Pupule ballot: Kalani, KS-Hawaii girls climb higher

Kalani’s Daesha Viela went to steal the ball from Moanalua’s Mariah Borce during the OIA Division I title game. The Falcons went from D-II champions last year to D-I winners this season, but now are part of a stacked quarterfinal bracket in the state tournament. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

It’s time for the Big Dance.

It’s also time to see how the hottest team in the OIA, Kalani, will fare against the rest of the state.

Here’s how I voted. (All win-loss records as of Saturday, Jan. 20.)


Pupule BKG Top 10
01/28/18

1. Maryknoll Spartans (26-2, 10-0 ILH)
> Vs. Top 10: 20-2 (.909).
2. St. Francis Saints (23-0, 15-0 ILH D-II)
> Vs. Top 10: 4-0 (1.000).
3. Lahainaluna Lunas (20-4, 12-0 MIL D-I)
> Vs. Top 10: 2-4 (.333).
4. Konawaena Wildcats (23-2, 10-0 BIIF)
> Vs. Top 10: 7-2 (.778).
5. ‘Iolani Raiders (15-8, 7-3 ILH)
> Vs. Top 10: 11-7 (.611)
6. Kamehameha Warriors (17-6, 8-4 ILH)
Vs. Top 10: 11-6 (.647).
7. Hawaii Baptist Eagles (24-6, 13-2 ILH D-II)
> Vs. Top 10: 2-5 (.286).
8. Waiakea Warriors (16-8, 8-2 BIIF)
> Vs. Top 10: 4-8 (.333).
9. Kalani Falcons (14-8, 8-2 OIA East)
> Vs. Top 10: 1-6 (.143).
10. Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors (13-4, 6-4 BIIF)
> Vs. Top 10: 2-3 (.400).

1. Maryknoll Spartans (26-2, 10-0 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 1.
Last week’s games
W 64-43 Sacred Hearts 01/22 ILH playoffs
W 51-31 #3 ‘Iolani 01/23 ILH playoffs-a
Vs. Top 10: 20-2 (.909).
Strength of schedule: 22 of 28 games (79 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna, Konawaena, Waiakea, @ Mid-Pacific, @ Punahou, Miramonte (Calif.), Oregon City (Ore.), Kamehameha, Buckeye Union (Ariz.), Marlborough (Calif.), Campbell County, @ ‘Iolani, Sacred Hearts, Mid-Pacific, @ Kamehameha, Punahou, @ Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani, Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Southridge (Ore.), Post Falls (Idaho).

Skinny: Wow. We all knew the Lady Spartans were loaded and experienced, but seeing their season unfold like this has been memorable. Best Maryknoll girls basketball team ever? We’ll know more by the end of the week.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

2. St. Francis Saints (23-0, 15-0 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 2.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 4-0 (1.000).
Strength of schedule: 4 of 23 games (17 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Sacred Hearts. Punahou, @ Hawaii Baptist, Hawaii Baptist.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): None.

Skinny: I can’t say the Saints would reach the state title game in Division I. I can’t say they would not do this, either. What I can say is their resume does the talking. Yes, they are perfect on paper and in action. But losing the Neves sisters (transferred) took two key players out of their rotation, and the effect of that doesn’t really happen until a back-to-back-to-back situation like this week’s state tourney.

Sumo rank: Ozeki.

3. Lahainaluna Lunas (20-4, 12-0 MIL D-I)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 3.
Last week’s games
W 52-38 @ Maui 01/22 MIL playoffs
W 50-28 Kamehameha-Maui 01/23 MIL playoffs-a (Maui gym)
Vs. Top 10: 2-4 (.333).
Strength of schedule: 6 of 24 games (25 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Kamehameha, @ Konawaena.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, Punahou, Campbell.

Skinny: That’s 146 consecutive MIL wins by the Lady Lunas. They were without two starters, including nimble and quick forward Susie Namoa, during preseason. The Top 10 record is mediocre, but the win at Konawaena still gives them an edge on my ballot.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

4. Konawaena Wildcats (23-2, 10-0 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 4.
Last week’s games
W 76-25 Keaau 01/24 BIIF playoffs
W 48-29 #7 Waiakea 01/25 BIIF playoffs-a
Vs. Top 10: 7-2 (.778).
Strength of schedule: 9 of 25 games (36 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani, ‘Iolani, Mid-Pacific, Campbell, Waiakea, Waiakea.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, Lahainaluna.

Skinny: The defending champions have turned the corner and are closer to their potential now than at any time. They still don’t have the depth and talent level, the height and size of Maryknoll. Would I be surprised if they win their fourth state title in a row? Yes. Would I be shocked? No.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

5. ‘Iolani Raiders (15-8, 7-3 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 5.
Last week’s games
W 48-44 #6 Kamehameha 01/22 ILH playoffs
L 51-31 @ #1 Maryknoll 01/23 ILH playoffs-b
Vs. Top 10: 11-7 (.611).
Strength of schedule: 18 of 23 games (78 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna, @ Waiakea, @ Mid-Pacific, @ Punahou, @ Sacred Hearts, Mid-Pacific, @ Kamehameha, Punahou, Sacred Hearts, @ Kamehameha, Kamehameha.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Konawaena, Konawaena, Oregon City (Ore.), Naha Senior (Okinawa), Kamehameha, Maryknoll, @ Maryknoll.

Skinny: Since the poll, ‘Iolani won its opening-round game against Kahuku 88-47. No Taylor Wu, who was not enrolled at ‘Iolani during the fall semester when the official start date of basketball season occurred. The school asked the HHSAA for an exemption. HHSAA said no. So she’s out for the tourney. Huge loss? So far, no. The four freshmen were fantastic on Monday. The Raiders are playing fast and furious by mandate, and their depth is a major advantage. The Lahainaluna-‘Iolani matchup on Thursday is a potentially A+ entertainment matchup. But again, how does the No. 3 seed (Lahainaluna) wind up facing the top unseeded team (‘Iolani) so early in the tourney? Probably because HHSAA by-law dictates that a league champion (Maryknoll) is to be bracketed separately from its league runner-up, which is ‘Iolani. So that’s why the lowest seed, Kalani, doesn’t have the potentially best unseeded team in its bracket. Kalani and Maryknoll are on the same side. Similar scenarios like this happen every year. A 12-team format with half the teams from one league (OIA) lends itself to this challenge.

6. Kamehameha Warriors (17-6, 8-4 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 6.
Last week’s games: None
Vs. Top 10: 11-6 (.647).
Strength of schedule: 17 of 23 games (74 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Waiakea, Sacred Hearts, @ Punahou, @ ‘Iolani, @ Sacred Hearts, Mid-Pacific, ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, @ Mid-Pacific, Punahou, Punahou.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Lahainaluna, @ Maryknoll, ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, ‘Iolani, @ ‘Iolani.

Skinny: The dearth of state berths available to the ILH is never becoming. What it does, however, is create extreme drama over who gets the second and final berth. In the end, though, it seems more of an exercise of inflicting pain than a just system to include the state’s best teams. Yes, I am for — and have long been a proponent of — expanding the Division I tournament to 16 teams. The format already covers four days. It would eliminate the opening-round bye for league champions. Adding more teams is plus-plus-plus for Title IX numbers. And the experience of playing in the tourney for those extra four teams is invaluable. Even in defeat. More of a good thing, please.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

7. Hawaii Baptist Eagles (24-6, 13-2 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 9.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 2-5 (.286).
Strength of schedule: 7 of 30 games (23 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: @ Campbell, @ Sacred Hearts.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha-Hawaii*, @ ‘Iolani, Sacred Hearts, Kamehameha, St. Francis, @ St. Francis.

Skinny: How does HBA move from seventh to ninth (last week) and back to seventh on this ballot? It’s more the fickle nature of the other teams in this region of the rankings. Good news for the Eagles is that Ally Wada has been cleared to play this week at states. But she’s not fully recovered from the injury, so maybe she plays as needed. The Eagles played well after her injury against St. Francis on Jan. 20, so it’s possible they can get by without her for long stretches.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

8. Waiakea Warriors (16-8, 8-2 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 9.
Last week’s games
W 55-49 #8 Hilo 01/24 BIIF playoffs (Civic)
L 48-29 #2 Konawaena 01/25 BIIF playoffs-a (Civic)
Vs. Top 10: 4-8 (.333).
Strength of schedule: 12 of 24 games (50 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Mililani, @ Sacred Hearts, Hilo, Hilo.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Mid-Pacific, ‘Iolani, @ Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Konawaena, @ Konawaena, @ Hilo, Konawaena.

Skinny: Since the rankings were released, the Warriors ousted Campbell 77-56 in the opening round of the state tourney on Monday. Two teams without any significant height, and Waiakea’s elite-level skills and speed took control. Next up is Kalani on Thursday in a game that could play out at warp speed from beginning to end.

Sumo rank: Ozeki. The win over Campbell doesn’t count in this ballot, but that makes it five wins over Top 10 teams. Promotion time.

9. Kalani Falcons (14-8, 8-2 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 13.
Last week’s games
W 47-45 #9 Mililani 01/22 OIA playoffs
W 55-33 Moanalua 01/24 OIA playoffs-a
Vs. Top 10: 1-6 (.143).
Strength of schedule: 7 of 22 games (32 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Mililani.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Punahou, Southridge (Ore.), Miramonte (Calif.), ‘Iolani, Kahuku*, Moanalua.

Skinny: Frankly, the Lady Falcons are 1) playing some of the most entertaining, exciting and intense basketball of any team this season, and 2) not exactly in possession of the strongest resume. The OIA East (and OIA in general) was younger and lacked a dominant team. The extreme parity created opportunities. Can Kalani boost to a higher level? A win over Waiakea would do wonders, but could the Falcons beat the likes of Maryknoll?

Sumo rank: Sekiwake. The OIA title was fully earned by this team. Promotion time.

10. Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors (13-4, 6-4 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 17.
Last week’s games
W 43-21 Kohala 01/24 BIIF D-II playoffs
W 32-29 Honokaa 01/25 BIIF D-II playoffs-a
Vs. Top 10: 2-3 (.400).
Strength of schedule: 5 of 15 games (33 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Hawaii Baptist, Mid-Pacific.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Honokaa*, Waiakea, Hilo, Konawaena.

Skinny: The Warriors took their share of lumps with losses to Hilo and Konawaena to close the regular season. They also have wins over Hawaii Baptist, Kaiser, Mid-Pacific and Kamehameha II.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

11. Sacred Hearts Lancers (12-12, 3-7 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 12.
Last week’s games: None
Vs. Top 10: 6-12 (.333).
Strength of schedule: 18 of 24 games (75 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: Hawaii Baptist, Mid-Pacific, @ Punahou, Mid-Pacific, Mid-Pacific, Mid-Pacific.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Konawaena, St. Francis, Hawaii Baptist, Waiakea, @ Kamehameha, Kamehameha, ‘Iolani, Punahou, @ Maryknoll, @ ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, @ Maryknoll.

Skinny: Even if the D-I state tourney was a 16-team format, only three teams would qualify from the ILH. And one of the most competitive teams in the state, Sacred Hearts, might not be there. Of the 2018-19 teams that will have luxury-level returnees on their rosters: ‘Iolani (four freshmen), Kahuku, Punahou (six freshmen), Waiakea (no seniors), Mid-Pacific and Sacred Hearts. Dallas Martinez and Te‘Hiwa Medeiros are underclassmen.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

12. Moanalua Na Menehune (16-10, 7-3 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 7.
Last week’s games
W 59-57 OT Kahuku 01/22 OIA playoffs (McKinley gym)
L 55-33 Kalani 01/24 OIA playoffs-a (McKinley gym)
Vs. Top 10: 5-7 (.417).
Strength of schedule: 12 of 26 games (46 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: Mid-Pacific, @ Kalani, Kahuku, @ Kalani, Kahuku.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Mililani, @ Sacred Hearts, St. Francis, Lahainaluna, Hilo, McKinley*, @ Kaimuki*, @ Roosevelt*, Kalani.

Skinny: Na Menehune have recovered from the OIA title-game loss to Kalani. They beat Kaiser 42-34 on Monday in the first round of the state tourney. Next up is second-seeded Konawaena on Thursday. Unlike Kalani, Konawaena normally doesn’t press fullcourt. Moanalua C Delylah Sanerivi could pose a major problem on the block. But if Na Menehune don’t take care of the ball, she may not get many touches.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

13. Kahuku Red Raiders (11-10, 8-2 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 15.
Last week’s games
L 59-57 OT Moanalua 01/22 OIA playoffs (McKinley gym)
W 35-27 @ Mililani 01/24 OIA playoffs-a
Vs. Top 10: 2-5 (.286).
Strength of schedule: 7 of 19 games (37 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: Kalani, Campbell, @ Mililani.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Sacred Hearts, @ Kamehameha, @ Maryknoll, @ Konawaena, Lahainaluna, Kaiser*, @ Moanalua*, Moanalua*.

Skinny: Since the poll was published, Kahuku lost at ‘Iolani 88-47. There’s a lot to build on. C Sisila Kaufusi is uber-talented in victory and defeat. Her ability to see the floor, handle the ball, explode and finish with a spin move, hit free throws — not common at all. At 5-foot-11, she will be the dominant post player in the OIA next season. (When she squared off with Moanalua’s Delylah Sanerivi, they had virtually matching stats.) ‘Iolani’s constant on-ball pressure exposed Kahuku’s kryptonite. Thirty-one turnovers should be down to something like 12 to 15 against excellent defensive teams by next year — if the Lady Raiders put in the time this offseason.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

14. Mililani Trojans (14-9, 10-0 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 9.
Last week’s games
L 47-45 Kalani 01/22 OIA playoffs (McKinley gym)
L 35-27 Kahuku 01/24 OIA playoffs-b
Vs. Top 10: 2-9 (.182).
Strength of schedule: 10 of 23 games (43 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: @ Campbell, Kahuku.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Maryknoll, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific, @ Waiakea, Konawaena, Hawaii Baptist, Kamehameha-Maui*, Kalani, Kahuku, Kalani.

Skinny: The Lady Trojans have since lost at Kamehameha-Maui in a rematch of a preseason battle. Again, they missed the experience and versatility of F Kalena Gibson. This is a group with good potential. PG Dahlis Sablay is just a sophomore. But seniors like C Cheyenne Ardona will graduate. If Gibson recovers from her knee injury, that adds a lot to next year’s squad.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

15. Kauai Red Raiders (11-1, 8-0 KIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 14.
Last week’s games: None
Vs. Top 10: 0-1 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 0 of 12 games (0 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ St. Francis.

Skinny: More than any team on this list, the Red Raiders are a mystery. A relatively close loss to undefeated St. Francis (52-39). The case for Kauai could be for a higher rank or lower rank. I wouldn’t argue against either. Yet. We learn more soon.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

16. Hilo Vikings (13-4, 9-2 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 8.
Last week’s games: None
Vs. Top 10: 3-5 (.375).
Strength of schedule: 6 of 17 games (35 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: Mid-Pacific, Kahuku, Waiakea.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Mililani, ‘Iolani, Konawaena, Waiakea, Waiakea.

Skinny: Again, a 16-team field in D-I would give a team like Hilo (or Kamehameha of the ILH) a chance to play at the big dance. More is good in this case.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

17. Mid-Pacific Owls (8-13, 2-8 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 16.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 3-11 (.214).
Strength of schedule: 14 of 21 games (67 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: @ Waiakea, @ Punahou, Punahou.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Moanalua*, Konawaena, Hilo, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, Maryknoll, @ Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani, @ Kamehameha, @ ‘Iolani, @ Maryknoll, Sacred Hearts, Kamehameha, @ Sacred Hearts.

Skinny: As mentioned above, the Owls will be loaded with talent and returnees next season. The ILH will be equally fascinating then, largely thanks to the parity coming as Maryknoll’s 11 seniors graduate.


Sumo rank: Komusubi.

18. Punahou Buffanblu (9-11, 1-9 ILH)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 18.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 3-12 (.200).
Strength of schedule: 15 of 20 games (75 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: Kalani, Lahainaluna, @ Sacred Hearts.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): St. Francis, Maryknoll, Kamehameha, Sacred Hearts, @ Mid-Pacific, ‘Iolani, Mid-Pacific, @ Sacred Hearts, @ ‘Iolani, @ Maryknoll, @ Kamehameha, @ Kamehameha.

Skinny: Next year’s Buffanblu will build of this season. The six freshmen are seasoned and have an entire offseason to put the work in.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

19. Campbell Sabers (16-6, 7-3 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 19.
Last week’s games
W 48-46 Kaiser 01/24 OIA playoffs-b
Vs. Top 10: 1-4 (.200).
Strength of schedule: 4 of 21 games (19 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Lahainaluna.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Baptist, @ Konawaena, Leilehua*, Mililani, @ Radford*, @ Kahuku.

Skinny: The Sabers lost at Waiakea 77-56 on Monday, ending the season. It was a memorable run for a scrappy, speedy team with a lot of grit. What they lacked in sheer height, they often made up for with courage. This was a fun team to watch, and Gieani Balino has a bright future ahead playing at the next level.

Sumo rank: Sekiwake.

20. Kaiser Cougars (12-11, 7-3 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 21.
Last week’s games
L 48-46 Campbell 01/24 OIA playoffs-b
Vs. Top 10: 1-5 (.167).
Strength of schedule: 6 of 21 games (29 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: @ Kahuku.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Lahainaluna, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, Punahou, Kamehameha-Maui*, Kalani, @ Moanalua*, McKinley*, Mililani*.

Skinny: The Lady Cougars lost to Moanalua 42-34 on Monday in the opening round of the state tourney. Kaiser had a young team this season. Some very nice potential for next season.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

21. Radford Rams (9-8, 8-2 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 20.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 1-6 (.143).
Strength of schedule: 7 of 17 games (41 percent) were vs. Top 10 (or similar level) teams.
Top 10 wins: Campbell.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Lahainaluna, Maryknoll, Kamehameha, @ Mililani*, @ Waianae, Campbell.

Skinny: The Lady Rams finished the season with close losses to Moanalua (42-36) and Campbell (38-35) in the OIA playoffs.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

22. Leilehua Mules (9-6, 7-3 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 22.
Last week’s games: None
Vs. Top 10: 1-2 (.333).
Strength of schedule: 3 of 15 games (20 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: Campbell.
Losses (*Non-Top 10): Kaimuki*, Mililani, @ Radford*, Kapolei*, @ Kalani, Kaiser*.

Skinny: The Lady Mules’ season came to an end with a 53-34 loss to Kaiser in the OIA playoffs.

23. Kaimuki Bulldogs (9-10, 6-4 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 23.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-3 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 3 of 19 games (16 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, @ Hawaii Baptist, ‘Iolani II*, Hilo*, Konawaena, @ Kalani, Kahuku*, @ McKinley*, Kaiser*, @ Leilehua*.

Skinny: The Bulldogs’ season closed with a 53-45 loss at Leilehua in the OIA playoffs.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

24. Roosevelt Rough Riders (10-9, 6-4 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 24.
Last week’s games
W 61-39 Castle 01/24 OIA D-II playoffs-a
Vs. Top 10: 0-5 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 5 of 18 games (28 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Baptist, @ Campbell, @ Radford*, Waiakea, Kamehameha-Maui*, Kaiser*, Kahuku, @ Kalani, Kaimuki*.

Skinny: The Rough Riders have won seven of their last eight games, including wins over Moanalua and McKinley. The one loss during the run was to Kaimuki.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

25. McKinley Tigers (12-9, 6-4 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 25.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-7 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 7 of 21 games (33 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kamehameha, Punahou, Sacred Hearts, St. Francis, Kalani, @ Farrington*, Roosevelt*, Kahuku, @ Campbell.

Skinny: In the end, the Lady Tigers are right on the bridge between the mediocre tier and the playoff tier. They improved over the course of the season, beat unranked teams and lost to all Top 10 teams. They’ll return a lot of players next season. It comes down to offseason work in a league with lots of young talent.

26. Honokaa Dragons (7-9, 6-3 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 26.
Last week’s games
W 36-24 Hawaii Prep 01/24 BIIF D-II playoffs
L 32-29 Kamehameha-Hawaii 01/25 BIIF D-II playoffs
Vs. Top 10: 0-4 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 4 of 14 games (29 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Campbell, Waiakea, Waiakea, @ Hilo*, Konawaena, Kamehameha-Hawaii*.

Skinny: The loss to KS-Hawaii in the BIIF D-II title game stings, but it’s a new season for Coach Aaron Tanimoto’s resurgent Dragons. The only obvious obstacle: they never travelled off island this season. Maybe adjusting to non-BIIF referees takes a quarter or a half. Maybe not.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

27. Nanakuli Golden Hawks (9-13, 6-4 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 27.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-6 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 0 of 22 games (0 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Hawaii Baptist, Kapolei*, @ Kamehameha, @ Kaiser*, @ Moanalua*, Kapolei*, Punahou, @ Kalani, Radford*, @ Campbell, Leilehua*, @ Mililani, Kaiser*.

Skinny: A year ago, I thought the Golden Hawks would have a strong 2017-18 season even with some key losses to graduation. The athleticism. The length. The skill level didn’t turn out to be as good as I anticipated. Nanakuli finished the season with losses to Campbell (36-34), Leilehua (41-31), Mililani (38-19) and Kaiser (50-41).

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

28. Kapolei Hurricanes (13-7, 6-4 OIA West)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 28.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-3 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 3 of 20 games (15 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Roosevelt*, St. Francis, Nanakuli*, @ Campbell, Mililani, @ Radford*, Moanalua*.

Skinny: The ‘Canes split games with Nanakuli, won five games in a row to reach the playoffs, then lost to Moanalua 38-22. Like many OIA West teams, it’s always confounding to see athlete on the floor, but are they really taking 200 shots every day in the offseason? Doesn’t materialize when November arrives. If westside athletes can master softball and soccer, why not basketball?

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

29. Kamehameha-Maui Warriors (11-7, 7-5 MIL D-I)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 29.
Last week’s games
W 58-30 King Kekaulike 01/22 MIL playoffs (Maui gym)
L 50-28 #3 Lahainaluna 01/23 MIL playoffs-a (Maui gym)
Strength of schedule: 5 of 18 games (28 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Lahainaluna, Kamehameha, @ Lahainaluna, @ Maui*, Maui*, Lahainaluna.

Skinny: The Warriors can count their blessings that they didn’t have to face Maui — their Kryptonite this season — in the MIL playoffs. They ousted Mililani on Monday 34-27 in the first round of the state tourney, virtually duplicating a preseason win (42-34) over the same Trojans. Now the Warriors line up to face top-seeded Maryknoll on Thursday.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

30. King Kekaulike Na Alii (6-7, 5-6 MIL D-I)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 30.
Last week’s games
L 58-30 Kamehameha-Maui 01/22 MIL playoffs (Maui gym)
Vs. Top 10: 0-3 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 3 of 13 games (23 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Kapolei*, Lahainaluna, @ Lahainaluna, Kamehameha-Maui*, Lahainaluna, @ Kamehameha-Maui*, Kamehameha-Maui.

Skinny: Na Alii beat Maui twice. They beat Baldwin twice. They battled KS-Maui in 55-53 and 83-70 losses. So close.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

31. Kamehameha II Warriors (14-8, 10-2 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 31.
Last week’s games
W 38-35 Punahou II 01/27 ILH D-II
Vs. Top 10: 0-4 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 4 of 22 games (18 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): King Kekaulike*, @ Campbell, Kapolei*, Mid-Pacific, @ Kaiser*, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, St. Francis, @ Hawaii Baptist.

Skinny: A solid season for the D-II Kapalama Warriors. King Kekaulike gets the edge by virtue of a 60-44 win at Hanalani’s preseason tourney.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

32. Keaau Cougars (6-9, 4-6 BIIF)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 32.
Last week’s games
L 76-25 #2 Konawaena 01/24 BIIF playoffs
Vs. Top 10: 0-8 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 6 of 14 games (43 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ Waiakea, Hawaii Baptist, Konawaena, Hilo, Honokaa*, @ Konawaena, @ Hilo, Kamehameha-Hawaii*, @ Waiakea, Konawaena.

Skinny: Very much like King Kekaulike, a competitive team that just couldn’t turn the corner to reach states. The Cougars beat Maui and Baldwin in preseason, but lost to D-II Honokaa and D-II Kamehameha-Hawaii by margins of 14 and 18 points.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

33. Farrington Governors (5-9, 4-6 OIA East)
Pupule ranking last week: No. 34.
Last week’s games: None.
Vs. Top 10: 0-4.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Punahou, Sacred Hearts, ‘Iolani, @ Kahuku*, Kalani, @ Moanalua*, Roosevelt*, @ Kaiser.

Skinny: The Lady Govs didn’t progress the way I had anticipated. They’re scrappy and work hard, but the absence of consistent scorers, especially from 3-point range, was a bit of a surprise.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

34. Le Jardin Bulldogs (9-9, 8-6 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: Unranked.
Last week’s games
W 48-32 University 01/22 ILH D-II
Vs. Top 10: 0-3 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 3 of 17 games (18 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): Pearl City*, Kamehameha II*, @ Kalaheo*, @ St. Francis, Kamehameha II*, @ Hawaii Baptist, University*, St. Francis.

Skinny: Edge to the Bulldogs for their 48-32 win over University in the ILH D-II playoffs.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

35. University Jr. Bows (10-11, 6-8 ILH D-II)
Pupule ranking last week: Unranked
Last week’s games
L 48-32 @ Le Jardin 01/22 ILH D-II playoffs
W 45-33 Christian Academy 01/24 ILH D-II playoffs
W 48-38 Hanalani 01/26 ILH D-II playoffs
Vs. Top 10: 0-3 (.000).
Strength of schedule: 3 of 21 games (14 percent) were vs. Top 10 teams.
Top 10 wins: None.
Losses (Non-Top 10*): @ McKinley*, Nanakuli*, McKInley*, Punahou II*, @ St. Francis, Damien*, Hawaii Baptist, Kamehameha II*, @ Hawaii Baptist, @ Le Jardin*.


Skinny: New life for the Jr. ‘Bows today as the D-II state tourney tips off.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

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