See Part 1 here
>> Plateau moment for Owls
The Mid-Pacific Owls’ 2-0 start in ILH action has been neutralized by 3-point losses at Saint Louis and at ‘Iolani. In the mad scramble of ILH hoops, 2-2 is not a bad place to be. The regular-season champion will earn an automatic state berth, and that opportunity will reduce some teams to a crawl pace. Efficiency reigns over run-and-gun fun every year in the ILH.
>> Warrior uprising
For all the coming slowdowns in the ILH, Kamehameha is the contrary force. The Warriors are hitting 10, nine, eight treys per game, running the floor and using incredible depth and balance to make life tough on all foes.
>> Spartan siege
The Maryknoll Spartans had a fantastic second quarter en route to a win over neighboring Punahou on Saturday, yet are ranked two spots below the Buffanblu today. Why? Though each team is 1-3 in ILH play, Punahou had a strong preseason run and that lingering residue — voters had the Buffanblu at No. 1 for a stretch — remains.
>> No respect?
The Kalaheo Mustangs are unbeaten in OIA East play, but can’t seem to budge higher than No. 9. They’ve got a matchup with No. 1 Kaiser next Tuesday and Kekai Smith, their leading scorer in preseason, is expected back this week from a meniscus injury.
More than a few coaches have mentioned off-record that Kalaheo’s 100-point run-up on Anuenue recently was not proper etiquette, to put it nicely. Whether that affects the voting process, that’s up to voters, and each panelist is carving a ballot with both facts and opinions.
Kalaheo does have a resume of preseason losses that would side with the argument that No. 9 is where the Mustangs belong. But now is now, and they are 7-0 in a tough OIA East. Friday should settle some debates.
>> Tigers roar
The return of Dan Villejo (ACL) has given the McKinley Tigers (6-1 in league play) a major boost. They had already played a solid preseason and early OIA East season without the high-flying senior.
Whether there’s still pain in the knee or not, Villejo worked extremely hard in rehab since the injury just six months or so ago. With Huthifah Abdel Jawad and Kyle Moraga bringing court savvy, skill and experience, the Tigers manage games with a veteran vibe. Coach Duane Omori’s team seems to thrive when the game is close.
>> Also receiving…
The Lahainaluna Lunas are one of the most sound and balanced units in the state. When they were on Oahu in preseason, the Lunas played fairly well, though they didn’t really post a big signature win. They were running through the MIL, though, before being derailed over the weekend by Baldwin, 35-32. Leave it to longtime Bears coach Wayne Gushiken to lead his team to a grind-out win over the league’s front-runners.