March Madness: What if it was one division?

Mid-Pacific's Daniel Florenco battled two Maryknoll players for the ball in a game earlier this season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Mid-Pacific’s Daniel Florenco battled two Maryknoll players for the ball in a game earlier this season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

The Mad Librarian (my editor, Jerry Campany) asked.

When the Mad Librarian asks, the translation to plain English is, just do it.

So here goes. He wants me to seed the entire high school basketball universe in our beloved and beautiful islands. Mad Librarian is not a fan of classification in basketball. He echoes the spirit of prep hoops in Indiana, where the tiniest of burbs and old villes have a shot at the biggest throne because it is the only throne. One division. One title. One trophy available to all, earned by only the very, very best.


And no, I have never seen Hoosiers. Yet.

Pupule’s 1-through-64 (by request, not my idea, sheesh, I have other things to do like edit a zillion prep basketball games from the 2015-16 season and the recent PIAA Letter-of-Intent signing ceremony).

The first step is to grade the teams. Unfortunately, there are some very good teams that have a limited base of data when it comes to strength of schedule, Is it the fault of a neighbor-island team that they don’t have the funds to travel to Oahu and play many of the state’s best teams in preseason? No. (The return of the Superferry could and would change all that, but that’s another blog post for later.)

So I’ll try to take that into consideration even though head-to-head means almost everything in my Pupule criteria whether it’s a weekly Top 10 ballot or anything wacky. Like this. I’m going on head-to-head, overall and league win-loss records and, though this shouldn’t be too large a factor, current momentum. How hot are you?

Gold in them thar’ hills
Kaiser
Kalaheo
Leilehua
Saint Louis
Punahou
‘Iolani
Kamehameha
Maryknoll
Mid-Pacific

Silver, the underrated metal
McKinley
Moanalua
Kahuku
Kailua
Pearl City
St. Francis
University
Waiakea
Konawaena
Kamehameha-Hawaii
Lahainaluna
Kaimuki

Bronze, they named an Age after you
Farrington
Kapolei
Waianae
Radford
Mililani
Campbell
Kalani
Roosevelt
Aiea
Waipahu
Waialua
Nanakuli
Le Jardin
Damien
Kamehameha I-AA
Punahou I-AA
‘Iolani I-AA
Saint Louis I-AA
Hilo
Keaau
Kealakehe
Honokaa
Pahoa
Hawaii Prep
St. Joseph
Kohala
Baldwin
King Kekaulike
Maui
Seabury Hall
Molokai

Aluminum, so valuable, they recycle you for the good of mankind over and over
Castle
Hanalani
HBA
Maryknoll I-AA
Damien II
Assets
Island Pacific
Lanakila Baptist
Hawaiian Mission
Christian Academy
Kamehameha-Maui
Lanai

Copper, once ignored, now stripped from public utilities by thieves
Anuenue
Ka‘u
Laupahoehoe
Hana

Categorized, but not defined. Time for some research. And some shuffling. Big shuffle.

That’s 71 total teams and the Mad Librarian wants a bracketed field. This means that teams 58 through 71 will be in play-in (a.k.a. “Pig tail”) matchups. But first, there’s the seeding.

1. Kaiser (24-4, 10-1 OIA East). The Cougars have been mostly up with a down here and there. With ILH teams clubbing each other off the perch, Kaiser kind of gets the top seed by default, but those of us who’ve seen them all season know they are the real deal.

2. ‘Iolani (13-8, 6-4 ILH). This is unfair. The four teams that finished tied in first place in the ILH are equal, no doubt. But for the sake of this exercise, I have to seed them and I’ll go with the Raiders for now. They have the depth to endure through tiebreaker playoffs, league playoffs, state tournaments. Dean Shimamoto goes 10 deep sometimes, and at least earlier in the season, the young guns showed great composure and timing.

3. Punahou (21-6, 6-4 ILH). From what I saw in their win AT Saint Louis last night, they can play uptempo small ball and halfcourt post-first basketball with great efficiency now. Not bad for a team that was 1-4 halfway through the ILH season.

4. Kamehameha (13-10, 6-4 ILH). This team is dependent on 3-point shooting, but they have so many shooters and playmakers that it usually works out. Underrated post defense, perhaps, and the shooting range of 6-4 Kobe Young has proven to be a huge difference-maker.

5. Saint Louis (20-5, 6-4 ILH). Three losses in a row, but still a juggernaut. Erratic free-throw shooting and youth in the backcourt have been question marks, but that could change quickly.

6. Leilehua (15-5, 10-0 OIA West). The Mules have won 12 in a row since losing to Farrington in an ‘Iolani Classic consolation game on Dec. 19. Their resume is impressive: a win over MIL power Lahainaluna, a split with Saint Louis, a win over Kamehameha, along with a win over Kahuku and a close loss to Punahou.

7. Maryknoll (20-9, 3-7 ILH). A three-game skid for a team this young (two seniors) could be shattering, but with the league playoffs around the corner, the Spartans could easily be the spoilers. Possibly the best fifth-place team in ILH history. If they make a run to the playoff tourney final and secure a state berth, that becomes definitely, not possibly.

8. Mid-Pacific (10-13, 3-7). Owls fans have seen the rise and the fall. Courage under fire. Players rebounding from injuries. Lineup shakeups. Ryan Hirata has done everything possible to extract every last bit of effort from this roster. Can these Owls write some history? Can they become One Team?

9. Kalaheo (20-6, 9-2 OIA). This is a tough one. Pre-Kekai Smith injury, this was a Top 5 team. The man formerly known as the defensive stopper was raining shots from all over the court, then suffered a meniscus injury. He’s winding back into pre-injury form. Will he regain his touch soon? It’s an unknown quantity. This is a good team without Smith. They could be a great team with him, even with a shortage of bulk in the front court.

10. McKinley (14-9, 9-3 OIA). The Tigers get the nod over Kailua because of head-to-head. They also play as good a crunch time game, i.e. clock and game management, as almost any team I’ve seen this year. They have heady, experienced guards, a luxury in relatively low supply around the OIA this season.

11. Kailua (17-10, 7-5 OIA). Given the ups and downs of the season, the Surfriders still have nice balance and brute strength in the low post. Not a matter of if, but when they put together their best game. Noah Auld, Christian Mejia and Hano Kohatsu may be the finest Kailua front court since the George Puou years.

12. Moanalua (13-12, 8-4 OIA). Na Menehune are a classic team on the cusp. There’s enough talent and heart here to beat the teams they should beat, and enough to stay close to the upper-echelon teams. Can they take that leap?

13. Kahuku (13-11, 7-5 OIA). They beat some solid teams like Lahainaluna and University in preseason, and in the midst of extreme distraction (coach suspended, lawsuit, parents overinvolvement, principal yanking support of a coach she hired, etc.), the Red Raiders still performed on the court. They beat Kalaheo at Punahou’s tourney. Almost beat Leilehua. But that was then. Now, with everybody intact and Alan Akina back* at head coach, this roster has to potential to make a deep run unless Akina plays everybody equal minutes as dictated by his principal, reportedly.

* Note: Akina won his lawsuit against the school and two of the players’ parents, but also agreed to stay out of the program and never apply for the position again. He did not return to the bench.

14. St. Francis (22-5, 11-1 ILH D-II). The Saints’ miraculous season continues. They were 11-0 in ILH D-II play at one point and have been solid since preseason when they knocked off Lahainaluna. The Lunas later got even in a tournament on Maui. There aren’t a ton of huge wins on the register, but close losses to Kalaheo (pre-Kekai Smith injury) and Mid-Pacific are evidence that the Saints may be ready for Division I quite soon, if not right now.

15. Lahainaluna (17-7, 10-1 MIL). Frankly, as solid as the Lunas are, I expected a bit more when they came to Oahu in preseason. Still a spooky matchup for most teams at states. Good size, solid teamwork and defense.

16. Waiakea (18-3, 11-0 BIIF). The Warriors never left the Big Island in preseason, yet have run the table so far, handing second-place Konawaena its only league defeat.

17. Konawaena (10-2, 10-1 BIIF). The Wildcats are very young. Talented, but relatively inexperienced, and yet Donald Awa has them near the top of the BIIF again.

18. University (19-6, 9-3 ILH D-II). The Junior Rainbows posted some nice wins in preseason, but haven’t figured out St. Francis (two losses), and then lost to Le Jardin on Thursday night. The unit isn’t deep, and if they’re starting to hit the wall now, that’s not great news with just two D-II state-tourney berths available.

19. Baldwin (9-7, 8-3 MIL). They’ve got some MIL losses, but bonus points from me for that upset win over Lahainaluna. Among the Bears’ early losses: Kailua, St. Francis, University, Waiakea.

20. Kamehameha-Hawaii (20-4, 9-3 BIIF). The Warriors’ losses have been to University (46-38), Honokaa (58-55), Waiakea (66-62) and Konawaena (62-41). The latter game was at Konawaena, and that 2.5-hour trip (each way) is an energy drainer to da max.

21. Kaimuki (12-13, 7-4 OIA). Yes, they have early losses against University and KS-Hawaii. But the Bulldogs have come a long way under Greydon Espinda, posting wins over Kailua (on the road), Roosevelt (on the road) and McKinley.

22. Farrington (8-18, 4-7 OIA). One of the youngest teams in the state (three freshmen on the roster) had its moments. The Governors upset Leilehua at the ‘Iolani Classic and closed the season with a 67-61 win at Kahuku. If the underclassmen return intact and academic issues clear up, this might be one of the top teams in the OIA in 2016-17.

23. Roosevelt (8-14, 4-8 OIA). The extremely young Rough Riders have been scrappy in the East, losing by one to Kailua (55-54), upsetting Kaiser (which didn’t have Chance Kalaugher) and beating Waipahu in the D-II playoffs on Thursday night.

24. Kalani (9-13, 5-7 OIA). The Falcons have been a team of streaks. A close 64-59 loss to Kamehameha in Week 1, then four wins in a row against D-I teams (including Pearl City and Mid-Pacific), then 10 losses in a row. Since then, they’ve won four in a row, all against OIA D-II teams. They play Aiea in tonight’s D-II playoffs at Leilehua. Their losses include Farrington (70-66), Kaimuki (65-57), McKinley (32-27), Kailua (47-40) and Kahuku (45-37). They avenged the Farrington loss by winning 47-45 in a rematch.

25. Damien (10-9, 7-4 ILH D-II). Best loss in preseason: 53-48 against Kaiser. The Monarchs upset St. Francis on Tuesday after a close loss to University last week. They also routed Le Jardin (90-57) and HBA (91-57) recently. Hottest team in ILH D-II? Maybe.

26. Kapolei (12-8, 7-4 OIA). This team really struggled early, but even then, was scrappy and competitive. Coach Gary Ellison got what he could out of this group, which was athletic, but not quite the skilled team Kapolei had a few seasons back. The season ended on Thursday with a 46-44 home playoff loss to Kailua — a team the Hurricanes beat 35-34 in preseason at Kailua.

27. King Kekaulike (6-6, 6-6 MIL). Na Alii are the definition of middling (.500), but they have a home win over Baldwin, and lost to the Bears by just four points on the road. They play a D-I only schedule in the MIL, otherwise they probably would fare much better in D-II. In other words, credit to King K for staying in D-I. Wasn’t that long ago that they were at the elite level of the MIL.

28. Kapaa (6-2 KIF). Have no idea how good this team is except this: the KIF champion is usually very competitive at the D-II state tourney, and Kapaa is closing in.

29. Le Jardin (16-7, 8-4 ILH D-II). Some folks don’t even know where this campus is (Windward Oahu), but since a close 60-54 loss to Kaiser in late November, Kenny Powell’s team has really believed in infinite possibilities. They won 12 of 13 games until taking it on the chin against ILH D-II powers St. Francis (twice) and University. Since losing to Damien, LJA has won three in a row, including wins over HBA and University. Powell’s rotation is tight, but he has 6-5, 6-4 and 6-3 contributors in the post. Not your usual small-school lineup.

30. Honokaa (10-6, 6-4 BIIF). The Dragons have wins on the road over Roosevelt, Radford and Pearl City, along with losses on the road to Le Jardin, Farrington, Moanalua and Mililani.

31. Keaau (7-9, 5-7 BIIF). The Cougars lost a close game to KS-Hawaii (54-48) in Week 1, and then lost to Waiakea (61-58) in Week 3. By Week 5, they began a seven-game losing streak (Pahoa, Waiakea, honokaa, Konawaena, Kealakehe, St. Joseph, KS-Hawaii). Five of the losses were by single digits, including a 6-point loss at Pahoa, and a 4-point loss to Konawaena. They’ve won their last four, including a 59-56 win over Hilo.

32. Hawaii Prep (8-6, 6-5 BIIF). Ka Makani opened nicely with close wins over Kohala and Waiakea. Of late, they’ve lost five of their last seven. They have wins at Honokaa and Hilo, but also lost to Keaau, Waiakea, Konawaena and KS-Hawaii on those arduous, deep horseshoe-in-the-gulch drives down the Hamakua Coast.

33. Pahoa (9-6, 5-4 BIIF). The Daggers have dropped a level since their heyday in the state Division II picture, but they are still rolling in the BIIF. Keinan Agonias is one of the top scorers in the state.

34. Hilo (5-9, 5-6 BIIF). Tough to read the Vikings, who are bouncing back from a down season last year. They beat Honokaa on the road, but ended up with a losing record in league play.

35. Pearl City (11-8, 8-2 OIA). Lionel Villarmia constantly keeps the Chargers sharp. He’s one of the coaches who gets every drop of sweat out of his team on both ends of the floor. This team struggled early with five losses out of the gate with close games against Kailua, Honokaa and Le Jardin, plus losses to Maryknoll and Kalani.

36. Seabury Hall (9-2, 9-1 MIL D-II). They’ve played nothing but D-II teams, but the one score that stands out is a preseason 64-62 loss to St. Francis.

37. Kauai (6-3). The Red Raiders lost to Kapaa 46-38 last week.

38. Maui (4-8, 4-7 MIL). A bunch of close losses on the ledger, including an 83-79 loss to D-II power St. Francis. Can the Sabers get over the hump?

39. Punahou I-AA (10-6, 6-1 ILH I-AA). Despite their recent 60-56 loss at Kamehameha I-AA, they get the slight nod from me for their overall body of work. The Buffanblu have wins over Waianae, Waipahu, HBA, Farrington, plus close losses to Kalaheo (63-56) — when Kekai Smith of Kalaheo was healthy — Kahuku (42-41) and Cleveland (Ore.).


40. Waipahu (9-12, 3-8 OIA). The Marauders have been scrappy all season, posting wins on the road at Kaimuki and Mililani. Their season ended on Thursday with a 52-51 playoff loss to Roosevelt.

41. Castle (12-18, 2-9 OIA). The D-II Knights are heading in the right direction under Neil Bowers. The East, though, can be a beast and Castle finished the season with a six-game losing streak, including a 58-54 loss to Moanalua and a 47-42 loss to last year’s D-II state runner-up, Kalani. One of the many reasons all this comparison and weighing is all for naught: Castle beat St. Francis 49-48 at the Saints’ tournament on Dec. 28. St. Francis went on to dominate ILH D-II while Castle struggled in the OIA East.

42. St. Joseph (8-9, 4-5 BIIF). Lost to Campbell 36-34 at the St. Francis tourney, then beat Nanakuli 48-35, and Kamehameha I-AA 46-41.

43. Kamehameha I-AA (13-7, 7-1 ILH I-AA). It’s often true about the “second teams” at the ILH’s power schools. There’s enough talent left over to compete at any level statewide. The Warriors played outstanding basketball in a recent win over Punahou I-AA, and they may have one of the loudest fan bases in the state. Still, it’s impossible to ignore their resume: losses to Aiea, Waipahu and Castle. One of their better wins was over Roosevelt, which interestingly enough beat Waipahu on the road.

44. Aiea (8-11, 6-4 OIA). Na Alii have a win over KS I-AA, but the rest of their non-West results are underwhelming. That was in December, though, and they enter tonight’s D-II playoff game at Kalani with three wins in their last four games. Whatever happens tonight, they’re getting results at Aiea with a strong feeder program. Aiea could make a run to the D-I or D-II state tourney next year.

45. Hawaii Baptist (14-12, 3-9 ILH). The Eagles are the epitome of a finesse team. They haven’t been burly in the paint since Isaac Liva transferred to Mililani, but they’ve kept things very interesting by running the floor and letting the long-distance bombs fly. Micah Mitchell’s 47-point, 13-trey performance against Le Jardin on Jan. 12 is one of the most memorable achievements in the state. Their league mark in a tough ILH D-II is mediocre, but this team beat Kauai, Kapaa, Waimea, ‘Iolani I-AA, Saint Louis I-AA, Maryknoll I-AA and Campbell in nonconference play. But a true definer came in the St. Francis tournament final, a 20-point loss to University.

46. Saint Louis I-AA (6-12, 2-5 ILH I-AA). The Crusaders are another team that defined their boundaries early. They lost to HBA 76-61 in Week 2, their opener. Then routed Damien II by 43. Their turnaround win may have come against Roosevelt, a 41-38 win. Then came a 20-point win over a competitive Assets squad.

47. Damien II (10-3, 9-2 ILH D-III). This is a very interesting scenario where a school that doesn’t play basketball in Division I has enough bodies to field teams in D-II and D-III. It’s worked well for the Monarchs, who lost to Saint Louis I-AA by 43 in mid-December, then ran off nine wins in a row, including a win over Maryknoll I-AA. This might push the argument that Damien II should’ve been in ILH I-AA. That might’ve been a stronger point a week ago when Damien II was unbeaten in league play. They lost twice to Island Pacific since, then barely got past the tough Assets Admirals.

48. Assets (8-6, 7-4 ILH D-III). The Admirals took their lumps early against Le Jardin and Saint Louis I-AA. I’d love to see this turn into a Cinderella story just because few have faced underdog scenarios like the kids at Assets have. But for all their wins over IPA, LBA and HMA, there are losses to Damien II. The ILH D-III winner advances to the D-II playoffs, and right now, unless there’s a D-III playoff system, it looks like one of the best Assets teams in school history is closing its season out tonight.

49. Waialua (6-13, 3-8 OIA). This is debatable, as everything here is quantifiably pupule. But I like Waialua in this spot despite a loss to Radford (below). The Bulldogs routed Kamehameha I-AA by 27 in Week 1 and Maryknoll I-AA by 25 in Week 2. They also beat ‘Iolani I-AA and Saint Louis I-AA, and lost to a good Damien team close (82-79). This may have been one of the best Waialua teams in some time. Yes, they lost to a good D-III team (Assets) 53-48, but they also beat Waianae on the road, and a majority of their losses in the West against much bigger schools were in single-digit margins. The Bulldogs lost at Kalani 52-45 on Thursday in the D-II playoffs. One day, there may be a D-III state tourney for lower enrollment schools like Waialua. That would be a good fit.

50. Waianae (8-14, 5-6 OIA). The Seariders have enough athleticism to stay close to some of the better D-I teams (a 57-53 loss to Moanalua, 55-51 loss to Mililani). They’ve eked out four close wins in a row during the middle of January. But they closed the regular season with a 39-30 loss to Pearl City, then fell to Kahuku 55-39 in the playoffs.

51. Radford (11-14, 4-7 OIA). The Rams competed, hustled and never really posted a signature win, though there were several close losses. They lost at Moanalua 58-54 in the playoffs on Thursday.

52. Mililani (7-16, 4-7 OIA). This team showed raw potential in preseason, giving Lahainaluna a battle (40-37 loss), same with then-No. 1 Punahou (74-68 loss). When they met Punahou again a week later, it was still close (66-62 loss). Since then, it’s been a bumpy road. I imagined a front court of Isaac Liva and Kalakaua Timoteo would rock the West. Instead, they finished the regular season with losses to Pearl City and Radford, then lost at McKinley 48-40 in the playoffs. Timoteo, who recently signed to play football at UH, missed more than half of their league games.

53. Waimea. Third in the KIF.

54. Campbell (6-17, 3-7 OIA). The Sabers are feeling the effects of losing a strong two years worth of talent. They posted wins over the West’s D-II teams like Waialua and Waipahu, but lost a string of heartbreakingly close games against the rest.

55. Nanakuli (7-15, 2-8 OIA). The Golden Hawks showed some promise early with a win over Farrington, but after losing to Roosevelt in late December at the St. Francis tournament, won two West games before losing eight in a row. That included a crucial 60-54 road loss to Waialua late in the season, and they weren’t able to qualify for the D-II playoffs.

56. Island Pacific (6-7, 6-6 ILH D-II). The Navigators have ridden a choppy season. It’s been better of late with four wins in their last five contests.

57. ‘Iolani I-AA (4-9, 3-4 ILH I-AA). The Raiders created some distinct lines from the start, losing by 18 to Waianae and by 2 to HBA before handling Hanalani 64-49. They’re in the middle of the pack of ILH I-AA, ahead of Saint Louis I-AA and Maryknoll I-AA.

58. Kohala (4-11, 4-6 BIIF). Down year for a very young team, but they’ve battled on most nights. Some memorable names on the roster from a generation ago: Emeliano, Hook.

59. Kealakehe (3-9, 3-7 BIIF). I always thought the Waveriders would become a powerhouse. There’s a lot of athletes in the area, and a lot of kids who love basketball. But it was Konawaena and the Stingrays program that has feasted in boys and girls basketball, not Kailua-Kona and Palisades.

60. Molokai (8-4, 8-4 MIL D-II). The Farmers have taken one win from Seabury Hall in four matchups. They also lost to Lanai last week.

61. Lanai (5-5, 5-5 MIL D-II). The Pine Lads would love to snag one of the league’s two state-tourney berths. Beating Molokai last week was a step in that direction.

62. Hanalani (3-15, 3-9 ILH D-II). The Royals pulled out a 72-60 win over HBA two weeks ago, but it’s been rough sledding in ILH D-II most nights.

63. Lanakila Baptist (5-10, 4-6 ILH D-III). The Warriors are among the teams that don’t have a gym of their own. Several years ago, they started rising in D-II, playing tough against the likes of University. In D-III today, they’re right in the thick of things with a slew of close wins and losses.

64. Hawaiian Mission (2-10, 2-10 ILH D-III). The Knights ended a 10-game losing streak with wins over Lanakila Baptist and Island Pacific.

65. Christian Academy (1-17, 0-11 ILH D-II). It’s been a rough go for the Patriots in ILH D-II. In D-III, they have enough to finish near the top. In D-II, their youth is a factor.

66. Ka‘u (1-16, 1-11 BIIF). The Trojans may be a mystery to folks on other islands, but they have a pretty solid history if you look back before the new century. The close of the plantation hurt many communities and schools, but this group has given Pahoa and Hawaii Prep some good battles. One of the best players to come out of Ka‘u was Wesley Martinez, a high-flying 6-2 swingman. He transferred to Hilo for his senior year to play with his buddy, point guard Justin Mandaquit. The Vikings won the state title that year, 2000.

67. Maryknoll I-AA (0-17, 0-7 ILH I-AA). The Spartans came close, losing 49-41 to Saint Louis I-AA last week. Among their losses is a 56-38 game against D-III Christian Academy. Things may have been much smoother had Michael Mercado-Smith remained on the team, but he was promoted to the D-I roster and has become an integral part of that Top 10 squad.

68. Hana (0-12, 0-12 MIL D-II). The Dragons are scoring points, somewhat, but haven’t been up to par against Molokai, Lanai and Seabury Hall. Another case for a tiny school that needs D-III.

69. Kamehameha-Maui (0-11, 0-11 MIL). It might be interesting to do a comparison between the two neighbor-island campuses of Kamehameha Schools. On the Big Island, the KS boys program developed into a powerhouse and remains highly competitive despite — or possibly because of — a culture of strong basketball tradition. In the MIL, where basketball isn’t quite as ingrained throughout the league, the Upcountry campus hasn’t experienced a lot of success. Maybe there just aren’t enough basketball players with elite skill and talent to go around the MIL, though KS-Maui’s neighbors down the road, King Kekaulike, has been a strong team the past few years. KS-Hawaii has the fortune of being located in an area that develops quite a bit of talent, and they can pull from other areas around the Big Island, where basketball in some ways is king. KS-Maui can end the skid with a win over Maui on Saturday.

70. Anuenue (0-15, 0-11 OIA). Na Koa are young, and though their middle school had some promising talent in recent years, keeping the talent there is a challenge. A good number of the players at this Hawaiian immersion school come from all over the island. This makes developing an offseason program a major challenge for the school deep in the heart of Palolo Valley. Another valid case for Division III or IV.

71. Laupahoehoe (0-10, 0-10 BIIF). At the smallest (I believe) school in the state — enrollment was in the 200s in the 1990s and is less than half that now — it’s a minor miracle that a basketball team exists. The days of great talent like Shon Malani (who later transferred to Hilo), the Lukzen and Ah Choy brothers, all a distant memory now. This is a program that desperately needs Division III or even IV.

FROM JERRY CAMPANY:

If those teams were stacked up in a 68-yeam bracket, the bottom three would be out.

The play in round would have:

Hawaiian Mission vs. Christian Academy for the right to play Kaiser.
Lanakila Baptist vs. Ka’u for the right to play Iolani.
Hanalani vs. Maryknoll I-AA for the right to play Punahou
Lanai vs. Hana for the right to play Kamehameha.

Here are the first round matchups in Kaiser’s region, from top to bottom.
Kaiser vs. Hawaiian Mission/Christian Academy
Hawaii Prep vs. Pahoa

Konawaena vs. Assets
Waiakea vs. Waialua

Kalaheo vs. Island Pacific
Kalani vs. Castle

Damien vs. Waipahu
Mid-Pacific vs. Iolani I-AA

Kamehameha’s region:
Kamehameha vs. Lanai or Hana
Le Jardin vs. Seabury Hall

KS-Hawaii vs. Hawaii Baptist
Kahuku vs. Mililani

Moanalua vs. Waimea
Kaimuki vs. Aiea

Kapaa vs. Kauai
Saint Louis vs. Molokai

Iolani’s region:
Lanakila Baptist or Ka’u vs. Iolani
Keaau vs. Hilo

University vs. Damien II
Lahainaluna vs. Waianae

McKinley vs. Nanakuli
Roosevelt vs. St. Joseph

Kapolei vs. Punahou I-AA
Maryknoll vs. Kohala

Punahou’s region:
Hanalani or Maryknoll IAA vs. Punahou
Honokaa vs. Pearl City

Baldwin vs. Saint Louis IAA
St. Francis vs. Radford

Kailua vs. Campbell
Farrington vs. Kamehameha I-AA


King Kekaulike vs. Maui
Leilehua vs. Kealakehe

Obviously, a committee would shake things up to prevent things like Kapaa-Kauai or Keaau-HIlo in the first round, or maybe not. This is just an exercise in fun, to see what things would look like, and they would certainly look interesting.

COMMENTS

  1. The Rim February 5, 2016 6:43 pm

    Hilo High School is an outright disappointment. New coach was supposed to revitalize the program that is loaded with young talent, but some scratch your head coaching decisions and utilization of young talent has me wondering if they yet again made a wrong coaching decision. I hate to criticize coaching but in this case, heavily warranted. They won’t be climbing the rankings anytime soon thats for sure.


  2. AOK February 5, 2016 7:47 pm

    Just watched Kahuku lose to Kaiser. Semi-dangerous team imo. But cannot take anymore Ls.

    When is Akina returning as head coach?


  3. A Fan February 6, 2016 9:55 am

    MPI is not a tier 1 team. Maybe they were 1 month ago, but not any more. They are 3-7 in league and finished their last game losing by 25. That is not the criteria of a tier 1 team. Maryknoll should not be either. I cannot consider teams top tier when they are near last place in their league and have losing league records.

    In any tournament, no team below .500 in their league losing their last game by 25 point would be considered among the top team. Not in the NCAA, NAIA, or other states.


  4. Paul Honda February 9, 2016 4:56 pm

    Point taken. It’s an unusual situation compared to bigger states.

    But I’ve seen enough to know that MPI is one of the top 10 teams in the state. Your list may differ if we can compare.


  5. A Fan February 10, 2016 10:41 am

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But to me, top tier is reserved for teams that have achieved greatness or close to it. If you have the ability to beat a couple of top level teams but end up something like 3-8, then you are not consistent or are not taking advantage of your talent. This has to do with coaching and culture. MPI while a great academic school, has never been on the winning side for boys basketball. That is hard to change. I applaud the coaching efforts, but losing for 20-30 years is no coincidence. It’s very hard for me to overlook so many league losses and such a poor league record.

    USC Football is talented but underachieved and had a few stellar wins. They were never ranked after all those losses. Just something to think about.


  6. Action Jackson February 10, 2016 6:25 pm

    Mid-Pac is average at best. They’re real tentative w/ the basketball, they also got smoked their last 3 games. Whatta bunch of jokers!


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