BIIF girls basketball: Hilo girls have a ball in beating Kamehameha
Hilo put on an entertaining show on the basketball court, especially with a dance routine to cap Senior night at their Vikings Gym.
Behind an efficient offense, Hilo beat Kamehameha 46-39 in a BIIF game on Saturday night, picking up a valuable win and remaining unbeaten in the Division I standings.
Jamila Collins-Ebanez scored 11, hitting two big 3-pointers, Cherish Quiocho had 10 points, and Mandi Kawaha added nine points to lead the Vikings (6-0), who hit 46 percent (17 of 37) from the field.
Jordan Mantz scored 12 points, and Saydee Aganus and McKenzie Kalawaia had eight points each to lead the Division II Warriors (3-3), who shot 33 percent (13 of 39) from the floor and never found their shooting rhythm.
It was huge win for Hilo because Waiakea earlier beat Kamehameha 63-46. The goal for the Division I crosstown rivals is to get into the bracket opposite of Konawaena in the four-team BIIF playoffs. Hilo visits Waiakea in a monster showdown Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Against Kamehameha, the ball-hawking Vikings did a good job neutralizing easy points: transition layups, free throws, and putbacks.
On offense, Hilo also had good ball movement, reversing the ball and working for clean looks. Kawaha finished with five assists and dribbled-penetrated to give her teammates easy opportunities.
“What I liked is how played hard from start to finish,” Hilo coach Cliff Kawaha said. “That’s one thing we worked on, not just scoring from inside but outside, too. We want to have an outside and inside game.
“We told Mandi that she had to settle down and get her teammates involved because the girls who were watching her had length on her.”
Hilo forced 15 turnovers and held a 12-5 scoring edge off free gifts. The Viking had just 10 giveaways, including only two in the second half.
The Warriors really shored up their ball-handling. Last Friday, they committed 33 turnovers in a loss to Waiakea, which capitalized with a 17-6 scoring advantage off giveaways.
In the third quarter, Hilo took the lead for good when Kawaha attacked the rim, sank her layup and her and-one free throw for a 22-21 advantage with 7:05 remaining. Then Collins-Ebanez sank a 3-point off a Warrior turnover.
Right at the buzzer, Collins-Ebanez buried her second long ball to give the Viks a 35-31 edge heading into the final eight minutes.
In a defensive-minded first half, Hilo led 19-16 at the break, getting a boost off the bench from Asia Castillo, who scored four points. She nailed a long jump shot, and one play later stole the ball and scored on a layup.
Kamehameha had 10 turnovers in the first half, but Hilo held just a 4-3 scoring edge off giveaways. The Vikings had eight giveaways, and both teams played tough transition defense, racing back to defend.
The Warriors struggled with their jump shots in the first half and went just 5 of 17 from the field but drew fouls and made 5 of 9 free throws.
The Viks went 2 of 2 on free throws but buried 8 of 20 shots from the field, creating shots off the dribble and passing to back-door cutters.
For the game, Kamehameha made 10 of 16 free throws while Hilo went 8 of 15 from the line.
“In the first half, we were not switching on defense,” Hilo coach Kawaha said. “In the second half, we started switching and getting help on defense.”
When the victory was wrapped up, it was time for the Vikings to start dancing, grooving to Bruno Mars’ song “24k Magic” on a night that sent the seniors home with a bunch of lei and big smiles.
In the JV, it was Kamehameha 36, Hilo 18.
Kamehameha 8 8 15 8 — 39
Hilo 7 12 16 11 — 46
Kohala 63, Ka’u 45
Mikayla Kekoa scored 23 points and Brittany Shimono added 13 as the Cowgirls (2-4) won at home.
Kianie Medeiros-Dancel led the Trojans (1-4) with 23 points.
Kohala won the JV game 30-20.
Ka’u 8 12 10 15 – 45
Kohala 13 18 11 21 –63
Waiakea 64, Keaau 28
Danielle Oda scored 13 points and Kelsie Imai added 10 as the visiting Warriors ran their record to 6-0.
In JV, Waiakea won 44-7.
Waiakea 17 20 22 5 – 64
Keaau 8 8 11 1 –28
Kealakehe 34, Hawaii Prep 27
Pamela Kalavi scored 13 points in Waimea to power the Waveriders (1-5) to their first win.
Emma Saito scored eight points for Ka Makani, who fell to 0-4.
In JV, Christian Liberty beat Kealakehe 39-21.
Kealakehe 8 11 9 6 – 34
Hawaii Prep 7 6 7 7–27
Konawaena 59, Honokaa 25
The Wildcats improved to 4-0, dropping the visiting Dragons to 2-3 in a likely BIIF semifinal preview.
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