Pupule ballot: KS-Hawaii, Campbell surging higher

Kamehameha-Hawaii is ranked No. 8 on Paul Honda's latest boys basketball top-10 ballot. Photo by Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

A bumpy week for some teams, but a lot of optimism despite these early-season struggles.

Punahou is clearly the alpha dog in many ways. Here’s how I voted in this week’s Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10.

All win-loss records and results as of Dec. 23, 2017.


Pupule BKB Top 10 ballot 12/24/17

1. Punahou Buffanblu (12-1, 0-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 1.
Last week’s games
W 89-44 Waiakea 12/19 St. Francis Inv
W 50-48 #6 Kahuku 12/20 St. Francis Inv
W 74-66 @ #5 St. Francis 12/21 St. Francis Inv
Vs. Top 10: 6-1.
Top 10 wins: Kalaheo, Reed, Buchanan (Calif.),@ Moanalua, Kahuku, @ St. Francis.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Lincoln (Calif.).

Skinny: The Buffanblu are the team to beat, capable of running the floor and playing a slower tempo. They showed some physicality at the St. Francis tourney, something that hasn’t been a common trait in the program.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

2. Maryknoll Spartans (13-1, 0-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 3.
Last week’s games
W 62-42 #8 Kalaheo 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
W 46-45 #9 Kapolei 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
W 51-42 Lahainaluna 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 4-2.
Top 10 wins: Kapolei, Kamehameha-Hawaii, Kalaheo, Kapolei.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Paraclete (Calif.), Greensboro Day (N.C.).

Skinny: Kamehameha’s loss to Kapolei opened the door for Maryknoll to move up a notch in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 and also on this ballot.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

3. Kamehameha Warriors (10-2, 0-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 2.
Last week’s games
L 57-51 #9 Kapolei 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
W 55-46 #8 Kalaheo 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
W 47-33 Leilehua 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 6-2.
Top 10 wins: St. Francis, ‘Iolani, Kahuku, @ Moanalua, Kalaheo, Kalaheo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Taft (Calif.), Kapolei.

Skinny: The difference between the top three is microscopic. Kapolei played its best game of preseason in a game that the Warriors used to give reserves a ton of playing time in the first half. The most impressive feat of the week: possibly Kamehameha’s win over Kalaheo while suiting up just six players. The rest of the team (seniors) were at Founder’s Day festivities on campus.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

4. St. Francis Saints (13-2, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 4.
Last week’s games
W 83-50 Kealakehe 12/19 St. Francis Holiday
W 72-62 Campbell 12/20 St. Francis Holiday
L 74-66 #1 Punahou 12/21 St. Francis Holiday
Vs. Top 10: 2-2.
Top 10 wins: @ Kailua, Kalaheo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, Punahou.

Skinny: The Saints gave Punahou (74-66) and Kamehameha (71-66) all they had. Both games followed similar flow, similar script. Until the Saints find more offensive balance, it’ll remain a heavy burden for Kameron Ng. Both times, he played near-maximum minutes and faced extra defenders in the third quarter.

Sumo rank: Ozeki.

5. ‘Iolani Raiders (6-4, 0-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 5.
Last week’s games
L 89-43 Montverde (Fla.) 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
L 71-42 Rainier Beach (Wash.)12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
L 62-47 Taft (Calif.) 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 2-4.
Top 10 wins: @ Kailua, Kahuku.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, Montverde (Fla.), Rainier Beach (Wash.), Taft (Calif.).

Skinny: Good news for the Raiders: senior guard Justin Genovia (collarbone) should be back from his injury.

Sumo rank: Ozeki.

6. Kapolei Hurricanes (6-4, 0-0 OIA)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 9.
W 57-51 #2 Kamehameha 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
L 46-45 #3 Maryknoll 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
W 67-54 #10 Moanalua 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
Vs. Top 10: 2-4.
Top 10 wins: Kamehameha, Moanalua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, @ Kailua, Jefferson (Ore.), Maryknoll.

Skinny: Wins over No. 2 Kamehameha and No. 10 Moanalua and a near-upset of No. 3 Maryknoll confirm that the Hurricanes weren’t quite the same when key players were injured earlier in preseason.

Sumo rank: Ozeki. The promotion from Sekiwake is deserved.

7. Kahuku Red Raiders (13-3, 1-0 OIA)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 6.
Last week’s games
W 41-30 University 12/19 St. Francis Inv
L 50-48 #1 Punahou 12/20 St. Francis Inv
W 68-52 Campbell 12/21 St. Francis Inv
W 57-40 #8 Kalaheo 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-3.
Top 10 wins: Kalaheo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, ‘Iolani, Punahou.

Skinny: There are more than a few Red Raider fans who are still disturbed by the final play against Punahou. A photo revealed that the ball was still on the hand of Punahou’s Cole Arceneaux when time expired. Officials allowed the winning shot to count, but they didn’t have the benefit of technology.

Sumo rank: Ozeki. Another promotion. Big Red came very close to knocking off No. 1 Punahou.

8. Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors (6-2, 2-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 7.
W 65-41 Pahoa 12/19 BIIF
W 52-50 @ Waiakea 12/23 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 1-2.
Top 10 wins: Kailua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, Trinity Christian (Texas).

Skinny: The Warriors haven’t done anything in the past week to warrant a drop on my ballot, but Kapolei’s two quality (Top 10) wins created a ripple effect. On the other hand, KS-Hawaii’s early win over Kailua (in Hilo) makes a difference.

9. Lahainaluna Lunas (6-4, 2-0 MIL D-I)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 13.
Last week’s games
W 61-26 Pearl City 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
W 68-57 #10 Moanalua 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
L 51-42 #3 Maryknoll 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
W 64-38 @ Baldwin 12/23 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 1-4.
Top 10 wins: Moanalua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalaheo, Moanalua, Montverde (Fla.), Maryknoll.

Skinny: The Lunas’ win over Moanalua was standard, just outworking, out-defending and out hustling the city team. They also gave Maryknoll a physical battle. Last week was a demonstration of marked improvement for Lahainaluna, which lost to Moanalua in week one of preseason.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake. The Lunas are edging closer to a promotion.

10. Campbell Sabers (7-3, 0-0 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 20.
W 48-43 #7 Kailua 12/19 St. Francis Inv
L 72-61 @ #5 St. Francis 12/20 St. Francis Inv
L 68-52 #6 Kahuku 12/21 St. Francis Inv
W 56-40 Mililani 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: Kailua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kahuku, Kamehameha, @ Saint Louis*, St. Francis, Kahuku.

Skinny: This is the gray area of the ballot where it’s been a musical-chairs effect. Almost everybody has almost beaten everybody else. But here, it’s simple enough for me. Campbell beat Kailua in last week’s opening round of the St. Invitational.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake. The Sabers were tough from the start of preseason and continue to improve, thus the promotion from Maegashira.

###

11. Kailua Surfriders (12-4, 1-0 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 8.
Last week’s games
L 48-43 Campbell 12/19 St. Francis Inv
W 63-59 Kealakehe 12/20 St. Francis Inv
W 60-58 Waiakea 12/21 St. Francis Inv
W 52-49 McKinley 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-3.
Top 10 wins: Kapolei.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): ‘Iolani, St. Francis, Kamehameha-Hawaii, Campbell*.

Skinny: Campbell has been tough since the start of preseason, nearly beating Kahuku. Kailua bounced back from the loss nicely. If Surfrider fans like dramatic finishes, they’ll probably get their fill this season.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

12. Maui Sabers (9-4, 3-0 MIL)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 18.
Last week’s games
Ppd? Kamehameha-Maui 12/20 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 1-3.
Top 10 wins: Kalaheo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): ‘Iolani, Campbell*, Kahuku, Kahuku.

Skinny: The win over Kalaheo in preseason separates the Sabers from the rest of the teams that haven’t beaten a ranked team yet.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

13. Mid-Pacific Owls (5-3, 0-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 16.
Last week’s games
No games
Vs. Top 10: 2-1.
Top 10 wins: @ Moanalua.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Roosevelt*, Roosevelt*, Leilehua.

Skinny: Unlike Kalaheo, MPI has beaten a ranked team. Unlike Kalaheo, the Owls have also lost three times to unranked teams. Pretty good unranked teams, but this is where I split hairs and debate for awhile before finally giving the slightest of edges to MPI.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

14. Kalaheo Mustangs (10-0, 0-1 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 9.
Last week’s games
L 62-42 #3 Maryknoll 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
L 55-46 #2 Kamehameha 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
L 48-45 Pearl City 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
L 57-40 #6 @ Kahuku 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-7.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, St. Francis, @ Kamehameha, Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.), Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Pearl City*, @ Kahuku.

Skinny: Finals week was a challenge for the Mustangs, who have emerged as one of the pupule litmus tests as a team that has beaten all of its unranked opponents and lost to all of its Top 10 foes. But what about the loss to Pearl City? The Chargers played well down the stretch and Kalaheo had just six players due to finals. That gets a pass from me.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

15. Moanalua Na Menehune (9-6, 1-0 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 11.
Last week’s games
W 55-51 Leilehua 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
L 68-57 Lahainaluna 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
L 67-54 #9 Kapolei 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
W 58-55 @ Kaiser 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-4.
Top 10 wins: Hayward (Calif.).
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Mid-Pacific*, Kamehameha, Punahou, Rainier Beach (Wash.), Lahainaluna*, Kapolei.

Skinny: The road win over a solid Kaiser squad to open league play is a key step forward for Na Menehune.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. Demotion for a talented team deterred by sometimes overly casual defensive effort.

16. Kaiser Cougars (10-4, 0-1 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 17.
Last week’s games
W 69-53 @ Aiea 12/19
L 58-55 Moanalua 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): St. Francis, Moanalua.

Skinny: Opportunity missed for the youthful Cougars, but there are ample more opportunities ahead.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

17. Leilehua Mules (3-9, 0-1 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 14.
Last week’s games
L 55-51 #10 Moanalua 12/18 ‘Iolani Classic
W 35-29 Pearl City 12/19 ‘Iolani Classic
L 47-33 #2 Kamehameha 12/20 ‘Iolani Classic
L 49-46 @ #9 Kapolei 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-7.
Top 10 wins: Hayward (Calif.).
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Saint Louis*, Lahainaluna*, Punahou, ‘Iolani, Kamehameha, Fairfax (Calif.), Moanalua, Kamehameha, @ Kapolei.

Skinny: It always feels like the Mules are so close to turning the corner. And they always seem to play their best basketball when they’re down 10 points with 5 minutes to play. Hallmarks of a team that is maturing.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.


18. Roosevelt Rough Riders (6-3, 1-0 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 15.
Last week’s games
W 58-48 Radford 12/18
W 61-52 Kaimuki 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Prep*, ‘Iolani, Saint Louis*.

Skinny: It’s tough to remain status quo on this ballot without at least one Top 10 win on the resume. That opportunity will arise soon enough.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

19. Kalani Falcons (4-2, 1-0 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 22.
Last week’s games
W 50-41 @ Farrington 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kapolei, @ Campbell*.

Skinny: The Falcons have embraced the art of grinding through close games. Since losing to Kapolei and beating HBA to begin nonconference play, it’s been a string of slower-paced, halfcourt-tempo games. Wins over Mililani (40-37), Nanakuli (36-29) and now, Farrington. There was also a 38-32 loss at Campbell. Everett Frye was a run-and-gun baller in his playing days at Kalani, but as a first-year (interim) head coach, he’s working this blueprint to a tee.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. Promotion for the Kalani’s cardiac kids.

20. Farrington Governors (4-4, 0-1 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 12.
Last week’s games
L 50-41 Kalani 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Kamehameha, @ Kapolei, Kalani*.

Skinny: The Govs have a 63-61 wi over the Crusaders.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. Still no Top 10 wins by the Govs, plus the loss to Kalani equals demotion from Komusubi to Maegashira.

21. Saint Louis Crusaders (5-9, 0-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 19.
Last week’s games
L 74-64 Godby (Fla.) 12/21 Damien Classic (Calif.)
L 62-58 St. Joseph (Calif.) 12/22 Damien Classic (Calif.)
L 71-54 Desert Pines (Nev.) 12/22 Damien Classic (Calif.)
L 86-68 San Joaquin (Calif) 12/23 Damien Classic (Calif.)
Vs. Top 10: 0-5.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Farrington*, Kalaheo, @ Moanalua, Kahuku, St. Francis.

Skinny: Like Kalaheo, the Crusaders are in that litmus-test zone. They’ve lost just once to an unranked team. All five wins are against non-Top 10 teams, though Leilehua, Roosevelt and Campbell are clearly bubble teams (or have been or will be).

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

22. Damien Monarchs (3-3, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 23.
Last week’s games
W 46-34 ‘Iolani II 12/18
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Campbell*, @ Kahuku, @ Kaiser*.

Skinny: Physical enough to give any opponent, D-I or D-II, a tough battle. Young group needs time to mature, and with that will come better decisions and shot selection.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. Promotion time for the Monarchs.

23. Hawaii Prep Ka Makani (1-1, 0-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 21.
Last week’s games
None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kaiser.

Skinny: They loss to Kaiser was 67-39. But HPA also beat Roosevelt 49-38.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

24. Baldwin Bears (4-4, 0-2 MIL)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 24.
Last week’s games
L 64-38 Lahainaluna 12/23 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalaheo, Seabury Hall*, Maui*, Lahainaluna*.

Skinny: The Bears have wins over HBA, McKinley, Punahou II and Seabury Hall.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

25. Punahou II Buffanblu (2-3, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 25.
Last week’s games
None
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Kalaheo, @ Baldwin*, @ Kailua.

Skinny: A classic litmus-test team. Maybe not exactly in the middle of the field, but pretty close. This ranking doesn’t factor in today’s loss to Corona Del Mar (Calif.) at the Punahou Invitational, but the D-II Buffanblu played solid and kept it close. Kai Shishido was outstanding in limited minutes.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

26. Seabury Hall Spartans (7-4, 0-0 MIL D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 26.
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, Roosevelt*, Punahou II*, @ Baldwin*.

Skinny: That close 83-82 loss to Kalaheo in preseason says a LOT. So did the 60-57 loss to Baldwin.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

27. Hawaii Baptist Eagles (12-2, 1-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 27.
Last week’s games
W 79-33 @ Hanalani 12/18 ILH D-II
W 69-56 ‘Iolani II 12/21
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kalani*, @ Baldwin*.

Skinny: It’s fair to say that the Eagles haven’t been severely tested in awhile. They’ll get their share at the Punahou Invitational starting today. The Eagles were a last-minute fill-in for Coronado (Calif.), the tourney favorite that dropped out just four days prior.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. Promotion earned.

28. McKinley Tigers (6-8, 0-1 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 28.
Last week’s games
L 52-49 @ #7 Kailua 12/23 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): St. Francis, Maryknoll, Hawaii Baptist*, @ Maryknoll, @ Baldwin*, St. Francis, Campbell*, Kailua.

Skinny: Very competitive team when at full strength.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. The Tigers earned a promotion with a number of close losses.

29. University Junior Rainbows (7-4, 0-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 29.
Last week’s games
L 41-30 Kahuku 12/19 St. Francis Inv
L 55-42 Waiakea 12/20 St. Francis Inv
W 46-37 Kealakehe 12/21 St. Francis Inv
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ McKinley*, Kapolei, Kahuku, Waiakea*.

Skinny: Young team with a high expectations. No games until Jan. 4 against St. Francis in the ILH D-II opener.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

30. Konawaena Wildcats (5-0, 1-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 30.
Last week’s games
W 71-55 @ Keaau 12/21 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): None.

Skinny: Very young, untested, but that 4-0 trip to the Garden Island in early December was impressive.

Sumo rank: Juryo. Close to promotion.

31. Waiakea Warriors (8-10, 0-1 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 34.
Last week’s games
L 89-44 Punahou 12/19 St. Francis Inv
W 55-42 University 12/20 St. Francis Inv
L 60-58 Kailua 12/21 St. Francis Inv
L 52-50 Kamehameha-Hawaii 12/23 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 0-6.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kohala*, Mid-Pacific*, Hilo*, Kailua, Kamehameha-Hawaii, Kamehameha-Hawaii, Punahou, Kailua, Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Skinny: Losing two close games to two good teams will help in the long run.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

32. Hilo Vikings (9-6, 2-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 31.
Last week’s games
W 84-50 @ Ka‘u 12/19 BIIF
W 66-35 @ Parker 12/22 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kealakehe*, Kaiser*, Kailua, Maryknoll, Trinity Christian (Texas), Waiakea*.

Skinny: Big test tonight against No. 1 Punahou.

Sumo rank: Juryo. Much to prove, yet much time to improve for the rebuilding Viks.

33. Kamehameha-Maui Warriors (5-2, 0-0 MIL)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 32.
Last week’s games
Ppd. @ Maui 12/20
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): University, @ Kapaa.

Skinny: Relatively unproven with most wins over smaller D-II teams. They have a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Sumo rank: Makushita.

34. Keaau Cougars (3-4, 0-1 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 33.
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.

35. Aiea Na Alii (2-5, 1-0 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: Unranked
Last week’s games
W 38-34 Waianae 12/23
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Kailua, Moanalua, @ Damien*, University*, Kaiser*.


Skinny: This program enjoyed a JV title run last season (D-II) and is building steadily from the roots up.

Sumo rank: Makushita.

COMMENTS

  1. Come on December 28, 2017 5:00 pm

    STL belongs higher up. They beat teams that where ranked higher then them and they are playing without one of their best players. The kid I saw sitting on their bench can seriously ball. And they are playing without him.


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