Punahou up to No. 1; unbeaten Damien falls to No. 3

Punahou coach Darren Matsuda has his Buffanblu at No. 1 in the state. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

What a difference a week makes, no matter how perfect a team can be.

Damien fell from the No. 1 spot to No. 3 in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10 today. The Monarchs are now 8-0 after winning their lone nonconference game of the week against Kapolei. Earlier, they posted stunning wins over Punahou, St. Francis and Kalaheo, winning the Damien Invitational and Pete Smith Classic along the way. The Monarchs declared for ILH Division II in June and are locked in that classification this season.

Punahou swept through the OIA-ILH Challenge and emerged at No. 1. The Buffanblu collected just three of the 10 first-place votes after blitzing Kapolei 71-41, edging Kalaheo 81-79 and routing Kailua 80-55.

The difference was a heavy number of mid-range votes by the panel of coaches and media for Damien. One ballot listed the Monarchs at No. 4 and two have them at No. 5.

‘Iolani (6-0) moved up two notches to No. 2 after securing close wins over Kalaheo 56-62, Kailua 68-62 and Moanalua 63-53 at the OIA-ILH Challenge.

Maryknoll (8-0) remained unbeaten after nonconference wins over Kaiser and Aiea, but dropped one slot to No. 4. Maryknoll and ‘Iolani each garnered one first-place vote.

Kalaheo lost two of three games at the Challenge, but managed to vault two spots higher to No. 5. Moanalua made the biggest leap, moving up three places to No. 7. Na Menehune ran away from Kamehameha and had close losses to St. Francis and ‘Iolani.

Kahuku slipped four notches to No. 10 after a loss to Konawaena at Baldwin’s Ka‘apuni Invitational.

Kailua stepped into the poll for the first time this season in a tie with Kahuku at No. 10. The Surfriders outlasted Kamehameha 68-63 and had a close loss to ‘Iolani. They led Punahou for most of the first half and trailed 41-40 at halftime before losing by 25.

Also receiving votes: Roosevelt 4, Kalani 3, Kaiser 1, Konawaena 1, Maui 1.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

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


  1. Saints December 10, 2018 10:52 am

    Whatevers dont get it but dont like it!

  2. KalihiFB December 10, 2018 3:08 pm

    Did these voters forget that Damien (8-0) beat Punahou? Monarchs getting no respect! Don’t care if the Puns are Div 1. They got beaten by Damien.

  3. Goodluck to All December 10, 2018 4:00 pm

    No disrespect to Damien but the standings are pretty accurate. If Damien played Punahou, Iolani, and Maryknoll 5 times each they would maybe win 1 MAYBE 2 games. And its only preseason folks, majority of the top D1 ILH teams are playing their whole bench and not even playing the starters in crunch time because it is preseason.

  4. JetWavy December 10, 2018 6:45 pm

    There are at least two teams in the top 10 that are ranked behind teams they beat head-to-head. Who can argue that Damien isn’t #1? They’re the only team to beat Punahou so far. However, once regular season starts, I can agree with them falling down the list.

  5. Robert C. December 10, 2018 8:40 pm

    Monarchs should be #1 despite because it is preseason, once season starts I can agree with them falling down the list, but as of now, they deserve that #1 spot, even though they have yet to play Iolani.

  6. ??? December 11, 2018 9:02 am

    Damien deserves to be ranked at least higher than Punahou right now. pre-season or not, they beat Punahou straight up!!!

    7 ILH schools in the Top Ten and the same people try to argue that RECRUITING doesn’t matter??
    Kahuku gets one tall kid a year and the ILH fans complain about Kahuku recruits 😂😂😂
    ”Double Standard”

    Football season is over and all the St Louis Academy alumni are no where to be found showing the “Truth” STL is only a Football
    school. See you next season !!

  7. Recruited not rooted December 11, 2018 11:42 am

    FYI don’t sleep on Saint Louis people. @??? The “Truth” is you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground. If you did, you’d know Saint Louis is loaded this year. I know all of you peeps are doubled over laughing at this post, but just wait until these football players get in basketball shape and build some chemistry. This team has barely played together. They won’t play anybody until January, but by the end of February you’ll all be saying, “DAMN, RECRUITED was right. This team will not only leap into the top ten, it will legitimately be vying for the top spot come years end. Sit back and enjoy the ride all you haters. Just going for the second leg in the triple crown. Chhheeehhooo!

  8. positivevibe December 11, 2018 3:55 pm

    ??? – Try to keep up, this is about basketball, and no one is talking about Kahuku recruiting basketball players, except you. And btw, St. Louis basketball team has been playing pre-season on the Big Island and the last I checked is undefeated.

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