There is no No. 1 boys basketball team in the state, but the Saint Louis Crusaders would certainly be Exhibit A.
Jydon Hall poured in 18 points and AJ Bianco added 13 with nine rebounds as Saint Louis overpowered North Shore Basketball 59-45 on Wednesday night at T.C. Ching Athletic Center. The Crusaders are now 7-0 in exhibition play since the high school basketball season was cancelled.
Saint Louis got a backdoor pass by Malu Ing for a dunk by 6-foot-4 junior Aiva Arquette in the opening moments. The Crusaders stormed to a 34-21 halftime lead en route to victory. Arquette tallied 11 points and eight boards for the home team and Kache Kaio chipped in eight points off the bench.
“Kahuku (North Shore) is a pretty good team. A little smaller than past Kahuku teams, but very scrappy, played tough and made us play hard for four quarters,” said Hall, a senior guard.
The question that lingers, even without an official high school game in the 2020-21 season, is whether unbeaten Saint Louis is the best boys basketball squad in the state.
“I believe it is fair to consider Saint Louis No. 1 because we are a very versatile team, both offensively and defensively,” said Hall, the Crusaders leading scorer. “And we have a great coaching staff.”
Saint Louis amassed 29 deflections against a club team comprised of Kahuku players. North Shore finished with 22 turnovers while Saint Louis had just 11.
North Shore is coached by former Kahuku player Keali‘i Naihe.
The game video is available on the Saint Louis School Facebook page.
Hall played at Damien for two seasons before transferring to live with his father, James, in Georgia, as a junior. While Hawaii’s basketball season was nixed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the playmaker they call “Boogie” has no regrets about coming home.
“Georgia is in regional playoffs right now. I didn’t really think about going back because my mom (Gina Gibo) them are here, to help them out during this time. I really like Saint Louis a lot. It’s a good fit for me. Coach Dan (Hale) is a good coach. My Uncle Mark (Revuelto) is an assistant coach,” he said.
Saint Louis will host Imua — comprised of Kamehameha players — on Friday, then club teams of Kalaheo and Punahou (Buff Nation) players next week. The Crusaders defeated Imua in a previous matchup a few weeks ago.