Kona steady at No. 1 despite injuries (part 2)

Leilehua’s Hannah Coffin tied up Radford’s Kyle Johnson for a jump ball last week. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser
Leilehua’s Hannah Coffin tied up Radford’s Kyle Johnson for a jump ball last week. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

See Part 1 here

Radford’s lopsided win over rival Leilehua was enough to push the Rams up a notch to No. 7, swapping spots with ‘Iolani. The Rams have been impressive in the OIA West under coach Charles Chong. The stars have aligned and Chong has gotten plenty out the Rams. Mililani is still ranked in the Top 10, two spots behind Radford, even though star forward Shantel Appleby had been out since tweaking a knee in early December. She returned to play recently in Mililani’s win over Waianae.

Kaiser continued its run with Coach Simon Bitanga back and landed at No. 10 in the poll. The Cougars barely outpointed ILH D-II powerhouse Hawaii Baptist. Kaiser replaced Leilehua in the poll after the Mules took that loss from Radford and were voted out by the panel.

Hilo, at No. 5, is largely untested — this season. The Vikings had traveled to Oahu for preseason competition in previous years, and though this year’s team is chock full of returning talent, it’s not an easy gauge right now. That suits the voters just fine, it seems. After all, heavily tested teams like Kamehameha and Sacred Hearts are easily among the most competitive — and formerly ranked — squads in the state. Playing the ILH means some teams rack up a few more losses, and some voters will punish teams accordingly, fair or not.


  1. LunaLuna January 26, 2016 12:00 pm

    On 11/28 Hilo lost to Lahainaluna 63-42. They are not an elite team.

  2. Paul Honda January 27, 2016 4:34 am

    Lahainaluna is a strong No. 2. Hilo is three spots below. What is your point, LunaLuna? I think I made it clear in this post that there are Konawaena and Lahainaluna in the top tier.

    Your point may be (I’m guessing) that the next tier or two are significantly lower. It’s not an uncommon assertion. A lot of fans have expressed that to me in recent years, but none more so than this one. But that’s another post to be penned later.

  3. LunaLuna January 27, 2016 8:25 am

    You said Hilo is untested. I just put this score to show that they were tested against a top 5 team earlier in the season and lost.

  4. Paul Honda January 27, 2016 12:09 pm

    True. I was referring to Hilo’s BIIF schedule to this point. Honokaa is making the transition back to D-I. Konawaena is the big test.

  5. The Rim January 28, 2016 3:13 pm

    Hilo vs. Konawaena tomorrow night, in Hilo. Lets face it, Kona smoked everyone thus far and did well on the mainland, so I would expect no different tomorrow. Hilo is a good team no doubt about it and deserves to be ranked in the top five.

  6. The Rim January 29, 2016 7:24 pm

    Hilo gave Kona all they could handle. Hilo deserves their ranking and will make noise in the State Tournament.

  7. Sports Fan January 30, 2016 8:14 am

    Paul watches as many games as he physically can. He can’t see them all however his reporting is honest. We are a state that loves prep sports but too much attention is given to UH. There are many seniors girls going on to college next year. Some will play basketball and we will never hear about them. I’m sick of hearing about Chanelle. She will play in college. Keala Quinlinn will not.She will be a bench warmer for sure.

  8. The Rim January 30, 2016 1:34 pm

    Sports Fan- Chanelle played her first game of the BIIF season last night coming off the bench against Hilo High. She did okay but it was obvious she’s not completely ready to play at her best. She missed crucial free throws at the end of the game but Hilo couldn’t capitalize. I’m sure you were referring to pre season coverage of Chanelle because not even the Big Island media mentioned her all season, however, there are three of them and they’re all good and young so you’ll hear that Molina name for the next three years.

  9. Sports Fan January 30, 2016 4:19 pm

    I agree! The Molina sisters are fantastic team players. The have been coached by the best. They will all play well in college. Others, however have not had the pleasure of expert coaching and support. I believe there are 10-15 girls that deserve recognition and support but the press doesn’t cover them. Most teams are suffering with players with injuries at this point.

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