D-I champ Maryknoll finishes No. 1; D-II champ Damien is No. 3

Maryknoll is the 2018-19 Division I boys basketball state champion. Photo by Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Defense is no cliche in 2019.

The Maryknoll Spartans proved it, capturing the boys basketball state championship and closing the season at No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10.

Only four times in 32 games was an opponent able to reach the 50-point mark, and only one of those teams still managed to beat Maryknoll. The Spartans limited Punahou to a season-low 34 points in the state final on Saturday.

Maryknoll (30-2) held the pole position in the rankings for the final seven weeks of the season.

Punahou (29-6) finished at No. 2. Only three teams beat the Buffanblu this season. One of them was Maryknoll, which defeated the Spartans in all four meetings.

Division II state champion Damien (28-2) closed at No. 3. The Monarchs received one first-place vote and were the only team in the Top 10 to beat Maryknoll — during a preseason game at the Punahou Invitational. They were 9-2 against Top 10 foes, splitting games with Punahou and St. Francis. Damien overwhelmed OIA D-II champion Farrington in the state final 73-50.

‘Iolani (23-12), the third place team out of the ILH, is at No. 4. The Raiders stunned OIA champion Moanalua on Moanalua’s home court in the state quarterfinal round before losing to Punahou in a nail-biter, 48-42.

OIA champion Moanalua and runner-up Kailua finished in a tie at No. 5. In the state quarterfinals, Moanalua (21-8) led ‘Iolani by seven points in the fourth quarter before succumbing in OT. It was the only homecourt loss of the season for Na Menehune, who were 10-0 there prior to the state tourney.

Kailua (20-14) moved up after reaching the semifinal round of the big dance. The Surfriders lost in overtime to Moanalua in the OIA final, then ousted Kalaheo and Waiakea at the state tournament before losing to top seed Maryknoll. The Surfriders went 2-7 against ILH teams.

St. Francis (22-17) slipped a spot to No. 7 despite not playing a game since the ILH playoffs. The Saints went 10-2 against OIA teams, including 4-2 against D-I state qualifiers from the OIA.

Kapolei (20-9), the OIA’s third-place team, won at Baldwin in the opening round of the state tourney, then lost to top seed Maryknoll. The Hurricanes defeated Waiakea and Moanalua in consolation play, but it wasn’t enough to sway voters. Kapolei remained at No. 8.

Farrington (17-10), the second seed in the D-II state tourney, eliminated Kauai and Hawaii Prep before losing to Damien in the final. The Governors escalated a notch to No. 9 in the final poll.

MIL champion Lahainaluna (18-7) lost to Punahou and Moanalua at the state tourney and slipped a spot to No. 10.

At one point, 19 teams received at least one vote in the Top 10. Just three weeks ago, 18 teams drew at least one point. In this final Top 10, BIIF champion Waiakea received 12 votes and BIIF runner-up Hawaii Prep and Kamehameha, one of only two teams to beat Maryknoll, also received a vote.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

Updated: 10/23
1.Kahuku (10)100
5.Saint Louis53


  1. spartans February 26, 2019 2:16 pm

    damien getting 1 vote is idiotic

  2. Damien Fan February 26, 2019 3:31 pm

    What so idiotic about that we did beat you once? Why not they deserve a number 1 vote.

  3. KalihiFB February 26, 2019 3:46 pm

    #2 I agree. When Damien beat both Maryknoll and Punahou once in the regular season, they deserve at least 1 vote.

  4. JetWavy February 26, 2019 4:58 pm

    This is exactly why there is no benefit for a Division 1 team to play a D2 team in the pre-season especially when it is apparent that D2 is really a Division 1 team. If they beat you in pre-season back in November/December, it won’t matter if you win the D1 state championship, people will still harp on that one game three months ago and claim they are better than you. I wouldn’t be surprised if they give the Gatorade award to a D2 player again for the second year.

  5. ??? February 26, 2019 7:01 pm

    It doesn’t matter who beat who.
    The only thing that matters is the State Championship KOA Trophy that Maryknoll & Damien both won. Everything else is just
    “He said, She said”,
    “Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve”
    Congratulations to both teams!

  6. ??? February 26, 2019 7:02 pm

    It doesn’t matter who beat who.
    The only thing that matters is the State Championship KOA Trophy that Maryknoll & Damien both won. Everything else is just
    “He said, She said”,
    “Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve”
    Congratulations to both teams!

  7. Spartans February 27, 2019 8:18 am

    its idiotic. Damien LOST to Punahou and St Franics. Maryknoll hasn’t lost to them once this year. And it was preseason for gods sake against a D2 team. You think a bunch fo 16-17 year kids will take a div2 team seriously in preseason when it has no bearing on their goals? Use common sense people

  8. go govs February 27, 2019 8:43 am

    spartans. did you watch the damien vs maryknoll game. damien dominated them from start to finish, and they had their best guys in the whole game. it wasn’t a scrimmage, it was a real tournament game that maryknoll was definitely trying to win, as you would’ve seen by coagh Grant’s actions. as for punahou beating them or st francis, the game against punahou didn’t start to turn until damiens 2 bigs got in foul trouble for the first times, and not since. st francis was a different story, they clearly had the better game plan and were lighting up damien with their 3’s. you can say that maryknoll never lost to st francis or punahou, they also didn’t beat damien. and damien also didn’t lose to kamehameha.

  9. go govs February 27, 2019 4:55 pm

    spartan- as for common sense, do you actually believe that 16-17 year old kids would not want to win a tournament,game against 14-16 year old kids from d-2 and risk elimination, where they would have no chance to redeem themselves? that’s a cool story, maryknoll enters tournaments for reps, not to win.

  10. spartans February 27, 2019 10:34 pm

    lol i was at the game. the kids were lethargic and didn’t seem to care to punch back when they were down. and what does coach grant’s actions have to do with it LOL. Of course he wants to win, he’s hardcore and he wants to win every game. coach grants actions can be as fierce as a LION lol, fact is players play not coaches. these are kids, this is preseason with NOTHING on the line. Just because its nothing on the line doesn’t mean they don’t want to win. But its human nature to not care as much especially in the preseason. If you think these kids play just as hard physically and with mental execution in the preseason vs regular season and post season I’ll just laugh. I watched majority of their games this season, and there’s clearly a difference from game 1 till the last game.

    but lets deal with the facts, Damien beat Punahou and st francis the first time, they got beat down the second time. Maryknoll didn’t have a chance to come back the second time with more focus and execution like Punahou and st francis did. Especially when punahou beat down their asses the second time. You complain about foul trouble with Punahou? Do you know what Maryknoll and Punahou did to every division 1 team this year is put them in foul trouble lol. You act like its a rare thing. Div1 regular season is another beast in physicality and if you don’t recognize that I can’t help you. Its quite simple, Punahou beat down Damien, and Saint francis got them too especially after Punahou took them seriously.

    Of course damien didn’t lose to Kamehameha, they don’t play in a stronger Div1 where’d they get abused by the likes of Iolani punahou maryknoll and for gods sake saint francis!!!!!!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    I’ll give you this, with all the seniors graduation at maryknoll punahou and iolani, I think damien will win the title next year div1. Unless there’s some magical recruiting thats gonna happen with punahou, i don’t see anyone beating damien except maybe kamehameha who is also infused with some good young talent.

  11. go govs February 28, 2019 7:45 am

    lol. so the coach wanting to win, means the team didn’t want to win. maryknoll was playing their asses off and was lethargic because they couldn;t keep up with damien. now if you watched the 2nd punahou game, that game was suspect. that was damien’s 5th game in a row and against much harder competition. also damien had the lead for 2 1/2 quarters until the bigs got in foul trouble. damien is a younger team and yes if they keep it up they may win the d-1 title next year. but to dismiss what they did this year is not fair. we can go on with what ifs or could’ve have happened, but the what we do know is that damien did beat maryknoll and kamehameha at the punahou tournament. i’m not saying maryknoll shouldn’t be number 1, i’m saying that 1 first place vote isn’t a stretch.. even selitto thought damien is the better team.

  12. Loca1boiAnonymous February 28, 2019 3:34 pm

    A D2 team should never be above the D1 state champ I don’t care how good people think they are. By declaring D2, the athletic department makes a conscious decision to not compete at the lower level of Hawaii prep basketball.

  13. go govs February 28, 2019 6:53 pm

    Loca1boiAnonymous-D-2 Farrington was ranked #5, above all other oia d-1 schools, and beat a lot of D-1 schools on their way to states. the way you’re making it sound as in college football where teams are rated by conference not ability. in hindsight, yes, Damien should’ve been in d-1. but they haven’t even won a d-2 title and the team was young and new. no one really knew how good of a team they would become. well either way, they will be d-1 next year and will have a chance to prove that they are worthy.

  14. Loca1boiAnonymous February 28, 2019 7:25 pm

    @go govs

    Damien went to the D2 finals just last season. How did they not think they weren’t going to be competitive? I refuse to believe they had no idea they were getting the 6’7″ transfer either. How midpac can run with the big boys season after season but damien and saint Francis wasnt willing? They face the same challenges as both those schools and still played up D1.

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