Punahou collected nine of 13 possible first-place votes to land at No. 1 in the season debut of the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10 today.
This is the first time in recent memory that five Interscholastic League of Honolulu programs have occupied the first five positions in the poll.
The Buffanblu (9-1), with a stacked senior-heavy roster of immense talent, quickness and end-to-end defensive pressure, have not lost to a local team yet. They went 3-1 in the recent Classic at Damien in Edison, Calif.
The voting panel of coaches and media seemed to reward the teams that have played tougher schedules and beaten more ranked opponents. Kamehameha (8-1) and Maryknoll (10-2) received two first-place votes apiece. Kamehameha is already 5-0 against Top 10 foes.
Maryknoll was unbeaten, along with a 2-0 mark against Top 10 teams, until losing to Paraclete last week.
St. Francis, the defending Division II state champion, has played one of the tougher nonconference schedules and is 11-1. The Saints are 2-1 against ranked teams with wins over Kailua and Kalaheo and a close loss to No. 2 Kamehameha.
The Saints will get more opportunities to face D-I powerhouses during their St. Francis Invitational, which begins Tuesday. The field includes No. 1 Punahou, No. 6 Kahuku and No. 7 Kailua.
Kahuku has the top college prospect in the state, 6-foot-10 Tolu Smith, but are 0-2 against Top 10 teams. They lost to Kamehameha 61-33 and ‘Iolani 45-40 as Smith sat out with injuries during the OIA-ILH Challenge.
Kailua, Kalaheo, Kapolei follow Kahuku, and Kamehameha-Hawaii and Moanalua share the 10 spot. KS-Hawaii beat Kailua 49-46 and lost to Maryknoll 57-47 during the Cardinal Classic more than a week ago.
Also receiving votes were Kaiser and Lahainluna (seven), Leilehua (five), Roosevelt (four), Campbell (three) and Saint Louis (one).
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10