HIGH SCHOOL REPORT
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Junior Vicky Tagalicod, right, is a go-to player in crunch time for the Hilo Vikings.
Vicky’s got skills
Hilo's Tagalicod developed her basketball ability playing against boys
STORY SUMMARY »
Hilo junior basketball player Vicky Tagalicod does a little bit of everything exceptionally well for the seventh-ranked Vikings.
She passes. She shoots. She's the go-to scorer when Hilo needs an important basket. She brings up the ball.
In addition, her leadership duties have been expanded, now that she's in her third year with the Vikings.
Because of Tagalicod's multi-skilled approach to basketball, it's hard to classify her as being a certain type of player.
Essentially, she is beyond any simple descriptions.
Tagalicod's basketball education started in grade school, when she played against -- and learned toughness from -- the boys.
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Things have a habit of working out a little differently for Vicky Tagalicod.
The 5-foot-9 Hilo junior defies convention. As the focal point and point forward of the 8-4 Vikings' drive-and-kick offense, Tagalicod can't be easily pigeonholed or classified.
What's certain is this: After a tenuous start on the eastern shore of the Big Island, she's since embraced her role as the go-to everything player for a Big Island Interscholastic Federation title contender.
When she started high school, Tagalicod, of Pahoa, had her considerable court vision elsewhere. She yearned to gain admission to Punahou as a freshman, applying twice that year -- including flights to Oahu both times -- but came up empty-handed.
"I think about it. If I were to go to Punahou, it would have been different," the soft-spoken Tagalicod said. "But I like being in Hilo. There's a lot of support out there for me and they support what I do. (The team's) like a family. Everybody takes care of each other."
Her coaches at Hilo convinced her to stay despite a drive of 45 minutes each way, each day, from Pahoa. Since then she's shouldered the bulk of the No. 7 Vikings' scoring load, not to mention being the team's primary ball-handler and crunch-time beneficiary.
"Oh, that's every game," coach Ferd Masulit said. "She knows that, too. She's gotta put the team on her back -- she's taking that responsibility.
"I would say the load is heavier this year than it was for last," he continued. "She had some post help (as a sophomore), so that was good for her. I think this year, our post play hasn't been as consistent as we would like ... so she's having to kind of fill in that void as well as being my ball-handler. Points, she's averaging at least 20 a game. Rebounding, probably just under 10."
Masulit freely admits that Tagalicod didn't get her passing ability from him or his system.
Where, then, did that skill come from in her rural surroundings?
Vicky started playing against the boys in Pahoa in the fourth or fifth grade, gaining toughness and fortitude. Through sheer hours put in, she built herself into a solid player in all aspects, save for a reliable long-range shot -- now one of the last orders of business in her ever-improving game.
To support that notion, she curled around a screen, stepped back and buried a game-winning 16-footer in overtime for a 43-42 win against Kalani last month.
"To be honest, it wasn't anything we drew up," Masulit said of the play. "We ran our usual offense, but they shut it down. Vicky, as talented and athletic as she is, she improvised. That's what makes her great, and that's what makes her special. She can respond in the event where things don't work out the way we draw it up."
When asked why she thought the Big Island has produced so many effective women's college players lately -- Hawaii's Saundra Cariaga, Keisha Kanekoa and Leilani Galdones to name a few -- Tagalicod just shrugged.
"There's not much to do in Hilo," she said. "You just do whatever you want, but you just play ball. If you like playing that, that's what you do. Just go to the gym and work out and make yourself a better person."
After a moment of thought, she tacked on: "We always have a disadvantage to other Oahu teams, so we work on that."
There weren't always boys in the neighborhood to play with, so playing against her older brother, Lloyd, was one of the best gauges of how she was coming along.
He remains one of the last challenges of her childhood she has yet to defeat.
"He's like 30 -- he overpowers me," Vicky said.
Lloyd, courtside to watch that game-winner against the Falcons, laughed when asked about Vicky's claim to his throne.
"She can't beat me. She still can't," said Lloyd, who played two years at Pahoa High.
But he's seen her game grow since she started battling the boys.
"She's stepped up, she knows the game more," he said. "She's finding out what her strengths are."
Nothing wrong with being a little different.
Athlete of the Week
He scored 22 points against Hanford (Calif.), 24 against Mililani, 14 against Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and 27 against Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.).
» Joseph Atimua
, Campbell: had 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and a game-winning layup at the buzzer against Carlmont (Calif.); also named to Na Menehune/Reebok Holiday Classic all-tourney team
» Willie Ching
, Kahuku: had 22 points and 12 rebounds against Waiakea
» Garrick Chock
, Maryknoll: scored 26 points against Waianae; scored 18 points against Maryknoll
» Josh Chung
, Aiea: scored 19 points against Kalani
» Kamakoa Downey-Jovanovich
, Kamehameha: named to Na Menehune/Reebok Holiday Classic all-tourney team
» Kasen Dudley
, Seabury Hall: scored 19 points against St. Anthony
» Kenny Ellis
, Kailua: had 25 points and 10 boards against Kahuku
» Richard Herring
, Maryknoll: scored 18 points against University
» Marcus Holyfield
, Mid-Pacific: scored 18 points against Castle; also named to Na Menehune/Reebok Holiday Classic all-tourney team
» Hoku Kama
, Leilehua: scored 19 points against Damien
» Aina Kelii-Supnet
, Anuenue: scored 24 points against Thompson
» Arnold Kidder
, Nanakuli: scored 18 points against Kaiser
» Quentin Kimura
, Radford: named to Na Menehune/Reebok Holiday Classic all-tourney team
» Aaron Lenchanko
, Mililani: named to the St. Francis Merv Lopes Classic all-tourney second team
» Cheynne Lishman
, Kalaheo: scored 17 points against Hilo; 20 against Kamehameha-Hawaii.; also named to the St. Francis Merv Lopes Classic all-tourney team
» Micah McClinton
, Saint Louis: scored 21 points against Deer Creek (Okla.)
» Daryl Milana
, Konawaena: scored 23 points against Arizona's top team, Salpointe Catholic.
» Pii Minns
, Kamehameha: scored 18 points against Kauai; also named to Na Menehune/Reebok Holiday Classic all-tourney team
» Marcus Monroe
, Moanalua: scored 20 points against Iolani II
» Taylor Mounts
, Iolani: had 13 points and nine rebounds against Sullivan East (Tenn.) and had 14 points and six boards against Dorsey (Calif.)
» Kalua Noa
, Kaiser: scored 25 points against Waialua and 18 against Nanakuli
» Kepoo Noa
, Kamehameha II: scored 23 points against Hanford (Calif.)
» Hogan Rosehill
, Kamehameha-Hawaii: had 17 points against Kailua, 26 points and 10 rebounds against Otay Ranch (Calif.) and 16 points against Thousand Oaks (Calif.); also named to the St. Francis Merv Lopes Classic all-tourney second team
» Paul Salvador
, Lahainaluna: scored 32 points, including seven 3-pointers, against Maui
» Lincoln Seto
, Baldwin: scored 18 points against King Kekaulike
» Cole Shidaki
, Saint Louis: named to the Walter Wong Classic all-tourney team
» Jamerson Smith
, Waianae: scored 20 points against Maryknoll
» David Taulang
, Kaimuki: scored 19 points against Campbell and 19 against Laguna Beach (Calif.)
» Desmond Tautofi
, Kaimuki: scored 20 points against Kapolei; also named to Na Menehune/Reebok Holiday Classic all-tourney team
» Nick Tuamoheloa
, Castle: scored 21 points against Kapolei
» Sam Unger
, Konawaena: scored 21 points against Thunderbird (Ariz.)
» Joshua Wallace
, Farrington: scored 20 points against Waialua
» Basil Walton
, Kauai: scored 21 points against Punahou II
» Pablo Warner
, Iolani: had 14 points and seven rebounds against Canada's top team, Father Henry Carr; also scored 18 points against Sullivan East (Tenn.) and 11 points against Dorsey (Calif.)
» Hannah Adona, Parker: scored 26 points against Pahoa
» Shauna Ah Yen, Baldwin: scored 29 points against King Kekaulike
» Ariel Gaoiran, Maui: scored 29 points against King Kekaulike
» Mana Hopkins, Konawaena: scored 20 points against Horseshoe Bend (Ala.) and 16 against Ka'u
» Kamie Imai, Waiakea: scored 24 points against Hilo and 32 against Honokaa
» Kirsty Imai, Waiakea: scored 18 points against Hawaii Prep, 17 against Hilo and 17 against Honokaa
» Yacine Meyer, Seabury Hall: scored 23 points against St. Anthony
» Iwalani Rodrigues, Kalani: scored 18 points against Moanalua
» Jamie Smith, Iolani: had 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots against Kamehameha
» Vicky Tagalicod, Hilo: scored 29 points against Waiakea
» Tayler Wang, Hawaii Prep: scored 21 points against Waiakea
» Cameron Dela Cruz, Pearl City: scored two goals against Aiea
» Layton Gomez, Campbell: scored two goals against Waipahu
» Leland Gomez, Campbell: scored two goals against Waipahu
» Nathan Johnson, Kalaheo: scored two goals against Castle
» Cameron Keawe, Leilehua: scored two goals against Radford
» Keenan Lee, Moanalua: scored three goals against Kaimuki
» Justin Malvar, Kapolei: scored two goals against Radford
» Kaleo Mauricio, Kaimuki: scored two goals against Moanalua
» Sean Nicholson, Moanalua: scored two goals against Kaimuki
» Bryan Russ, Radford: scored two goals against Leilehua
» Kevin Tanaka, Kapolei: scored two goals against Radford
» Liana Gualderama, Kapolei: scored three goals against Radford
» Samantha Lau, St. Francis: scored two goals against Sacred Hearts
» Kirsten Otsuka, Kapolei: scored five goals against Radford
» Isabel Romero, Mililani: scored two goals against Aiea
» Kanoe Souza, Kamehameha: scored two goals against Mid-Pacific
» Chelsie Swann, Kapolei: scored three goals against Radford
» Jessica Temblor, Waialua: scored two goals against Nanakuli
» Monica Umeda, Kaimuki: scored four goals against McKinley
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