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HHSAA girls basketball: Hilo squeaks by Roosevelt

February 9, 2014 - 12:29am

HONOLULU — Hilo junior forward Chailey Cabalis was the star of the show, scoring a game-high 18 points on 8 of 12 shooting as the Vikings outlasted Roosevelt 62-61 in the quarterfinals of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I girls basketball tournament Saturday at Neal Blaisdell Center.

The Vikings (13-2), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up, need to make a second trip to Oahu for the semifinals against Lahainaluna on Friday at McKinley High. Lahainaluna beat Maryknoll 61-57.

The Vikings will gladly make that trip after a frantic fourth-quarter finish, which saw Alexis Pana hit one of two free throws for a 62-59 lead with 34.1 seconds left before Devyn Kauhi scored a layup to trim Roosevelt’s deficit to 62-61 with 25.8 second to go.

Pana attempted to inbound but was called for a five-second penalty. Ball possession went to the Rough Riders, who worked the ball into Keala Quinlan. She shot, scored and was fouled with 15.1 seconds remaining.

“We told her to have her mental clock on and call timeout with three seconds,” Hilo coach Ben Pana said of daughter Alexis. “But that was a fast five seconds.”

Roosevelt coach Hinano Higa called a timeout before the shot went in. The Rough Rider faithful groaned, but there was still time for a final shot or two. A shot went up, clanked off the rim and Hilo grabbed the rebound to run out the clock.

“It’s resiliency. The girls play every game like it’s their last game of the season,” Pana said. “It’s a great win. Coming into the state tournament, with the HHSAA scheduling us against Roosevelt, we knew they were the hottest team.”

The season is over for the No. 4-seeded Rough Riders (13-1), the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red champion.

Cabalis, who was 2 of 4 from long distance, wasn’t the only efficient offensive threat. Sharlei Graham-Bernisto added 13 points, going 4 of 6 on 3-pointers, and Pana had 10 points for the Vikings, who shot 46 percent (22 of 48).

“Chailey is a fearless player. She’s been like that since she was young. She’s always had that mindset,” Pana said. “Sharlei is a firecracker. We put a lot of trust in her to be the point guard. She’s been huge for us. She’ll stay after practice and work on her game. That’s a tribute to her.”

Hilo’s solid shooting helped offset a tough day at the free-throw line. The Vikings were 12 of 24; the Rough Riders made 8 of 11 free throws.

Kauhi scored 16 points on 7 of 15 shooting, and Ashley Kiko added 13 points while Quinlan had eight points for the Rough Riders, who converted 42 percent (24 of 57) but outrebounded Hilo, 40-27.

Hilo 10 16 19 16 — 61

Roosevelt 16 13 19 14 — 62