KEAAU – Kamehameha took the game seriously. The Warriors were defending their home court on Senior night and their unbeaten record. But Hilo was having none of that.
Behind 73 percent shooting, the Vikings thumped the Warriors 70-17 in a BIIF girls basketball game on Tuesday night at Koai’a gym, handing Kamehameha its first loss.
The Division I Vikings (4-2) exhibited all the things that make them a top contender. They finished as the BIIF runner-up from 2013 to ’17 to Konawaena.
They’ve got scoring depth. Teijah Rosas-Suenishi, Keani Midel, and Tatiana Rideout came off the bench to lead the team with 16, 14 and 12 points, respectively. Veda Galima added nine points, and Keirstyn Agonias had eight points for the Viks, who made 9 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Midel knocked down four 3-pointers, Rosas-Suenishi and Galima each drained two 3-pointers.
Hilo unleashed a full-court press to take the ball out of Kamehameha senior point guard Nique Pacheco’s hands and forced 22 turnovers.
“The game showed that we’re starting to put thing together,” Hilo coach Clifford Kawaha said. “Hopefully, we’ll be ready for the playoffs. Why couldn’t we have shot like this against Konawaena? It’s coming together for us slowly and slowly.”
The Warriors followed the lead of Konawaena, which defeated Hilo 54-42, and played a matchup zone and forced just four turnovers.
Pacheco scored eight points and freshman forward Sarah Schubert added five points for the Division II Warriors (5-1), who shot just 32 percent from the field.
Also impressive was the lockdown defense on Pacheco, one of the league’s best facilitators. Agonias guarded her in man coverage. When she took a breather, Midel filed in and later in the game Mindi Kawaha took her turn.
The Vikings were able to play tough defense without fouling. The Warriors made 3 of 7 free throws.
Hilo closed the first half with a 14-0 run to take a 41-8 lead into the break. Rosas-Suenishi scored three straight baskets during that stretch.
“We came out and knew who we were up against,” Kamehameha coach Dominic Pacheco said. “They’re more talented than us. You come out and set a goal, and our goal was to take this game and play as hard as we can and look to get better.”
The third quarter turned into a 3-point shooting exhibition. Midel and Jamila Collins-Ebanez drained triples, and Schubert answered for Kamehameha’s only 3-pointer. Midel and Galima followed with consecutive 3-pointers for a 53-13 cushion.
After senior Juliana Alena Pakele scored, Rosas-Suenishi hit another 3-ball for a 56-15 lead with under two minutes until the fourth period.
And Rosas-Suenishi bombed Hilo’s ninth 3-pointer to start the fourth period for a 61-15 advantage.
The Warriors have three Division I opponents next week: home games against Waiakea on Monday, Konawaena on Thursday and on the road at Keaau on Saturday.
“We want to use those game to get better,” Pacheco said.
Kamehameha’s seniors are Pacheco, Pakele, Megan Baldado, and Kanani “Tapu” Keliikoa.
Konawaena 78, Christian Liberty 17: Kaliana Salazar-Harrell scored 30 points – surpassing the benchmark for the second game in a row – as the Wildcats rolled at home.
Caiyle Kaupu added 20 points for Konawaena (5-0) and Braelyn Kauhi had 10.
Rhylee Corpuz led the Canefire (1-4) with nine points.
Kohala 48, Ka’u 24: =- scored 18 points in Kapaau as the Cowgirls coasted to their second win of the season.
Kohala (2-4) allowed only one point in the first quarter and led 26-14 at the half.
Kaohinani Grace led the Trojans (0-5) with 15 points.