‘Iolani opens girls hoops season at No. 1

'Iolani’s Lily Wahinekapu drove to the basket against Kalani’s Daesha Viela during the McKinley tournament. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

It’s far from unanimous, but the ‘Iolani Raiders have plenty of believers statewide.

Coaches and media voted ‘Iolani No. 1 in today’s season-opening Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball Top 10 poll. Led by Taylor Wu and Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu, the run-and-gun Raiders are undefeated through nonconference play and open the season tonight at Sacred Hearts. ‘Iolani received three first-place votes.

Four-time defending state champion Konawaena opens its nonconference slate this week with a homecourt tourney at Col. Ellison Onizuka Gymnasium. The ‘Cats nabbed six of the 10 first-place votes. Versatile Fab 15 All-State selection Caiyle Kaupu is their top returnee.

Another unbeaten squad, Maryknoll, garnered one first-place vote and is No. 3 in the rankings. The Lady Spartans have been in hyper-speed mode with a blur of a fastbreak and nonstop fullcourt pressure. Jalen Tanuvasa scored 27 points in a win over Kaimuki last week for a lineup that has no seniors.

There’s a significant point gap after that. MIL dynasty Lahainaluna is No. 4, followed by Kamehameha and Kalani. BIIF title contenders Hilo and Waiakea are tied at No. 7. Hilo stunned Waiakea on Nov. 17, 88-75. Punahou and Sacred Hearts round out the Top 10.

Mililani (seven), Mid-Pacific (five) and Kahuku (two) also received votes.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

Updated: Dec. 5
1.‘Iolani (9)90


  1. Aiea 7 November 27, 2018 8:07 am

    honda, biased reporting again – favoring iolani. bet that konawaena will dump them in the states.

  2. KONA on top November 27, 2018 9:31 am

    Aiea 7 yep i couldn’t agree wyou more on that. Defending champs get more 1st place votes but comes in at #2. Hmmmm? What’s wrong with this picture?

  3. Burgla November 28, 2018 1:23 am

    Everyone is playing copy cat; Iolani plays their game and instead of playing to strengths “coaches” try to copy them and lose. Honda not biased; just the state of girls hoops. Kalani a perfect example; should be undefeated; but tried running with Iolani and lost

  4. ILH November 28, 2018 8:24 am

    Do the wildcats have players on their team from neighboring islands?
    Or from out of district ?

    A person told me that his friend moved his daughter to Kona to play for them. I didnt want to believe him.

  5. Paul Honda November 28, 2018 10:39 am

    Wow, now I’m “biased” against Konawaena? That’s a new one. I’ve heard it the other way, even that I graduated from Konawaena.

    Polls are always interesting. They have the nutritional value of whipped cream, I like to say. Still fun to taste.

    For everyone who disagrees with each week’s poll, welcome to the club. We collect ballots and the points add up and we post them. Each reader is more than welcome to post his or her own Top 10.

    For me, Konawaena is No. 1 on my ballot. I tend to vote with the defending champion in whatever sport we vote on. Especially if that defending champion hasn’t lost a game yet.

    Apparently, though, some voters dropped Konawaena quite a bit on their ballots. Or maybe ‘Iolani was that convincing in preseason. To our Wildcats fans in Kealakekua, please keep us updated. I’m wishing I could be at the tournament this week, especially when Lahainaluna plays Konawaena 🙂

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