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.