Punahou returns to No. 1, Saint Louis leaps to No. 6

The Punahou Buffanblu captured the title at the St. Francis Holiday Hoops Classic. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Paul Honda/Star-Advertier

Fickle they are, no question.

“Fame,” Emily Dickinson once said, “is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.”

Voters can be fickle, too. For a second time this early season, coaches and media have elected Punahou No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10.

The Buffanblu began the season at No. 2 after a loss to Damien. Punahou (15-1) climbed back to No. 1, only to fall back to the second spot behind ‘Iolani last week.

Since then, the deep, talented and relentless Buffanblu swept through their Punahou Invitational with a 4-0 mark, overwhelming Damien in the final.

‘Iolani (7-3) defeated Kaiser, then lost to national No. 1 Montverde (Fla.), West Linn (Ore.) and Pleasant Grove (Utah) at the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. Voters penalized the Raiders even though those losses were to regional or national powerhouses.

This is the first time this season and, perhaps in history, that the first six spots are occupied by ILH programs.

Damien (14-2) traded places with Maryknoll and is at No. 3 after stunning the Spartans 55-47 at the Punahou Invitational. Maryknoll (14-1) is at No. 4 after its first loss of the season.

St. Francis (12-7) enjoyed the return of senior guard Kameron Ng and remained at No. 5. The biggest leap of the week is by Saint Louis (7-0), which moved from No. 9 to No. 6 despite having the week off from game action.

Moanalua (6-5), Kailua (8-8), Kalaheo (9-9) and Kamehameha (11-4) round out this week’s Top 10. Kailua returned to the rankings after a strong performance at the ‘Iolani Classic that included wins over then-No. 7 Mid-Pacific and Moanalua. It’s been musical chairs for this area of the voting.

Also receiving votes: Kahuku 10, Mid-Pacific 9, Hawaii Prep 2, Konawaena 2, Kauai 1, Maui 1, Roosevelt 1.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

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


  1. Robert C. December 24, 2018 7:51 pm

    Punahou should have not beat Damien. Holtz was unstoppable, I was watching on punavision, and they are lucky the refs went their way because he picked up his 4th foul early in the 3rd taking him out of the game which was the turning point, before that, the Monarchs were in the lead. Holtz was unstoppable and fouled out two of their big men, I was shocked to see how great he was, not only in the post but shooting wise too. Looking at his free throw percentages, they have shockingly gone up from the beginning of the preseason. He might have the case of the best big man in the state…

    But other than that, rankings look good to me! Good luck to all the teams, looking like a great year for basketball in Hawaii!

  2. C’mon December 26, 2018 5:07 am

    @Robert C

    Watching it on punavision? You gotta be there in person so you can see all the fouls. Holtz jumps all the time to try and block shots and picks up dumb fouls. Punahou played the whole tournament without Duke and Tufono. I do give Holtz credit he’s going to be good.

  3. Wow December 27, 2018 5:14 am

    Lahianaluna just beat St. Francis…….so, since all the hype is on this St. Francis team, why isn’t there an article of this upset?

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