‘Iolani sweeps vote, Hanalani lands at No. 10 in final Top 10

'Iolani’s Lily Wahinekapu (23), Jovi Lefotu (21), Kyra Tanabe (12) and Kylie Yung (24) ran back to the bench to celebrate with their teammates after winning a second straight state title in 2019. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Start to finish, the ‘Iolani Raiders left little doubt.

Coming into the Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships, defending champion ‘Iolani was the season-long leader atop the Star-Advertiser Top 10. But in recent weeks, the vote was not unanimous. In fact, two of the 10 voters who submitted ballots last week sided with BIIF champion Konawaena.

The only teams to beat ‘Iolani were Mater Dei, back in December, and Maryknoll, in January.

It stayed that way through the weekend.

The Raiders swept through Moanalua, Waiakea, and then rallied past Konawaena to capture their second state crown in a row. This time, all of the voters checked the box next to ‘Iolani (25-2) at No. 1. Konawaena (23-4) was on every ballot at No. 2, and Waiakea (20-3) collected all third-place votes.

The remainder of the Top 10 was a reshuffle with one exception — the arrival of Hanalani (15-2) at No. 10. The Royals were ILH Division II runners-up, but ran the table in the state-tourney at Afook Chinen Hilo Civic Auditorium. They won four games in four days, ousting Campbell (64-29), KIF champion Waimea (63-60) and Hawaii Baptist (52-42) before stunning top-seeded Mid-Pacific (40-37) for the D-II state crown.

The Royals replaced the Owls in this week’s poll.

The flu bug hit Maryknoll as the state tourney began, and the Spartans were a shell of their normal selves in a quarterfinal loss to Kahuku. Despite the loss, ILH runner-up Maryknoll (19-8) garnered enough votes to drop only one position to No. 4, ahead of No. 5 Kahuku (18-9), the only team that went through the OIA undefeated.

Kahuku lost to Konawaena (56-39) in the state semifinals, then lost to Waiakea (56-44) in the third-place game.

Recency bias struck Kamehameha (13-12), which fell a notch to No. 6 despite not playing since Jan. 25. The opposite was true of Hilo (10-5), which climbed a spot to No. 7. Hilo was 10-0 against unranked opponents and 0-5 against Top 10 teams. The Vikings’ losses were to Konawaena (42-39), Kahuku (55-47 in overtime), Konawaena (56-42), Waiakea (55-52) and Waiakea in the playoffs (54-50, OT).

Hilo had the ball with the score tied in OT against Waiakea in that BIIF semifinal loss. In the Kahuku game, a key starter did not play.

MIL champion Lahainaluna (12-8), like Maryknoll, will return its starting lineup next season. The Lady Lunas lost in the state quarterfinals to Waiakea (37-26), defeated OIA runner-up Moanalua (50-39) and lost to a refreshed Maryknoll squad (50-38).

Punahou (12-11) suffered a similar fate as Kamehameha, slipping two steps to No. 9. The Buffanblu ended their season on Jan. 25.

Four teams also received votes: King Kekaulike, Mid-Pacific, Hawaii Baptist and Maui.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

Updated: Mar. 14
1.Waianae (10)115
2.Campbell 100
3.‘Iolani (1)92


  1. 88 February 10, 2020 5:11 pm

    How is Kahuku ranked lower than a team they beat and beat quite convincingly… Give me break with this flu crap. Reward the teams the RIGHT WAY or else throw these rankings in the garbage. If your gonna say Maryknoll was hit with the flu bug and that’s why they loss to Kahuku than by that same logic reward them the #1 spot since before the team got the coronavirus they were the only team in HAWAII to beat Iolani… Sad

  2. 89 February 10, 2020 8:43 pm

    Kahuku got cracks from Maryknoll when they was healthy. Every legit team was a loss for Kahuku. Maryknoll beat them by over 20 first game. They loss to Iolani, Punahou, Kona, Waiakea. Be happy where they are ranked…

  3. 88 February 10, 2020 10:17 pm

    If the rankings are based off of the PRESEASON then your right. Fortunately for the rest of the basketball world it’s what happens in the actual REGULAR SEASON that counts… Well everywhere except Hawaii.

  4. 89 February 10, 2020 10:37 pm

    It’s a Statewide ranking so preseason is the only time you can gauge where they would
    Or should be ranked. Other then that they played kalaheo, Kaiser and Anuenue? Can’t expect to Be a top 10 team with that schedule. They lucky to be ranked that high. They would be below Kam and
    Punahou in my rankings 😂. Not hating on Kahuku just saying that’s a generous ranking for a weak schedule

  5. 88 February 11, 2020 8:30 am

    Kahuku can’t control their schedule but what they could control was that @$$ whooping they put on Maryknoll last week. It’s crazy that you base your ranking on a game that was played last November rather than a game that was just played a week ago. Maryknoll should feel lucky their ranked that high.

  6. seniorcitizen2020 February 11, 2020 11:28 am

    You get 2 extra points for paying to send your kids to an ILH school, Public schools just got to live with the bias.

  7. ILoveHawaii February 11, 2020 12:05 pm

    Besides a flu ridden Maryknoll team, did they beat any other ranked opponents?

    Maybe that had something to do with their final ranking.

    Btw, I forgot who it was earlier in the season, but headband showed up in that Konawaena game. Shooting treys from deeeep.

  8. 89 February 13, 2020 8:23 pm

    @IloveHawaii Nope they loss to all teams that was ranked and did beat a flu bit Maryknoll where 3 girls had the flu. That’s why they lucky to be ranked that High.

  9. Coach Taylor February 14, 2020 4:48 pm

    Why is this guy so angry? 3 players on Maryknoll had the flu. One went to the hospital. Everyone knows Maryknoll is better than Kahuku. But let’s be honest. None of these teams would be winning titles if I was still coaching.

  10. 90 February 15, 2020 6:08 pm

    Pre-season is just that! It doesn’t matter if someone was sick unfortunately that was a bad break. But great teams don’t make excuses they find ways to win. Maryknoll had a tuff time with Kalani. Just like most teams on this island with the exception of Iolani each team only has two to three good players. The bad thing is those rankings are bias towards ILH schools. Maryknoll had a team of D1 players for years and loss every year to Kona in states. Where were the excuses then? You guys might need to check Chico. Last thing at the end of the season is when it counts not the beginning plus these ranking don’t mean crap Maryknoll still got beat.

  11. 88 February 17, 2020 7:09 pm

    It’s a good thing Kahuku got the flu bug during the preseason when the games don’t count… lol

  12. 91 February 17, 2020 9:37 pm

    It’s a good thing they got the flu again against Waiakea 😂

  13. 88 February 18, 2020 7:51 am

    Yup, three players had the flu. One of them even had to go to the hospital. BUT if they didn’t everyone knows Kahuku would of won…😂

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