Lady Vikings Overcome Sluggish Start
Hilo High School’s girls basketball team feeds off of the talent of senior Alexis Pana. When she gets going, the rest of the squad lifts up their game to follow suit.
Despite a sluggish start on Thursday night, Pana and the Vikings found their groove in a 47-22 win over Sacred Hearts Academy, who was ranked tenth in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 Girls Basketball Poll.
Both teams were slow out of the starting gate Thursday night. Hilo was 3-for-12 from the floor, 0-for-5 from outside of the three-point line, and 0-for-4 from the free throw line. Sacred Hearts wasn’t much better, hitting just two of its first 11 shots.
“We’ve had two back-to-back games in which we’ve tried to start from the outside, but we’re not hitting our shots, so like I told the girls in the locker room, we’ve got to start going inside and getting some positive baskets from the inside, then the outside will open up,” said first-year Hilo coach Henry Miranda.
Sacred Hearts (7-3) held an 8-6 lead midway through the second quarter before Pana hit a three-pointer to give Hilo a 9-8 lead with 4:50 left in the period. The Central Washington commit missed her first three shots from the field and didn’t look comfortable offensively before hitting the trey, but the made basket opened the flood gates for Hilo, opening up a 17-1 run over the rest of the half to take a 23-9 lead at the intermission.
Pana finished with eight points and six rebounds.
Hilo (10-1) keyed on Sacred Hearts’ go-to scorer, Jessica Hanashiro. While she grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, Hanashiro couldn’t buy a basket, shooting 0-for-10 from the floor.
“The game plan was to put Sharlei [Graham-Berinsto] on her, but I think somebody kneed her in the leg, and she was a little bit gimpy, so we just rotated some of our people on her,” Miranda explained.
Faith Katie Loeak and Shalyn Guthier each scored 10 points to lead Hilo, each doing their work in different ways. Guthier shot 5-for-11 from the floor, and was especially solid with her mid-range jump shot. Loeak, on the other hand, found ways to get to the basket, shooting 4-for-6 from the field.
While the 28 turnovers certainly played a part in Sacred Hearts’ demise, Ryan Hogue’s lancers were the tougher team near the rim, grabbing 39 rebounds to Hilo’s 26.
Pakalana Kam scored a team-high 10 points for Sacred Hearts.
Hilo will take on Honoka’a Friday night in one of the Hilo High School Holiday Prep Basketball Classic semifinal games. The Vikings defeated Honoka’a a week ago at the Waiakea Girls Winter Goodwill Classic by the final score of 37-27. The other semifinal will put Waiakea against Kamehameha-Hawai’i. The Division I Warriors edged KS-Hawai’i by three points last Saturday in the same event.
Hilo High School Holiday Prep Basketball Classic
Waiakea 55, Ka’u 17
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 51, Kea’au 34
Honoka’a 44, Kealakehe 13
Hilo 47, Sacred Hearts 23
3 p.m. – Ka’u vs. Kea’au (at Hilo HS)
4:30 p.m. – Kealakehe vs. Sacred Hearts (at the Afook-Chinen Civic)
6 p.m. – Waiakea vs. Kamehameha-Hawai’i (at Hilo HS)
7:30 p.m. – Honoka’a vs. Hilo (at the Afook-Chinen Civic)