Hilo Edges Roosevelt to Advance to HHSAA DI Girls Hoops Semis
Neither the flu, nor the Roosevelt defense, could keep Hilo junior Chailey Cabalis from having a memorable night at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
Cabalis scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and snatched away six steals while foul trouble affected three of her team’s best scorers, pushing the Vikings to a 62-61 victory over the Rough Riders to advance to the semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division I Girls Baskteball Championships.
“After last night’s game, she (Cabalis) came down with the flu,” said Hilo head coach Ben Pana after the game. “We were trying to hydrate all day, kept her in bed, gave her her medicine.”
Roosevelt (15-3 overall, 12-3 OIA/HHSAA) held the early advantage against Hilo, thanks to its transition game, with post players Keala Quinlan and Devyn Kauhi running the floor and creating quick opportunities at the rim. Meanwhile, bench player Ashley Kiko played her part in pushing the Rough Riders out to a 16-10 first quarter lead. Kiko scored eight of her 13 points in the first quarter coming off of the bench.
Hilo (20-6 overall, 13-4 BIIF/HHSAA) appeared to be in trouble when foul trouble began to sink in. Shalyn Guthier and Alexis Pana each picked up three fouls in the first half while Aliyah Pana committed two. Cabalis picked up the slack, however, scoring six points in the quarter to keep the Vikings in the game, trailing 29-26 at the halftime break.
Sharlei Graham-Bernisto stepped up her game in the third quarter, draining three treys to keep Hilo in the contest, down 48-45 after 24 minutes. She hit four three pointers in the second half after starting the game shooting 0-for-3.
“Shar is Shar. She’s just a firecracker,” said Pana after the game. “She reads the flow of the game really well, and she do what she has to do. Those four threes were great for us, no doubt, but just the defensive pressure that she kept up all game…was huge.”
Graham-Bernisto finished with 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting. She also grabbed three steals.
The rest of Pana’s bench came through in the fourth quarter. Cierra Kelii, Amber Vaughn, and Kaily Harris combined for five points while giving Pana the quality defense his team needed.
Roosevelt appeared to have a chance to take the lead with under 20 seconds remaining, but head coach Hinano Higa called a timeout as the ball was lobbed into the paint for Devyn Kauhi. Roosevelt’s post player was fouled on her way to the rim, but the timeout preceded the call.
Off of the timeout, the OIA Red champions got another look at the rim with Kauhi, who caught it in mid-air and tried to put it up in the same motion, but missed off of the right side of the rim. Hilo secured the rebound and the clock expired.
Kauhi scored a team-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Eight of her points came in the fourth quarter. Roosevelt out-rebounded Hilo 40-27 but committed 20 turnovers.
Hilo shot 55 percent in the second half to finish the game 22-for-48 from the floor (45.8 percent). Alexis Pana added 10 points on 2-for-7 shooting and stayed in the game despite committing four fouls.
Hilo returns home Sunday, but will fly back to Oahu for the “Final Four” portion of the tournament. Hilo will face top-seeded Lahainaluna at McKinley High School’s Student Council Gymnasium at 5:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on OC16.
Hilo 10 16 19 17 – 62
Roosevelt 16 13 19 13 – 61
Hawaiian Airlines / HHSAA Division I Girls Basketball Tournament scores
Mililani 54, #2 Konawaena 51
#3 Punahou 62, King Kekaulike 39
#1 Lahainaluna 61, Maryknoll 57
Hilo 62, #4 Roosevelt 61