Tough ILH slate leaves No. 6 Punahou with longshot status in playoffs

Melody Lum and the rest of the Punahou girls basketball team have four days to prepare for No. 'Iolani on Saturday. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

There was no stifling the joy on senior night, even after a loss.

Melody Lum and Shania Moananu led Punahou (12-10, 2-10 ILH) with seven points apiece in a down-to-the-last-minute 51-46 loss to No. 5 Kamehameha. The sixth-ranked Buffanblu celebrated their seniors after the game. They’ll have four practices to prepare for first-place and No. 1-ranked ‘Iolani.

Punahou will visit ‘Iolani on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m., according to Buffanblu coach Gary Pacarro. In their four previous matchups, ‘Iolani won 41-32, 65-48, 63-52 and 43-35.

“We’ve been close with everybody we’ve played. It’s a matter of maturity,” Pacarro said. “I love my kids. We’ve got a ways to work and we’ll get there.”

With senior-night festivities over and families lingering, he didn’t mean to look too far into the future, but he’s optimistic.

“With Sia (Liilii) and Lucky (Rose Williams), the future looks good for these guys,” he added. “The future is bright. We’ve just got to keep it together.”

In 15 matchups with Top 10 teams, Punahou is 6-10. Those 10 losses came against four teams — Konawaena, ‘Iolani, Kamehameha and Maryknoll — all ranked in the Top 3 at one point this season. Against unranked teams, Punahou is 6-0.


  1. 1andone January 25, 2020 8:31 am

    The quote of the year, “the future looks bright”. How about the now? The players referenced didn’t play one of the last few games of the regular season. They didn’t even show up to dress for the game? Coach Keep it together? A Coach should never look frantic or flustered, some 4th quarters do that to some coaches; but not every game SMH. The optimistic side is what about the seniors? not the future I guess and the coach is onto next season with positive quotes and uplifting speeches to the public. Good luck against One Team.

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