Pupule ballot: Kahuku, Roosevelt surging

Kahuku's Leiah Naeata is one of a number of talented sophomores in the state. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Only by digging through the differences between OIA, ILH, MIL, BIIF and KIF teams that have yet to ascend from the middling positions of their respective league standings do I get a better perspective.

Kapolei, for example. The Hurricanes start preseason on fire with seven wins in their first eight games. Then some struggles, including a 1-4 start in the OIA West. They’re now 3-4 and could be 5-4 by the end of this week. It’s a classic example of how vulnerable most teams are below the Top 10.

Here’s how I voted. (All win-loss records as of Saturday, Dec. 30.)


Pupule BKG Top 10 12/31/17

1. Maryknoll Spartans (17-2, 3-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 1.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 11-2.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna, Konawaena, Waiakea, @ Mid-Pacific, @ Punahou, Miramonte (Calif.), Oregon City (Ore.), Kamehameha, Buckeye Union (Ariz.), Marlborough (Calif.), Campbell County.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Southridge (Ore.), Post Falls (Idaho).

Skinny: The 12-day break between games comes at a good time. The Spartans should be recharged for their ILH game at ‘Iolani on Thursday.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

2. Kamehameha Warriors (13-2, 4-1 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 2.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 5-2.
Top 10 wins: Waiakea, Sacred Hearts, @ Punahou, @ ‘Iolani, @ Sacred Hearts.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Lahainaluna, @ Maryknoll.

Skinny: Like Maryknoll and the rest of the ILH, the break over the holidays is timely for the Warriors. They’ll still be without center Kalina Obrey (hand injury), but they’ve continued to progress as she nears her return.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

3. St. Francis Saints (16-0, 8-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 3.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 2-0.
Top 10 wins: Sacred Hearts. Punahou.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): None.

Skinny: The challenge for the Saints will be finding ways to improve while playing a D-II schedule. HBA will provide another huge obstacle when they meet again, but as a fan I’d love to see St. Francis have some exhibition games with the best teams in ILH D-I. That’s something the boys team at St. Francis has managed to do via tournaments, but the girls preseason is so short, it just doesn’t happen then.

Sumo rank: Ozeki. The numbers are flawless, but a Yokozuna takes on many challengers from the top level. I may be the only voter to have the Saints this high on a ballot, but they don’t have the clout of their D-I brethren here. A win or two against a Top 10 opponent might warrant Yokozuna status.

4. Lahainaluna Lunas (16-4, 7-0 MIL D-I)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 4.
Last week’s games
W forfeit Maui 12/27 MIL
W 56-43 Kamehameha-Maui 12/30 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 2-4.
Top 10 wins: Kamehameha, @ Konawaena.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, Punahou, Campbell.

Skinny: The Lunas are the kind of dynasty in the MIL that has the island’s biggest schools forfeiting rather than playing. The streak is now 141 wins in a row, per Rob Collias of Maui News.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna. Promotion overdue.

5. Konawaena Wildcats (15-2, 4-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 5.
Last week’s games
W 75-34 Keaau 12/27 BIIF
W 70-23 Kohala 12/29 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 6-2.
Top 10 wins: Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani, ‘Iolani, Mid-Pacific, Campbell, Waiakea
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, Lahainaluna.

Skinny: The Wildcats are evolving. Younger players beginning to thrive. That’s what they’ll need more of to defend their state title.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

6. ‘Iolani Raiders (9-5, 3-1 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 6.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 5-5.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna, @ Waiakea, @ Mid-Pacific, @ Punahou, @ Sacred Hearts.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Konawaena, Konawaena, Oregon City (Ore.), Naha Senior (Okinawa), Kamehameha.

Skinny: They weren’t at full strength in the latter part of preseason, and with time, the chemistry of this team is improving. This might be one of the stronger No. 6 teams I can recall from any season in the past decade. (The Raiders are No. 5 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 as of Dec. 25.) PG Tori Maeda is playing her best basketball, and the blend of experience and new talent is a process that’s fun to watch at ‘Iolani.

Sumo rank: Ozeki.

7. Campbell Sabers (13-2, 7-0 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 7.
Last week’s games
W 36-34 Nanakuli 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-1.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Baptist*, @ Konawaena.

Skinny: Perhaps the Sabers have raised the bar in the OIA West, where the Golden Hawks of Nanakuli nearly upset Campbell. That’s two extremely close wins in West play, along with an eight-point win over Waianae. It’s probably safe to say that Campbell is closer competitively to Kapolei, Nanakuli, Honokaa, Roosevelt and HBA than they are to the top 6. If they’re going to be the kind of program that regularly beats the likes of Lahainaluna, which they did on Nov. 30, they’re not quite making that distinction yet. But it’s coming.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

8. Hawaii Baptist Eagles (15-5, 6-1 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 8.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 2-4.
Top 10 wins: @ Campbell, @ Sacred Hearts.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha-Hawaii*, @ ‘Iolani, Sacred Hearts, Kamehameha, St. Francis.

Skinny: Rest time should be excellent for the Eagles, who had a busy preseason schedule plus seven league games in a span of 23 days. Not bad, but it does add up and fatigue was an issue in the overtime loss to St. Francis. Every team goes through this, especially when classes and homework and holiday season are involved. Like St. Francis, as a selfish spectator I’d like to see HBA play exhibition games against ILH D-I teams they didn’t play in preseason. But I doubt that would be in the framework of a busy regular-season season, especially when injury risk is considered.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

9. Sacred Hearts Lancers (9-7, 2-3 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 9.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 2-6.
Top 10 wins: Mid-Pacific, @ Punahou.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Konawaena, St. Francis, Hawaii Baptist*, Waiakea, @ Kamehameha, Kamehameha, ‘Iolani.

Skinny: Down time with the ILH mid-season holiday break was interrupted by an exhibition game against Westsyde Secondary. Returning to league play won’t be short of intensity. Punahou visits on Thursday, the same team the Lancers beat on Dec. 13.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

10. Mid-Pacific Owls (8-7, 2-3 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 11.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 3-4.
Top 10 wins: @ Waiakea, @ Punahou, Punahou.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Moanalua*, Konawaena, Hilo*, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, Maryknoll, @ Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani.

Skinny: How do teams move up or down a poll or ballot without playing any games? Well, Kamehameha-Hawaii was upset by Honokaa on Friday, so the Owls fly up a notch on this ballot.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

###

11. Waiakea Warriors (12-5, 5-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 12.
Last week’s games
Vs. Top 10: 1-5.
Top 10 wins: @ Sacred Hearts.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Mid-Pacific, ‘Iolani, @ Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Konawaena.

Skinny: Like MPI, the Warriors move up, and they would’ve been a good fit at No. 10. However, they lost to Mid-Pacific 46-41 on Nov. 16 at Waiakea’s tourney. Losing at home is an extra minus factor for this pupule voter. Similar to Konawaena losing at Onizuka Gym to Lahainaluna. Waiakea might be the youngest varsity team in the state. No seniors. But the talent and will are there. Moving up will require some quality wins. Next up: a trip to Kamehameha-Hawaii on Friday, then a cross-island drive to Konawaena five days after that.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

12. Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors (8-1, 3-1 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 10.
Last week’s games
W 38-19 Pahoa 12/28 BIIF
L 29-28 @ Honokaa 12/29 BIIF
W 52-17 @ Hawaii Prep 12/30 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 1-0.
Top 10 wins: Mid-Pacific.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Honokaa.

Skinny: The loss to Honokaa throws a wrench in my ballot. The Warriors beat Mid-Pacific 34-31 on Nov. 30 (Kaiser Invitational). Honokaa is improving and the win over KS-Hawaii says more about the Dragons than the Warriors, especially with the game at Honokaa’s Lester Bryan Armory. Always a tough place to play.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

13. Hilo Vikings (7-4, 3-1 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 14.
Last week’s games
W 50-34 Keaau 12/29 BIIF
Vs. Top 10: 1-4.
Top 10 wins: Mid-Pacific.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Mililani*, ‘Iolani, Konawaena, Waiakea.

Skinny: The Vikings’ early loss to Mililani (Waiakea tournament) carries weight here. The wins over MPI, Kaimuki, Kahuku, Moanalua and Hawaii Prep put the Viks in a litmus-test zone. This week’s games against Pahoa and Honokaa are crucial.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

14. Punahou Buffanblu (8-7, 0-6 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 13.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 1-7.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): St. Francis, Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Sacred Hearts, @ Mid-Pacific, ‘Iolani, Mid-Pacific.

Skinny: Every one of the Buffanblu’s losses has come against a Top 10 team. The win over Lahainaluna should have an asterisk; the Lunas played their JV team at the Moanalua tourney (and went 2-1). The Buffanblu have talent and a lot of youth, and time is on their side if they can be patient and diligent.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

15. Kamehameha-Maui Warriors (6-3, 3-2 MIL D-I)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 16.
Last week’s games
W 55-53 @ King Kekaulike 12/27 MIL
L 56-43 @ #4 Lahainaluna 12/30 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Lahainaluna, Kamehameha, @ Lahainaluna.

Skinny: The Warriors have come a long way since the 40-point preseason loss at Lahainaluna to start preseason. They have wins over Roosevelt, Kaiser, Mililani, Maui, Baldwin in addition to King Kekaulike.

Sumo rank: Komusubi. Promotion earned.

16. Kahuku Red Raiders (7-8, 6-1 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 22.
Last week’s games
W 41-38 Kalani 12/27 OIA
W 70-40 @ Castle 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-5.
Top 10 wins: Kalani.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Sacred Hearts, @ Kamehameha, @ Maryknoll, @ Konawaena, Lahainaluna, Kaiser*.

Skinny: Oddly enough, the young Lady Raiders did something that Kalani had not. By beating No. 10 Kalani, Kahuku has now beaten a Top 10 team.

Sumo rank: Komusubi. It may seem fickle to promote a team on back-to-back weeks, but the win over Kalani was a big step forward in many ways for the Lady Raiders.

17. Kalani Falcons (9-7, 6-1 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 17.
Last week’s games
L 41-38 @ Kahuku 12/27 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-6.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Punahou, Southridge (Ore.), Miramonte (Calif.), ‘Iolani, Kahuku*.

Skinny: A loss can be reason to drop in this list, but on the road at Kahuku, losing by three? The Lady Falcons had won three in a row despite the injury to starting guard Heidi Kishiba. Castle and Kalaheo are on the schedule this week.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

18. Roosevelt Rough Riders (7-7, 5-3 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 25.
Last week’s games
W 39-29 Moanalua 12/27 OIA
W 43-38 @ McKinley 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Campbell, @ Radford*, Waiakea, Kamehameha-Maui*, Kaiser*, Kahuku*, @ Kalani.

Skinny: That’s four wins in a row for the Rough Riders with Kaimuki and Farrington ahead.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

19. McKinley Tigers (10-7, 4-3 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 18.
Last week’s games
L 39-23 @ Farrington 12/27 OIA
L 43-38 Roosevelt 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-4
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, Punahou, Sacred Hearts, St. Francis, Kalani*, @ Farrington*, Roosevelt*.


Skinny: It gets extra tight in this part of the ballot. The Lady Tigers defeated Moanalua 42-37 on Dec. 15.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

20. Moanalua Na Menehune (10-9, 4-3 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 15.
Last week’s games
L 39-29 @ Roosevelt 12/27 OIA
W 39-27 Kaiser 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 1-4.
Top 10 wins: Mid-Pacific.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Mililani*, @ Sacred Hearts, St. Francis, Lahainaluna, Hilo*, McKinley*, @ Kaimuki*, @ Roosevelt*.

Skinny: Na Menehune overcame Kaiser, so…

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

21. Kaiser Cougars (8-8, 5-2 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 19.
Last week’s games
W 51-37 Kalaheo 12/27 OIA
L 39-27 @ Moanalua 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Lahainaluna, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, Punahou, Kamehameha-Maui*, Kalani*.

Skinny: Who will emerge at the top of the totem pole in the OIA East?

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

22. King Kekaulike Na Alii (4-4, 3-3 MIL)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 20.
Last week’s games
L 55-53 Kamehameha-Maui 12/27 MIL
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kapolei*, Lahainaluna, @ Lahainaluna.

Skinny: They nearly did it, giving Upcountry rival KS-Maui a major scare. This is going to be one heck of a battle for a state berth.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

23. Mililani Trojans (10-7, 7-0 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 21.
Last week’s games
W 73-15 Waialua 12/27 OIA
W 62-23 @ Aiea 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-5.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Maryknoll, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific, @ Waiakea, Konawaena, Hawaii Baptist*, Kamehameha-Maui*.

Skinny: That’s seven wins in a row since a 42-34 loss to Kamehameha-Maui at the Sacred Hearts Invitational.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

24. Kamehameha II Warriors (9-7, 5-1 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 23.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-3.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): King Kekaulike*, @ Campbell, Kapolei*, Mid-Pacific, @ Kaiser*, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, St. Francis.

Skinny: No game last week along with the rest of the ILH.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

25. Radford Rams (6-5, 5-1 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 24.
Last week’s games
W 32-14 Pearl City 12/27 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Lahainaluna, Maryknoll, Kamehameha, @ Mililani*.

Skinny: The West is even zanier than the East. Campbell is atop the standings, but has barely gotten by two teams. Is it Radford’s time to rise up?

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

26. Kauai Red Raiders (7-1, 4-0 KIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 27.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ St. Francis.

Skinny: Bye week for the Red Raiders, and they move up a notch.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

27. Kaimuki Bulldogs (7-8, 4-3 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 29.
Last week’s games
W 58-39 Farrington 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, @ Hawaii Baptist*, ‘Iolani II*, Hilo*, Konawaena, @ Kalani, Kahuku*, @ McKinley*.

Skinny: That’s four wins in their last five games, and the loss was a 42-41 thriller at McKinley. The Bulldogs have taken fairly good care of their home slate with wins over Kalaheo, Moanalua and Farmington. Now comes a road game at Roosevelt and a home game with Kaiser.

Sumo rank: Maegashira. They’ve turned a corner, but this mountain ride has a long way to go.

28. Nanakuli Golden Hawks (9-10, 6-2 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: Unranked.
Last week’s games
W 55-46 Waianae 12/27 OIA
L 36-34 @ #9 Campbell 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Baptist*, Kapolei*, @ Kamehameha, @ Kaiser*, @ Moanalua*, Kapolei*, Punahou, @ Kalani, Radford*, @ Campbell.

Skinny: The Golden Hawks were on a roll of five wins in a row before losing by just one basket at Campbell. The battle with Leilehua pits two vastly improving teams in the West.

29. Seabury Hall Spartans (9-2, 6-0 MIL D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 30.
Last week’s games
W 52-18 @ Lanai 12/29 MIL D-II
W 44-32 Lanai 12/30 MIL D-II
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Kauai*, @ Kapaa*.

Skinny: The MIL D-II schedule has been kind, but not easy to the Spartans. They split games with Kapaa in early December, and lost at Kauai 44-30. So where’s Kapaa on this list? That was the Warriors’ only win so far.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

30. Farrington Governors (5-7, 4-4 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 28.
Last week’s games
L 60-35 @ Moanalua 12/27
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani, @ Kahuku*, Kalani, @ Moanalua*.

31. ‘Iolani II Raiders (4-4, 3-2 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 31.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kauai*, Moanalua*, Kamehameha II*, @ Hawaii Baptist*.

Skinny: The D-II Raiders bump two spots higher.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

32. Le Jardin Bulldogs (4-6, 4-3 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 32.
Last week’s games: None.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Pearl City*, Kamehameha II*, @ Kalaheo*, @ St. Francis, Kamehameha II*, @ Hawaii Baptist*.

Skinny: This is a pivotal point in the season for the Bulldogs. Are they ready to climb that next level?

Sumo rank: Juryo.

33. University Jr. Bows (6-8, 2-5 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 33.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ McKinley*, Nanakuli*, McKinley*, Punahou II*, @ St. Francis, Damien*, Hawaii Baptist*, Kamehameha II*.

Skinny: Big game this week with Le Jardin and HBA.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

34. Hanalani Royals (3-5, 3-5 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 34.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Le Jardin*, Hawaii Baptist*, @ St. Francis, ‘Iolani II*, University*.

Skinny: In a different universe, Hanalani plays in the same division with Waialua, Mililani and Leilehua. Maybe Christian Academy, Pearl City and Aiea, too. A Central Division similar to the old district-based divisions of the OIA. The Leeward side would have Waianae, Nanakuli, Kapolei, Campbell, Lanakila Baptist, Island Pacific and Waipahu. Probably too idealistic. I spent years seeing Hawaii Prep, St. Joseph and (now defunct) Henry Opukahaia co-exist with public schools in the BIIF.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

35. Kapolei Hurricanes (10-6, 3-4 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: Unranked.
Last week’s games
W 38-26 Waipahu 12/27 OIA
W 53-15 @ Pearl City 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-2.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Roosevelt*, St. Francis, Nanakuli*, @ Campbell, Mililani*, @ Radford*.

Skinny: A 7-1 start to preseason seemed to bend in the opposite direction after a 59-32 loss to St. Francis. The ‘Canes later lost to Nanakuli to start the OIA slate — the same Golden Hawks team that lost to Kapolei twice in preseason. Kapolei lost 55-54 at Campbell, and also lost to the West’s top contenders: Mililani (49-24) and @ Radford (35-22). After a 1-4 start in league play, the ‘Canes seem to be righting the ship and can push over the .500 mark in the West against Waialua and Aiea this week. Waianae (4-3) and Leilehua (5-3) have better division records, but Kapolei beat Leilehua 33-20 on Dec. 23. Waianae hasn’t played Kapolei yet, and didn’t have a preseason schedule that I’ve seen, while Kapolei registered several wins.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

###

More hoops for thought

Christian Academy Patriots (6-0, 5-0 ILH D-III)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 35.
Last week’s games
W 37-31 Island Pacific 12/23 ILH D-III (Kroc Center)
Vs. Top 10: 0-0
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): None.

Skinny: The Patriots’ inactive week left room for Kapolei to squeeze into the Top 35 list. CA has gotten by foes by small margins so far.

Sumo rank: Sandanme.

Leilehua Mules (6-4, 5-3 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: Unranked.
Last week’s games
W 24-14 Aiea 12/27 OIA
W 33-26 @ Waianae 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-0.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou II*, Kaimuki*, Mililani*, @ Radford*, Kapolei*.

Skinny: They’re young and rebuilding, and in good hands with veteran coach Elroy Dumlao. Leilehua is the litmus test of the West, it appears. They’ve beaten the likes of Waipahu, Pearl City, Waipahu and Aiea by at least double-digit margins. Then they got past Waianae on the road. Next up is the upper half of the division: Campbell, then Nanakuli.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

Waianae Seariders (4-3, 4-3 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 26.
Last week’s games
L 55-46 @ Nanakuli 12/27 OIA
L 33-26 Leilehua 12/29 OIA
Vs. Top 10: 0-1.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Campbell, @ Nanakuli*, Leilehua*.


Skinny: Just like that, the Seariders drop two games and fall back into the middle of the pack. A somewhat isolated region with plenty of physical talent, what’s stopping Waianae from becoming a basketball powerhouse? Ever since Thia Palakiko rocked that hardwood court (in basketball and volleyball), it’s been slim pickings when it comes to dominant basketball players. Could be similar to other schools where the best athletes are choosing softball, soccer or volleyball instead of basketball.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

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