Hilo’s freshmen class did its fair share of heavy lifting this season, making life easier for upperclassman Aliyah Pana.
The junior is returning the favor at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association girls basketball tournament.
Pana scored 18 points Wednesday night and the Vikings hit seven 3-pointers to reach the Division I semifinals with a 66-40 victory against Leilehua at Radford High School in Honolulu.
Sophomore Chailey Cabalis added 15 points for Hilo (13-1), which held the third-seeded Mules (12-2) to only three first-quarter points to grab a 15-point lead. The Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up Vikings will face Kamehameha-Kapalama at 7 p.m. today at Blaisdell Arena.
Including Hilo’s 47-44 come-from-behind victory Tuesday against Roosevelt, Pana has scored 41 points on Oahu.
Victory came much smoother Wednesday for the hot-shooting Vikings, who poured it on with a 32-point fourth quarter.
Pana and freshmen Sharlei Graham‐Bernisto (eight points) each hit two 3-pointers and Hilo was 19 of 21 from the free-throw line. Freshman Shalyn Guthier added 10 points, junior Amber Vaughn chipped in with six and freshman Alexis Pana had five. Vaughn, Cabalis, Alexis Pana each made a shot fron behind the arc.
Senior Elyshia Bowden led Leilehua, the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, with 10 points. The Mules were just 1 of 5 from the free-throw line.
At 2 weeks old, Vaughn was the only Vikings alive the last time Hilo made states in 1996.
Now the Vikings are only a game away from their first state final, but they’ll have to beat the second-seeded Oahu Warriors (13-0). The champion of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu cruised past Maui 65-40 behind 15 points from 6-foot-1 junior Taira Robins‐Hardy.
Hilo 18 5 11 32 —66
Leilehua 3 10 10 17 —40