While the ILH sorts itself out through its gigantic pendulum and gauntlet, Kahuku is soaring high in the OIA East.
The Red Raiders made a massive jump in today’s Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10, moving from No. 10 to No. 4 after upsetting then-No. 3 Kalaheo last week. Since the return of Robbie Sauvao from California, Kahuku has won six in a row, including the 63-53 overtime win against the Mustangs.
“We’re proud of the boys. They continue to work hard every day,” Kahuku coach Brandyn Akana said. “This time of the year, it’s important to play great basketball. We’re still looking to improve on different aspects of the game. Anything can happen in the OIA. There are very good teams and they all play hard.”
Kamehameha (18-5, 5-0 ILH) collected all 10 first-place votes to remain at No. 1. With wins over Punahou (63-45, Saint Louis (66-57) and Mid-Pacific (57-36), the Warriors are creating some space between themselves and a good portion of the rugged ILH.
Another jump-starter is Saint Louis, which landed in the Top 10 for the first time this season. First-year Crusaders coach Dan Hale has seen his team make remarkable progress despite having a partial lineup much of the season due to football. Since losing the regular-season opener to Punahou (72-69), Saint Louis has wins over Damien (58-57) and ‘Iolani (53-29), along with losses to kamehameha and Maryknoll (39-35).
“It just shows how tough the ILH is this year. We are a work in progress for sure,” Hale said. “But it’s nice to be recognized for the hard work the guys are putting in.”
Another newcomer to the poll is Waiakea (11-2, 7-0 BIIF), which is at No. 10. The Warriors remained unbeaten in league play with wins over Pahoa and Keaau. The Warriors host rival Hilo tonight.
Two teams dropped out of the Top 10: Mid-Pacific and Kailua. MPI leaves the Top 10 on the same day its girls team was voted into the Girls Basketball Top 10 for the first time in 2019-20. Mid-Pacific defeated ‘Iolani and lost to Kamehameha last week. The Owls have more wins over Top 10 opponents, seven, than any other unranked team. In fact, the Owls as many or more Top 10 wins as six ranked teams. Kamehameha and Kalaheo also have seven, followed by Damien (five), Kahuku (two), Kaiser (one), Leilehua (one) and Kailua (none).
Also receiving votes: Mid-Pacific 13, Kailua 7, Mililani 2, Kohala 1, Moanalua 1.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10