HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Maryknoll lands gently
at No. 5
The all-knowing voting panel showed little mercy to Maryknoll for most of yesterday.
For most of the day, Maryknoll had slid all the way to No. 6. Ballots arrived at the buzzer, however, and softened the Spartans' fall. Maryknoll, with a loss to then-No. 5 Iolani, dropped two places to the fifth spot in today's Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Top 10.
Punahou collected 15 of 17 first-place votes after defeating Sacred Hearts and Iolani. The Buffanblu trailed Iolani, a team heavy with underclassmen, 25-18 in the fourth quarter Friday night. Punahou ultimately rallied on clutch plays by Shanna-Lei Dacanay for another big win in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
Konawaena gathered first-place votes -- two to be exact -- for the first time in three weeks. The defending state champion Wildcats (15-1) trounced Pahoa and Ka'u and improved to 7-0 in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation.
Kahuku unveiled a new defensive wrinkle and played with remarkable efficiency in a 59-29 win at Farrington on Saturday. The Lady Raiders (15-2) are 9-0 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association East Division. Kahuku stepped up one notch to No. 3 in the poll.
Iolani also rose one notch and landed at No. 4. The Raiders, behind a front line of Keilyn Fujioka, freshman Jamie Smith and Alana Wall, proved difficult for Punahou to contend with. Iolani shot 1-for-10 from the foul line, putting a sour note on an otherwise strong upset bid.
After Maryknoll, Kalaheo, Honokaa, Kaiser, Kamehameha-Hawaii and Lahainaluna round out the Top 10. The latter five remained locked in their ranked positions for a second week in a row.
Kamehameha-Hawaii stayed in the poll for a second straight week since returning. The Warriors, who defeated Laupahoehoe and Kohala, are the only Division II team in the Top 10.
At 7-1 in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, KS-Hawaii has the inside track to clinch a playoff berth. The top four teams in the league's Division II race will qualify for a single-elimination tournament.
The Warriors lost in last year's playoff against Saint Joseph, which is not fielding a team this season.