‘Iolani rises to No. 2 as showdown with No. 1 Maryknoll nears

Shayden Molina (24) and the No. 2 'Iolani Raiders can stay in the regular-season title picture with a win over No. 1 Maryknoll on Tuesday. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

There are no trap games in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu boys basketball gauntlet.

None, nada, zilch. Zero is no hero for ILH coaches, who have gained a few white hairs over the course of a fan-pleasing, drama-filled season on the hardwood from top to bottom. Maryknoll remains at the top of the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10 today with nine of the 11 first-place votes cast by coaches and media.

Maryknoll (22-2, 8-1 ILH) led all teams for the third week in a row. The Spartans have also won five games in a row over Punahou, Mid-Pacific, St. Francis, Saint Louis and Punahou. A showdown of impactful proportions awaits on Tuesday when No. 2 ‘Iolani visits Maryknoll.

‘Iolani (19-6, 7-2 ILH) rose one notch to the second spot after three narrow wins last week: Saint Louis (60-55), Mid-Pacific (37-34) and St. Francis (70-66).

Punahou (22-4, 7-3 ILH) played without standout defender Kaulana Makaula, who visited USC on a football trip and committed to the Trojans. While the 6-foot-3 senior enjoyed his stay in LA, Punahou lost in overtime to St. Francis, 84-81. Two days later, the Buffanblu lost at Maryknoll, 51-39.

Makaula is back now and Punahou has a key game at ‘Iolani on Thursday.

Damien, this year’s Division II wunderkind, remains locked at No. 4. The Monarchs are still unbeaten in ILH D-II after a close 43-37 home win over Hawaii Baptist. The Monarchs are 7-2 against Top 10 teams, but haven’t played a ranked opponent since losing to Punahou on Dec. 22.

Moanalua (15-6, 7-1 OIA East) rose two spots to No. 5. Na Menehune have won seven in a row since losing their league opener at Farrington on Dec. 28.

St. Francis (18-15, 4-6 ILH) moved up three posts to No. 6 after an intriguing week that included the OT win at Punahou and a 70-66 loss at home to ‘Iolani. The Saints have home games against Kamehameha (Tuesday) and Mid-Pacific (Saturday) to close out the regular season of what could be the final boys varsity games in school history.

The Saints have an 8-14 record against Top 10 competition.

Lahainaluna (13-5, 8-0 MIL), Kailua (15-10, 7-2 OIA East), Mililani (11-5, 8-0 OIA West) and Farrington (12-8, 7-2 OIA East) round out the Top 10.

Farrington fell five spots to No. 10 after losing on the road to Kaiser, 62-53, and Roosevelt, 74-70.

Nine other teams received votes, a high for the 2018-19 season. Among them is Kapolei (12-7, 7-0 OIA West), which has just four votes less than Farrington. They were 4-4 without point guard Ja’Shon Carter, who returned for the start of the regular season and has fueled the Hurricanes’ unbeaten run.

Other teams that received votes: Kapolei 10, Saint Louis 8, Kalaheo 6, Waiakea 4, Hawaii Prep 3, Mid-Pacific 3, Lahainaluna 1, Leilehua 1, Roosevelt 1.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

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


  1. Mahatma Gandhi January 29, 2019 5:44 pm

    yeah, no trap games in the ILH cuz they all strong teams, all ILH schools recruiting OIA top players. I remember when Radford and Kalaheo ruled the OIA and was in the state basketball tournament every year. No more. Iolani Red Raiders have conceded football to St Louis and now they concentrate instead on winning the state basketball and volleyball. Both kane and wahine.

  2. !!! January 29, 2019 10:13 pm

    @ Gandhi

    Who has ‘Iolani “recruited” from any OIA school? Where is your proof? Yes, the football team has deminished since it’s previous greatness but they have improved since posting a 8-3 record. In all sports, ‘Iolani plays with what they have and the kids play their hearts out no matter their size or skill. Can’t go around making the excuse that schools like ‘iolani recruit so they can win championships in Basektball and Volleyball. Know your facts!!!

  3. ILH January 30, 2019 1:13 pm

    So, there is absolutely no recruiting going on at Iolani??

  4. Mahatma Gandhi January 30, 2019 5:01 pm

    !!!!, Iolani Red Raiders recruited Derek Low. Almost the entire 1983 state championship team was recruited by Mufi Hanneman. Kupaa Harrison was recruited from Kalaheo, but went back to Kalaheo when Iolani held out and did not cover 100% tuition. They was only covering 90% of the cost. So he went back to Kalaheo and led them to the state basketball championship a few years ago.
    That wahine on the state championship volleyball team. Ogilvie. Recruit – no doubt.
    The only chance the OIA has now is for a former ILH recruit to go back home.

  5. !!! February 1, 2019 10:05 am

    @ Gandhi

    That is was over 30 years ago, we are talking about this year. Ogilvie was not recruited, her older sister went to ‘Iolani and she has been going there from 7th grade I’m pretty sure. But you can keep to your beleifs, no problem.

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