The force of Robinson lands Lunas in boys Top 10

The 2017-18 Lahainaluna Lunas are the defending Maui Interscholastic League champions. Photo courtesy of Jason Justus.

Maybe it was overdue, but the voters are convinced about the Lahainaluna Lunas now.

The Lunas have won three of their last four games, including victories over then-No. 10 Moanalua and a lopsided win over Baldwin. Coaches and media sent Lahainaluna all the way up to No. 8 after the West Maui hoopsters were unranked through the first two weeks of the poll.

Senior Koa Evalu Robinson was a revelation at the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. The 6-foot-4 post demonstrated the footwork and scoring skills that make him one of the top inside scorers in the state. Lahainaluna (2-0 MIL) will host Kamehameha-Maui on Saturday at the Lahaina Civic Center.

At the top of the rankings, the choice is unanimous. Coaches and media made Punahou the receiver all good things on Christmas weekend. The Buffanblu (12-1) collected all 10 first-place votes from coaches and media to remain at the No. 1 position.

Maryknoll skipped a notch to No. 2 after going 3-1 in the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. Kamehameha lost to a surging Kapolei squad and dropped one spot to No. 3.

‘Iolani remained at No. 4 despite losing three of four games at its Classic. St. Francis, the defending Division II state champion, is right behind the Raiders at No. 5. The Saints lost to Punahou 74-66 in the final of the St. Francis Holiday Hoops Classic last Thursday, their second close loss to ILH D-I powerhouses.

ILH teams resume league play on Jan. 4.

Kahuku, which lost to Punahou 50-48 in the semifinals of the St. Francis tourney on a controversial last-second shot, is two points behind St. Francis at No. 6. The Red Raiders (13-3, 1-0 OIA East) visit McKinley on Thursday.

Kapolei climbed two spots up the poll to No. 7 after stunning then-No. 2 Kamehameha and stifling then-No. 10 Moanalua at the Classic. The Hurricanes (6-4, 1-0 OIA West) will visit Mililani on Thursday.

Kamehameha-Hawaii remains largely a mystery statewide, but rose from No. 10 to No. 9 this week. The Warriors (6-2) are 2-0 in BIIF play. The mystery will be revealed when KS-Hawaii plays in the Punahou Invitational this week. The Warriors play Sequoia of Redwood City, Calif., on Wednesday.

Kailua, which lost to Campbell, then beat Kealakehe, Waiakea and McKinley, dropped three spots to No. 10. The Surfriders won those three games by a total of nine points. They will host Moanalua on Thursday.

Moanalua and Kalaheo dropped out of this week’s Top 10. Moanalua was No. 10 last week before beating Leilehua, and losing to Lahainaluna and Kapolei in the ‘Iolani Classic. Na Menehune edged Kaiser 58-55 on Saturday.

Kalaheo was No. 8 a week ago, but is in the midst of a six-game losing streak. A big part of that was the scheduling conflict for players who had final exams while the team had daytime consolation-bracket games at the Classic.

The Mustangs (10-9, 0-1 OIA East) will visit McKinley on Saturday.

Na Menehune (seven), Campbell (five) and Kaiser (two) also received votes.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

Updated: 9/19
1.Kahuku (12)129
4.Kamehameha (1)82
7.Saint Louis57


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