validation that we're a competitive team."
Kalani coach George Weeks was impressed.
"Vicky (Tagalicod) is really good, but it's not just about her. They have some nice pieces of the puzzle, they hit 3s and they really stress defense," he said.
The Lady Falcons tip off their regular season against Kalaheo tonight.
No. 1 Punahou impressed
The inaugural girls tourney at the Iolani Classic featured an MVP performance by Atonye Nyingifa, who led Redondo Union over Punahou for the title on Saturday.
"She can do everything," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said of Nyingifa, who had 14 points, 13 boards, five assists and five steals. "What I like about her most is she's always smiling, playing with confidence. That rubs off on her teammates."
Shawna-Lei Kuehu, just 12 months removed from an ACL injury, was named most outstanding player. Redondo limited her to five points.
"It's a credit to their defense," Taylor said. "You gotta remember, she's only 80 percent back."
Perhaps most impressive was Redondo's speed in getting back on defense against the up-tempo Buffanblu.
"We preach that, committing ourselves to transition 'D'. This group is especially committed to this," Sea Hawks coach Marcelo Enriquez said.
Punahou, which remained at No. 1 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, will compete in the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix this week.
Star-Bulletin Top 10
The top 10 high school girls basketball teams, according to a poll of coaches and media.
| 1. Punahou, 6-2 (13)
||Lost to Redondo Union
| 2. Iolani, 9-2 (1)
||Lost to Narbonne
| 3. Hilo, 6-2
| 4. Kalani, 7-2
||Lost to Hilo
| 5. Kamehameha, 6-3
||Lost to Roosevelt
| 6. Radford, 3-5
| 7. Konawaena, 3-1
||Lost to Radford
||at Waiakea Invitational
| 8. Farrington, 6-1
| 9. Roosevelt, 6-3
|10. Mid-Pacific, 5-2
||Lost to Hilo
||Does not play
» Voted on by coaches and media from around the state
» First-place votes in parentheses
» 10 points for first-place vote, 9 for second, 8 for third; etc.
» Also received votes: Waiakea 15, Kamehameha-Hawaii 11, Lahainaluna 9, Aiea 1.
» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Lahainaluna (No. 8)