Pupule’s boys hoops ballot 1/13

by Paul Honda on January 13, 2014

Farrington senior Jacob McEnroe. (Krystle Marcellus / Star-Advertiser)

Farrington senior Jacob McEnroe. (Krystle Marcellus / Star-Advertiser)

Ahead of tomorrow’s Star-Advertiser boys basketball Top 10, here’s how I voted.

Pupule’s ballot
BKB 1/13/14
1. PUN (18-0)
2. MS (16-2)
3. IOL (12-5)
4. FAR (15-3)
5. KS (13-6)
6. KON (13-2)
7. KLH (17-6)
8. BAL (10-3)
9. STL (9-7)
10. HPA (4-2)

Punahou. Deep. Skilled. Fast. Entertaining! Ripe for the picking? Hmm… Maryknoll? The mercurial Spartans are feeling good after a fairly dominant win at ‘Iolani. If there’s a team as watchable as Punahou, it would be the running, gunning, carefree men of Sparta. Punahou and Maryknoll have played a zillion games already this season, but have carefully crafted their menus to avoid each other — until this week. It’s a telling week ahead for the Buffanblu, who will have ‘Iolani on Wednesday and Maryknoll on Friday. … The Raiders were hot and good until the loss to Maryknoll. Coaches will devise all kinds of schemes to offset opponents. How long until we see a defense go to a triangle-and-2 against the Spartans? Take the ball out of the hands of Josh Burnett and Kaleb Gilmore, and what would happen? This, I’d like to see. … I almost had Farrington at No. 2 on my ballot. Their only losses, apart from a 54-42 defeat at Punahou’s hands, were during the Punahou Invitational (Baldwin) and Merv Lopes Classic (Kamehameha) while the two bigs (Mason Semisi, Manly Williams) were gone at the Samoa Bowl. But the top 5 or 6 are so tightly competitive, I couldn’t penalize other teams because the Govs weren’t at full strength. Head-to-head competition is my biggest criteria, and if a few preseason basketball games weren’t top priority for a couple of players, so be it. I would’ve gone to the Samoa Bowl, too. But there’s no question that at full strength (or not), Farrington has a real shot to win the OIA and state championships. … Konawaena gets the nod among the second 5 thanks in large part to a comeback win over host Kalaheo at the Pete Smith Classic. … The Mustangs seem to have their legs back under them after a very busy preseason. They’re not the oldest, biggest boys on the block, but they have as much basketball IQ as any team. Getting Alec MacLeod back from injury is key. Alika Smith has just enough bench to get through tough games, but one injury can be a big issue. … The Bears fell to Lahainaluna over the weekend. They played so well against Farrington and Punahou three weeks ago. So is this a testament to the quality of MIL basketball? Or should Baldwin be ranked higher? Time will tell. … Saint Louis is probably not on a lot of ballots, but I saw them often in preseason and they were right there with the state’s better teams. Just a tough conference schedule. … Hawaii Prep at the 10 spot for me. Ka Makani are knocking off some big names in the BIIF — Hilo 61-53, Waiakea 69-60. They gave Farrington a tough battle three weeks ago before losing 55-49. They’re big, they’re smart and they are a legitimate D-II state title contender. But that 33-31 loss to Punahou II — a solid team regardless of classification — still stands out.

Bubbly: Waiakea (10-6), lost to HPA 69-60; Lahainaluna (14-5), lost to King Kekaulike, Maui; Hilo (10-7), lost to HPA twice; St. Francis (9-11), lost to HBA; Damien (8-4), lost to HBA, Moanalua; HBA (6-4), lost to Radford, McKinley, Kalani, Castle; Kahuku (10-5), lost to Kaiser; Kaiser (9-6), lost to Moanalua, Waiakea.

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