Pupule ballot: From #1 (Punahou) to #35 (Kauai)

For the second time in three years, Punahou won the ILH boys basketball championship in 2017. This year, Paul Honda has them No. 1 as of Dec. 17. (Feb. 11, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

Here’s how I voted in the first Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10 of the season yesterday. Note that all results and win-loss records are as of Saturday, Dec. 16, before the balloting began.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

BASEBALL
Updated: Mar. 16
RkTeamPts
1.Saint Louis (6)94
2.Baldwin (4)86
3.Punahou80
4.Campbell50
5.Kailua45
6.Mid-Pacific41
7.Mililani37
8.Waiakea36
9.Kamehameha26
10.Maui 23

Pupule BKB Top 10 ballot 12/17/17

1. Punahou Buffanblu (9-1, 0-0 ILH)
Last week’s games
W 64-37 @ Moanalua 12/12
Vs. Top 10: 4-1.
Top 10 wins: Kalaheo, Reed, Buchanan, @ Moanalua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Lincoln (Calif.).
Skinny: I’m counting Reed, Buchanan and Lincoln as Top-10 level teams. Not counting Edison, though I’m open to debate. (Is Edison as good or better than Kamehameha-Hawaii or Moanalua?) The Buffanblu are the most seasoned and talented group, just by a millimeter ahead of Kamehameha. They can pressure fullcourt. They can outrun just about anybody. Can they execute consistently in halfcourt when teams slow the pace?
Sumo rank: Yokozuna.


2. Kamehameha Warriors (8-1, 0-0 ILH)
Last week’s games
W 54-49 Kalaheo 12/11
L 77-48 Taft (Calif.) 12/15 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 5-1.
Top 10 wins: St. Francis, ‘Iolani, Kahuku, @ Moanalua, Kalaheo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Taft.
Skinny: The Warriors probably played as close to their potential as any team in the state, and they still have younger talent in reserve that can develop. Deep team. The loss to Kapolei on Monday in the ‘Iolani Classic consolation bracket isn’t included in the balloting for the poll, but that was interesting, too. Coach Greg Tacon gave a substantial amount of minutes to reserves, even if a few of them struggled. It seemed like one of those games where gaining game experience outweighed most other priorities. It makes perfect sense all things considered. Very little to gain with a preseason win.
Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

3. Maryknoll Spartans (10-2, 0-0 ILH)
Last week’s games
L 63-60 Paraclete (Calif) 12/15
L 59-33 Greensboro Day (SC) 12/16 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 2-2.
Top 10 wins: Kapolei, Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Paraclete (Calif.), Greensboro Day (N.C.).
Skinny: Did you know? If Kamehameha had beaten Kapolei on Monday, we’d have a Maryknoll-Kamehameha matchup today in consolation play at the ‘Iolani Classic. With Kamehameha well below full strength. And at least two more matchups during ILH play. The Spartans are getting stellar shooting from Isiah Gelacio through nonconference play.
Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

4. St. Francis Saints (11-1, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Last week’s games
W 77-43 Saint Louis II 12/13 Walter Wong Classic
W 76-60 McKinley 12/14 Walter Wong Classic
W 50-46 @ Saint Louis 12/15 Walter Wong Classic
Vs. Top 10: 2-1.
Top 10 wins: @ Kailua, Kalaheo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha.
Skinny: I don’t remember a D-II boys hoops program that was 1) this good, and 2) this willing to take on all comers. The Saints have played in four tournaments with mostly D-I opponents. The only loss was in a thriller against Kamehameha. Conversely, the girls basketball team at St. Francis is 2-0 against ranked teams, undefeated, and under-ranked by voters.
Sumo rank: Ozeki.

5. ‘Iolani Raiders (6-1, 0-0 ILH)
Last week’s games
W 55-25 Pearl City 12/15 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 2-1.
Top 10 wins: @ Kailua, Kahuku.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha.
Skinny: The Raiders are seemingly overlooked by everyone who talks with me about prep hoops. I think it’s actually a Jedi mind trick that originates with the program, probably Coach Dean Shimamoto. There’s nothing more he’d like than for everyone to underestimate his team. Fans can base their assessments on the eye test, and ‘Iolani isn’t the tallest or biggest team in the ILH. But they’ll find ways to compete and win. We don’t have a measurement for basketball IQ, but the Raiders would be top 4. Easily.
Sumo rank: Ozeki.

6. Kahuku Red Raiders (10-2, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W 55-38 Maui 12/14 King Kekaulike Inv
W 68-35 Hana 12/15 King Kekaulike Inv
W 65-25 @ King Kekaulike 12/16 King Kekaulike Inv
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, ‘Iolani.
Skinny: This is a work in progress with the key graduations of last season’s players. By the OIA playoffs, they’ll look like the team Coach Brandyn Akana sees in his mind. Kahuku plays in the St. Francis Invitational, which begins today. Could be a rematch between St. Francis and Kahuku. The Saints beat Kahuku last season.
Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

7. Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors (4-2, 0-0 BIIF)
Last week’s games
W 53-22 Parker 12/14 Hilo Holiday
W 61-55 Waiakea 12/15 Hilo Holiday
L 80-65 Trinity Christian 12/16 Hilo Holiday
Vs. Top 10: 1-1.
Top 10 wins: Kailua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, Trinity Christian (Texas).
Skinny: If fans wonder what happened to all the talent that used to be at Hilo and Waiakea, here’s factor No. 1 — KS-Hawaii. The Warriors are the strongest team in the BIIF right now.
Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

8. Kailua Surfriders (9-3, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W 61-54 Kapolei 12/13
W 62-56 Punahou II 12/16
Vs. Top 10: 1-3.
Top 10 wins: Kapolei.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): ‘Iolani, St. Francis, Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Skinny: Some similarities to Kahuku. New players, including junior transfer Isaiah Hopson (American Samoa), are integrating into the system. Coach Walter Marciel’s team is running — and pressing — more than last season.
Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

9. Kalaheo Mustangs (10-5, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
L 54-49 @ Kamehameha 12/11
L 78-54 Bishop O’Dowd (Calif) 12/15 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Maui*, Punahou, St. Francis, @ Kamehameha, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland).
Skinny: The Mustangs have played their share of quality games, beating on-the-cusp teams like Lahainaluna and Saint Louis. Three games into the ‘Iolani Classic, they’re still finding their way. It was almost stunning to see Andrew Kearney take very few shots in today’s loss to Kamehameha. Time is on their side, and as the Mustangs get their young players integrated into the system, points will be easier to come by.
Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

10. Kapolei Hurricanes (3-3, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W 67-51 Farrington 12/12
L 61-54 @ Kailua 12/13
L 103-54 Jefferson (Ore) 12/16 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, @ Kailua, Jefferson (Ore.).
Skinny: The ‘Canes win over Kamehameha on Monday and 46-45 loss to Maryknoll today don’t apply to Monday’s rankings, but they’ll probably make a positive impact on voters come next week. When they have everyone healthy, this is the same dangerous team in transition. What’s clear now is that the ‘Canes will go only as far as their halfcourt offense goes. They’ve got, by Hawaii standards, plenty of length and rebounding. Ja’Shon Carter may not feel well after missing the potential game-tying free throw against Kamehameha, but while his teammates have been injured or struggling, he has carried the offense. Even Carter has been injured during preseason, though. The ‘Canes need to stay healthy.
Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

# # #

11. Moanalua Na Menehune (7-4, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
L 64-37 Punahou 12/12
L 99-53 Rainier Beach (Wash) 12/15 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 1-4.
Top 10 wins: Hayward (Calif),
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Mid-Pacific*, Kamehameha, Punahou, Rainier Beach (Seattle).
Skinny: Moanalua also lost today to Lahainaluna, falling behind 21-3 in the first half. They played with a lot of finesse early on and got dominated on the block by a physical, unranked Lunas squad. That changed in the second half, but it was too much to overcome.
Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

12. Farrington Governors (4-3, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
L 67-51 @ Kapolei 12/12
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Kamehameha, @ Kapolei.
Skinny: I’m a little surprised the Govs ended up this high on my list, but after comparing numbers, this is about right. They almost beat Kamehameha (61-59 loss) and showed that they are a half-notch ahead of Saint Louis, beating the Crusaders 63-61. They’ve also won decisively against lower-tier teams like Waipahu and Mililani.
Sumo rank: Komusubi.

13. Lahainaluna Lunas (3-3, 1-0 MIL)
Last week’s games
W 66-35 King Kekaulike 12/13 MIL
L 95-27 Montverde (Fla) 12/16 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalaheo, Moanalua, Montverde (Fla.)
Skinny: The Lunas did beat No. 10 Moanalua today, so that will be added in next week’s Top 10 Fared. They’ve made a significant jump since the James Alegre Invitational three weeks ago. No surprise there. Jason Justus was last season’s all-state coach of the year.
Sumo rank: Komusubi.

14. Leilehua Mules (2-6, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
L 83-33 Fairfax (Calif) 12/16 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: Hayward (Calif).
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Saint Louis*, Lahainaluna*, Punahou, ‘Iolani, Kamehameha, Fairfax (Calif.).
Skinny: A 31-30 win over Lahainaluna and a 38-37 loss to Mid-Pacific really put some definition on this team at an early stage. Leilehua is generally my litmus test team now. They will probably pull off an upset or two this season, but they will also be beatable for tough teams in the OIA West. I expect Leilehua to emerge and qualify for the state tourney, health pending. Liam Fitzgerald sat out today’s game (ankle).
Sumo rank: Komusubi.

15. Roosevelt Rough Riders (5-3, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W 63-47 Waipahu 12/14
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Prep*, ‘Iolani, Saint Louis*.
Skinny: This is the highest D-II team on my ballot not named St. Francis. There are a lot of what-ifs for this squad, but what they have as a foundation is a solid backcourt in Jared Elwin and Micah Visoria, and a typically hard-nosed defensive mentality.
Sumo rank: Komusubi.

16. Mid-Pacific Owls (5-3, 0-0 ILH)
Last week’s games
W 64-43 Radford 12/15
Vs. Top 10: 1-0.
Top 10 wins: @ Moanalua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Leilehua.
Skinny: Two losses to Roosevelt and a 39-38 loss to Leilehua are telling. The Owls have been in every game, have wins over some healthy D-I programs (Kealakehe, Waiakea, Radford) and a win over Top 10 team. If they played in the OIA…
Sumo rank: Komusubi.

17. Kaiser Cougars (9-3, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W 69-52 Nanakuli 12/12
W 65-57 Damien 12/15
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Baptist*, Mid-Pacific*, St. Francis.
Skinny: The Cougars are fairly young, but talent is there and they keep getting better.
Sumo rank: Maegashira.


18. Maui Sabers (8-4, 1-0 MIL)
Last week’s games
W 75-69 @ Baldwin 12/13 MIL
L 55-38 Kahuku 12/14 King Kekaulike tournament
W 54-24 Lanai 12/14 King Kekaulike tournament
W 54-21 Hana 12/15 King Kekaulike tournament
L 68-37 Kahuku 12/16 King Kekaulike tournament
Vs. Top 10: 1-3.
Top 10 wins: Kalaheo,
Losses (Non-Top 10*): ‘Iolani, Campbell*, Kahuku, Kahuku.
Skinny: The Sabers are scrappy, and that makes up for a roster that lacks height. The win over rival Baldwin last week is a big confidence booster after a season-opening win over Kalaheo.
Sumo rank: Maegashira.

19. Saint Louis Crusaders (5-5, 0-0 ILH)
Last week’s games
W Waianae 12/13 Walter Wong Classic
W 57-56 Campbell 12/14 Walter Wong Classic
L 50-46 St. Francis 12/15 Walter Wong Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Farrington*, Kalaheo, @ Moanalua, Kahuku, St. Francis.
Skinny: Lot of potential here, but it’s still difficult to replace an ace scorer and great defender like Jaymason Nunuha, who graduated. Size is plentiful, so much so that the first-year Crusaders coach has Chris Sykes playing the 2 and 3. Backcourt youth will be continue to be tested.
Sumo rank: Maegashira.

20. Campbell Sabers (7-3, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W Kaimuki 12/13 Walter Wong Classic
L 57-56 @ Saint Louis 12/14 Walter Wong Classic
W 46-45 McKinley 12/15 Walter Wong Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kahuku, Kamehameha, @ Saint Louis*.
Skinny: The 57-56 loss to Saint Louis was the first by the Sabers to an unranked team. They have beaten some very competitive teams (Damien, Maui, Kalani, McKinley), and pushed Kahuku to the limit in a 43-41 loss.
Sumo rank: Maegashira.

21. Hawaii Prep Ka Makani (1-1, 0-0 BIIF)
Last week’s games
None
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kaiser.
Skinny: They’ve got some similarities to the 2014 squad that won the D-II state crown. Putting it together will take time. A strong HPA basketball team is always better for the BIIF. The league had a great stretch in the 1990s when HPA, Kohala, Honokaa and Konawaena either won BIIF titles or were strong contenders along with Hilo and Waiakea.
Sumo rank: Maegashira.

22. Kalani Falcons (3-2, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
None
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kapolei, @ Campbell*.
Skinny: It doesn’t count as a Top 10 win, but a 59-34 win over Hawaii Baptist might be the most impressive performance by the Falcons. Kalani and Roosevelt are the favorites to qualify as the OIA’s representatives in the D-II state tourney.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

23. Damien Monarchs (2-3, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Last week’s games
L 65-57 @ Kaiser 12/15
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Campbell*, @ Kahuku, @ Kaiser*.
Skinny: The Monarchs are part of quite a powerful upper echelon in ILH D-II.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

24. Baldwin Bears (4-3, 0-1 MIL)
Last week’s games
L 75-69 Maui 12/13 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalaheo, Seabury Hall*, Maui*.
Skinny: New coaching staff and a lot more points on the board for both home and away teams. It is a new era in Bears basketball. The purists who appreciated the high-post motion offense engineered by Jon Garcia and Wayne Gushiken for all those years will need some time to adjust to the new system.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

25. Punahou II Buffanblu (2-3, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Kalaheo, @ Baldwin*, @ Kailua.
Skinny: The D-II Buffanblu have beaten Seabury Hall (60-52) and King Kekaulike (60-40), and the losses to D-I Baldwin (64-61) at Kailua (62-56) were close. This isn’t the first time at D-II team at Punahou has played at a D-I level, or even a Top 10 level, in any sport.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

26. Seabury Hall Spartans (7-4, 0-0 MIL D-II)
Last week’s games
W 54-39 Ross Shepard 12/12
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalaheo, Punahou II*, @ Baldwin*.
Skinny: It looks like the Spartans are back in powerhouse mode once again. Unless that 83-82 loss to Kalaheo is a typo. There is a win over Baldwin. There are also losses to to Roosevelt (55-35), Punahou II (60-57) and, yes, Baldwin (60-57). They open their MIL season against Haleakala Waldorf, but all I really want is to see these Spartans play all of the MIL’s D-I programs.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

27. Hawaii Baptist Eagles (9-2, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Last week’s games
W 59-47 @ Mililani 12/14
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalani*, @ Baldwin*.
Skinny: The ledger is quite nice for the D-II Eagles. Once again, however, ILH D-II is a gauntlet. It’s been a few seasons since HBA made the state tourney, but at least they’re crafting the philosophy and skills to play exciting, skilled basketball.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

28. McKinley Tigers (6-7, 0-0 OIA)
Last week’s games
W 44-31 Nanakuli 12/13 Walter Wong Classic
L 76-60 St. Francis 12/14 Walter Wong Classic
L 46-45 Campbell 12/15 Walter Wong Classic
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): St. Francis, Maryknoll, Hawaii Baptist*, @ Maryknoll, @ Baldwin*, St. Francis, Campbell*.
Skinny: The Tigers will be dangerous in the OIA East. More scoring punch than last year, but the question is can they lock down defensively from players 1 through 5 in the clutch.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

29. University Junior Rainbows (6-2, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Last week’s games
W 58-52 Aiea 12/14
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ McKinley*, Kapolei.
Skinny: It’s a new era and ILH D-II is still brutally tough. Jr. ‘Bows are off to a good start.
Sumo rank: Maegashira.

30. Konawaena Wildcats (4-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Last week’s games
None
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): None.
Skinny: Coach Donald Awa’s team has won all four nonconference games by six or fewer points. Three of those were decided by four or fewer points.
Sumo rank: Juryo.

31. Hilo Vikings (4-4, 0-0 BIIF)
Last week’s games
St. Joseph 12/14 Hilo Holiday
L 65-54 Waiakea 12/16 Hilo Holiday
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kaiser*, Kailua, Maryknoll, Waiakea.
Skinny: Coach Ben Pana has the program more competitive. Whether they return to the glory years of the 1990s and ‘00s, the question might be whether the Vikings can keep talent home rather than going to KS-Hawaii.
Sumo rank: Makushita.

32. Kamehameha-Maui Warriors (5-2, 0-0 MIL)
Last week’s games
None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): University, @ Kapaa.
Skinny: Wins are over Kauai, Kamehameha II, St. Anthony, Ka‘u, Molokai.
The Warriors have already beaten St. Anthony and Molokai in nonconference play. I believe they are in D-I, which means a steady diet of Lahainaluna, Maui and Baldwin.
Sumo rank: Makushita.

33. Keaau Cougars (3-4, 0-1 BIIF)
Last week’s games
None
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Roosevelt, Waiakea, @ Maui, Konawaena.
Skinny: Wins over Ka‘u, Molokai and St. Anthony were lopsided. Losses to Roosevelt (49-45), Waiakea (54-48) and at Maui (53-47) were close.
Sumo rank: Makushita.

34. Waiakea Warriors (7-7, 0-0 BIIF)
Last week’s games
Honokaa 12/14 Hilo Holiday
L 61-55 Kamehameha-Hawaii 12/15 Hilo Holiday
W 65-54 Hilo 12/16 Hilo Holiday
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kohala*, Mid-Pacific*, Hilo*, Kailua, Kamehameha-Hawaii, Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Skinny: The Warriors have split games with rival Hilo already.
Sumo rank: Makushita.


35. Kauai Red Raiders (2-3, 0-0 KIF)
Last week’s games
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha-Maui, University, Konawaena.
Skinny: In this area of my list, there’s a lot of traffic. Kauai gets the nod over King Kekaulike by virtue of a 44-35 win. The Red Raiders have also beaten Castle at Castle. The losses to KS-Maui (47-44) and Konawaena (44-38) were close.
Sumo rank: Sandanme.

Note: This list includes an update and a few changes.

COMMENTS

  1. IshLikeThat December 20, 2017 5:10 pm

    Alright, the jig is up already for Saint Francis as a D2 school. For at least the last handful of seasons, this team has had the personnel to compete with and beat some D1 schools in preseason which is why I don’t understand why sports writers continue to magnify the wins as underdog upsets because of division labels. They’re not. SF could arguably be the #1 ranked team in the state this pre season. The coach sure likes to talk a big D1 game.


  2. The Rim December 20, 2017 5:56 pm

    Ben Pana hasn’t coached at Hilo High for three years now. Bruce Ferreira is the coach.


  3. Ldub20 Owl 316 December 21, 2017 2:32 am

    St. Francis boys basketball reminds me of Iolani football back in the day when they feasted on weaker teams.


  4. Kupa'a December 21, 2017 8:23 am

    Ldub20 Owl 316, did you even read Paul’s comments? They are playing a heavy Division 1 preseason schedule. They play Punahou tonight. They did all they can do play the div 1 teams in preseason. Yes, the regular season will be “feasting” as you say. But they cannot just tell ILH they like play in Div 1 this season. It’s a process. They will probably go up next season, but cannot just go up and down as they please. I’m assuming you knew that…..nevermind, you probably did not.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*