Pupule’s ballot: Girls hoops 2/10

Pupule’s ballot 
BKG 2/10/14
1. LAH (28-1)
2. PUN (15-2)
3. HIL (20-5)
4. MIL (22-3)
5. MS (18-5)
6. ROS (15-2)
7. KON (24-4)
8. KS (14-5)
9. HON (26-10)
10. IOL (12-10)

This is a first, right? We’re in the middle of the girls basketball state tournament, which is a two-week extravaganza (if you’ve seen these thrillers, you know what I mean) for the first time. That makes doing a ballot a little different from doing it all these other weeks and months leading into the final days of the season.

Of course, when favorites fall and Cinderella takes another step closer to the throne, I adjust. Head to head still rules my criteria.

Hilo deserves a 3 spot. Mililani does, too. For now, it’s Hilo right behind Lahainaluna and Punahou. The Vikings are still one of the smallest teams in the tourney, but they play BIG. Their underclassmen, WOW. Clutch, too. The difference between Hilo and Roosevelt, between losing and winning, is one point. A free throw. A missed layup. A turnover. To do it on the road, in Blaisdell Arena, that’s a big moment for Hilo girls basketball.

Mililani took care of business, too, knocking out BIIF champion Konawaena despite 27 points from Chanelle Molina. Sure, we can debate whether playing 17 miles from campus hurt or helped the Wildcats. I mean, if you’re used to playing before 500 or even 1,000 fans at home, but have to go drive for 25-30 minutes to another gym and have just a couple hundred (paid attendance) rooting you on, that might affect morale just a bit. Or not.

Mililani simply won it. Win Friday, fly out Saturday, win Saturday night. A huge win for the Trojans program.

The difference between 1 and 8 this year is miniscule, more so than any year I can recall. But someone’s got to win this thing. Someone’s got to be cool and composed under pressure.

Honokaa looked strong, deep and unified in sweeping through the D-II state field to take the title. I’d been voting Honokaa to my ballot for weeks while the Top 10 panel had Moanalua on the list. To me, head to head matters and Honokaa beat Moanalua in preseason. I thought Moanalua was poised to make a darkhorse run in the D-I tourney after that strong showing against Mililani, but Na Menehune let a 17-point lead slip away against a persistent, pressing King Kekaulike team.

I enjoyed watching Moanalua’s verve and hustle, and now LaChae McColor’s days in Menehune blue are done. She is, arguably, the most composed player in the state. Watch her shoot free throws. Always the same routine, and almost always all net.

Not much here. Kailua is young and talented. A lot of teams are young and will only get better next year: Hilo, Roosevelt, Punahou, Konawaena and, yes, Lahainaluna. The Lunas have just one senior.

Kalani is always scary for slower teams. King K? Pretty phenomenal against Moanalua, but ran out of legs the next day against Punahou. Leilehua and Kamehameha-Hawaii just weren’t deep enough in the post. Casey Poe of KS-Hawaii closed out one of the finest careers in state-tourney play memory. Here’s what Frank Mauz, a.k.a. the Wizard, collected.

Hey Pupule Paul,

Casey is one of the all-time great tournament players:

year       games      points     average      by game, in order

2014          4             91          22.8         24,28,20,19

2013          3             68          22.7         18,22,28

2012          3             53          17.7         22,15,16

2011          3             32          10.7         22,  4,  6

Overall      12           225         18.75

11 wins   2  losses

Another peaceful late night at Blaisdell Arena. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)
Another peaceful late night at Blaisdell Arena. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)


  1. 3Sec February 14, 2014 9:11 am

    Hilo deserving #3. Come On Pupule….so they beat Leilehua and Roosevelt. Who didn’t think so. I said it in my post when the brackets came out and before the games were played. They had an easy road to the final 4. Roosevelt should not have been ranked that high and given a bye. Again in my earlier post, Millilani would reach the final 4. They too had an easy road. Radford and Konawaena. Yes Konawaena has great history, but if you saw them play in the preseason at Kaiser, you would have known they are no the same. thus, I can’t believe they were given the #2 spot in the state and a first round bye. That was injustice.

    I don’t agree with the playing on one island then playing on another island the next day. For example, If Lahainaluna was planning on hosting the second round, then the first round game with Maryknoll and Kailua should have been played in Maui in the first round. Yes, the attendance for this game would be lower, but it could have saved the Coaches, Players and Parents the stress of finding a flight, rental cars and hotel rooms, at 10 or 11 o’clock at night for the next morning.

    The HHSAA’s greed is at the expense of others.

  2. 3Sec February 14, 2014 9:16 am

    Dear Mr. Wizard, I have witnessed Casey Poe play many games. She is a good player. I saw the stats that you have collected. Wow…….. But you are aware that these stats are against D2 opponents. Are you?

  3. Paul Honda February 14, 2014 10:57 am

    3Sec. Easy road or not, you still have to perform. You think traveling off-island and playing in a venue like NBC is easy, right?

    When I post my ballot, I’m not making new science. It’s part guessing, part fact-based. When you post your Top 10, it won’t be perfect either.

    The HHSAA is far from greedy. They are also willing to adjust and tweak as the pilot program continues. Chris Chun has said he preferred a Thursday/Saturday format, but the regional committee preferred Fri/Sat.

    I have to add this. I’m an Oahu resident and grew up here, but you are completely neglecting the travel issues that Neighbor Island fans have dealt with for DECADES. You can tie the need for “less stress” to success, but the HHSAA is going in the right direction with this new format. The kinks have to be worked out, but please … greed? Would you rather have 75 fans in the bleachers for a Wednesday night quarterfinal round on Oahu?

    The more revenue the HHSAA can generate, the more it can do to help. Breaking even or losing money… I don’t think they’re interested in that.

  4. BballFan February 16, 2014 10:55 pm

    3sec you definitely are a sour fan or follower because if you look @ the seeded teams they did deserve it. You criticize so much on the outer Island Teams such as Hilo, Konawaena & Lahainaluna. As for injustice with Konawaena being seeded #2 they truly did deserve their seeding even if you saw them play terrible @ the Kaiser Tourney. Don’t forget they did face Kamehameha before Tiare Kanoa was injured and only lost by 2 points & also beating Roosevelt by 3 points. Remember their BIIF Champs and when they did face off outer island teams they only lost by 1-5 points the most so why is it so injustice when they are playing better than most teams out there. Actually you need to give them more credit for playing as well as they did with what team they had. Next year I can’t wait to see what you’ll say about them cause you’ll be so surprised on far they’ll go. As far as easy road goes it looked like Punahou had the easiest road so please don’t be saying Radford, Hilo & Kona had easy road. As for the new format it actually works out pretty good to benefit the outer islands and not just Oahu.

  5. ballah808 February 18, 2014 6:01 pm

    for da Govs. U missing another key playah. #35 is another piece to da puzzle. witout her, Govs wuda lost to Kalani 2. Her n #34 balance out n carry da Govs 2gether. Witout one of dem, guarantee da govs wud lose

  6. Paul Honda February 19, 2014 1:37 pm

    Good point, ballah808. Penina Faumui (34) is the glue of that Govs team with her ballhandling against the press, scoring ability, rebounding. Jeneva Toilolo (35) is a rebounding machine. She’s a promising athlete, 6 feet tall and only a junior. She has the potential to be a 30-20 player in the OIA. Against Kalani and other higher-level OIA White teams, she was 20-20 producer. But she’ll have to work on her shot – making layups – to reach the next level. It’s very achievable.

  7. ballah808 February 19, 2014 10:11 pm

    Tell me da difference between a team player n a ball hog. Was it always necessary 4 her to dribble? Wen she was out, Toilolo jst kept passing n dat broke da press as well. im jst tellin u, theyr both very good n are equal. always cleaning up aftah each other. Mind you, faumui had her big break wen Toilolo was out…against white teams. But Toilolo lifted da govs over kailua n kaimuki by herself. Two red teams. Wea was faumui’s ball handling skills den?

  8. Paul Honda February 20, 2014 1:43 am

    I appreciate the passion, ballah808, but your intent is highly questionable now that you are trying to pit two teammates against each other. I strongly encourage you to write in terms of teamwork rather than attempt to lift one player at the expense of the other. Or, if you continue to praise Jeneva Toilolo, do so without belittling anyone else. Mahalo.

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