HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Hilo, Kamehameha lose to state format
STORY SUMMARY »
From Division I to Division II, the free-for-all fight for state-tournament berths has been a hard-scrabble competition.
One of the state's best players, Vicky Tagalicod of Hilo, saw her hopes for the Vikings fade for a third year in a row. Tagalicod, scouted recently by several Pac-10 Conference coaches, went down with a knee injury in her team's loss to Konawaena. Despite her individual talent and effort, Tagalicod has yet to play in the state tourney since arriving on the scene as a freshman sensation.
Other teams that found success this regular season are on the brink of elimination. Tenth-ranked Farrington is hanging by a thread after being upset by Aiea.
Iolani escaped and nabbed the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's last state berth with a 49-45 win over Kamehameha.
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Name the team sport, and there are going to be obvious disappointments.
Ready to Roll
Four of the state's top teams have already clinched spots in the state tournament beginning Feb. 19:
No, not just over wins and losses, but in the larger picture -- the format that determines a state-tournament field. In girls basketball, two teams ranked all season long were eliminated recently: Hilo and Kamehameha.
Hilo, featuring All-State Fab 15 selection Vicky Tagalicod, fell to defending state champion Konawaena on Friday in a duel for the league's second and final state berth. Tagalicod, a junior guard-forward, suffered a knee injury in the third quarter of the make-or-break playoff game. The Vikings couldn't overcome Konawaena, a team it had beaten at the Wildcats' gym in midseason.
The Viks, as they're known on the Big Island, slipped two spots to No. 8 in today's Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Top 10. Their season is over, and it turns out that their only off-island competition came in December during a two-day, three-game tour of Oahu. In succession, Hilo beat Mid-Pacific, Aiea and No. 6 Kalani, the top seed in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East.
Kamehameha also comes from a league that has just two state berths. In the Interscholastic League of Honolulu playoffs, Kamehameha lost to Iolani 49-45 with the final bid at stake.
They weren't the only higher-profile teams to taste defeat last week. Farrington is still at No. 10 despite losing to Aiea in the OIA Red quarterfinals. The OIA has five state berths, which means the Governors are still alive.
In ILH Division II, the scheduling challenges took a toll on several teams, but perhaps no more so than on St. Andrew's Priory. The Pride led first-place Maryknoll in the third quarter before a key player suffered a knee injury.
In a scenario that sounds eerily similar to Hilo's, the Priory eventually lost the game. However, they still had a shot in the playoffs, but with five games in five nights, they ran out of gas and lost to Hanalani in the battle for the final state berth.
The tight bunch of ILH playoff games was a necessity at first; the state tournament was supposed to begin this week. However, the HHSAA changed plans and pushed the tourney back a week. The ILH could not push the playoffs back, though, since Blaisdell Arena had already been secured.
Even with tournaments in Division I and II, it seems that there will never be quite enough berths to make every team happy.
Star-Bulletin Top 10 Poll
The Top 10 high school girls basketball teams as voted on by coaches and media from around the state. First-place votes in parentheses. Ten points for first-place votes, nine for second, eight for third, etc.
| 1. Punahou, 18-6 (14)
||none last week
| 2. Iolani, 21-4
| 3. Radford, 18-6
| 3. Waiakea, 17-2
| 5. Konawaena, 15-3
||lost to Waiakea
| 6. Kalani, 18-4
| 7. Roosevelt, 15-6
| 8. Hilo, 17-5
||lost to Konawaena
| 9. Kamehameha, 12-9
||lost to Iolani
|10. Farrington, 15-4
||lost to Aiea
» Also receiving votes: Kamehameha-Hawaii 9, Lahainaluna 8, Aiea 4, Campbell 2, McKinley 2.