Projecting the 2019 girls basketball state brackets

'Iolani's Taylor Wu (11) pulled up for a shot over Kamehameha's Kaylee-Brooke Manuel (41) in the Raiders' ILH title-clinching win on Saturday. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

With the Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships brackets expected to be released soon, here’s a look at last year’s Division I pairings and how they would compare if the same numbers were used this season.

2018 D-I State Tournament pairings
OIA 4 (Mililani) @ MIL 2 (KS-Maui). Winner vs. #1 seed Maryknoll.
OIA 5 (Campbell) @ BIIF 2 (Waiakea). Winner vs. #4 seed Kalani.
>> quarterfinals at Moanalua

OIA 6 (Kaiser) @ OIA 2 (Moanalua). Winner vs. #2 seed Konawaena.
OIA 3 (Kahuku) @ ILH 2 (‘Iolani). Winner vs. #3 seed Lahainaluna.
>> quarterfinals at McKinley

2019 Projected opening-round pairings
OIA 4 (Kaiser) @ MIL 2 (King Kekaulike). Winner vs. #1 seed ‘Iolani.
OIA 5 (Leilehua) @ BIIF 2 (Konawaena). Winner vs. #4 seed Kahuku.
>> quarterfinals at Oahu site to be determined.

OIA 6 (Radford) @ OIA 2 (Kalani). Winner vs. #2 seed Lahainaluna.
OIA 3 (Mililani) @ ILH 2 (Kamehameha). Winner vs. #3 seed Waiakea.
>> quarterfinals at Oahu site to be determined.

** This is NOT the official pairings list. It is only a projection.

Note: The HHSAA seeding committee is bound by restrictive by-laws to prevent as many opening-round matchups of teams from the same league. Within that framework, the committee is not beholden to the exact format of last year or any other year.


  1. REAL TOURNEY PLEASE January 28, 2019 12:40 pm

    This tourney is flawed. There are good teams missing and bad teams in the tourney. Just let them all play. Seed them 1 to however many teams there are. OIA should not get 6 teams.

    Their top 2 teams Kahuku and Kalani lost to Sacred Hearts. Their champion also lost to Mid Pacific.

    Hilo is also solid and better than most OIA teams.

    I get that teams improve throughout the year. And I get some coaches use the pre-season to experiment. But some also play to win.

    Using a blanket statement such as “Teams use preseason to experiment and tinker with lineups is not 100% true.”

    Until all coaches do that, head to head will also be the most accurate way to gauge teams.

  2. Bobby Command January 29, 2019 8:37 am

    Real Tourney Please, I’ve always advocated a 16-team tournament, with each of the four leagues hosting a regional and a final four in Honolulu. Any format must be viewed through the legitimate lens of expense, significantly with the participation of neighbor island schools. And as they say, leave it to money to ruin a good idea.

  3. WOW January 29, 2019 11:16 am

    Real Tourney Please, I understand your pain. But it’s hard to use preseason games as a measure of the entire season. If you played any sport before you should know that it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. Everyone is pointing out that Kahuku loss to Sacred Hearts and Mid Pac. But what about the win over Kamehameha? They also won 14 straight games and that’s not easy to do at any level. There are always crazy wins and losses in the beginning of the season. I hope you don’t think the ILH is the “Cream of the Crop”, because their not. This is not football! That has been proven for the past three years with Maryknoll and Konawaena. Konawaena beat them with ease each year. Then take a look at all the records of the private schools. Some of them are just as bad as the OIA.

    If you go to the mainland the state tournament is only a eight team tournament. This is because you have to win your district and then your region then you make it to states. At least that is what happens in most of the states. If you change the tournament to a 16 team format then there is no way that you are going to have the best teams in the tournament. Because the majority of the teams here on the island are top heavy. Maybe do like the football team and schedule the OIA and ILH and the outer islands to play game throughout the season and not just in the beginning and end. Then there could be some real rankings also. Because can you tell me who Lahainaluna has even played in Maui that makes them ranked in the top 4? At least you can say Waiakea beat a respectful opponent to win the BIIF.

    Now this is just my opinion and there is no disrespect intended.

  4. WOW January 29, 2019 11:24 am

    REAL TOURNEY PLEASE– State tournaments are also based on the size of the sate as well. Like California would have way more teams than Hawaii would in their tourney. If we have more than what we have the quality of the teams would naturally go down whether most think so or not. Because lets be real. Basketball is not the greatest here on the island and the majority of the girls that even go to college have to leave here to get spotted and or they won’t play at the next level.

  5. Rams33 January 29, 2019 11:33 am

    I agree with the projected D1 seedings.

    Any thoughts on how D2 seeding should go? I feel like Waimea and HPA are probably looking at the 4/5 seeds unless HPA is rewarded for the overall strength of the BIIF. I’m less sure how the committee will rank HBA, Castle, and Seabury because I haven’t seen Seabury play this year. If I were to predict seeding I think it would look like this:

    1. HBA
    2. Seabury
    3. Castle
    4. HPA
    5. Waimea

  6. REAL TOURNEY PLEASE January 29, 2019 12:38 pm

    @ Wow, fair points. But until we have head to head games later in the season, preseason games do give some gauge. Yes Kahuku finished well. But no terrible teams are beating any good teams regardless if it’s game 1 or game 30.

    My point is, OIA 4-6 are bad. No business playing for any kind of title.

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