HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
No time to rest, Punahou and Iolani meet again this week
Suddenly, the air is calm in the girls basketball universe.
Punahou collected all 18 first-place votes to remain at No. 1 in today's Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Top 10.
The biggest difference in the fifth poll of the hoops season is that there is no newcomer to the top 10 for the first time.
The Buffanblu retained the top ranking after wins over No. 2 Iolani and Sacred Hearts last week. Punahou got a solid week from guard Rebecca Lau, who has helped fill the gap left by injured starter Janelle Nomura.
For Iolani, now a step behind Punahou in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu race, it's a daily test of improvement. In Saturday's win over Mid-Pacific, the Raiders faced a sticky 2-3 zone designed to create traffic for high-scoring Jamie Smith.
"We're a little more patient now," Iolani coach Glenn Takara said. "Jamie's more aware of when she's double-teamed or triple-teamed."
The execution was good, but not quite great.
"We need to make the defense work more," Takara added. "Sometimes, we were stuck on one side of the floor a little."
Iolani's quick ball movement was effective enough, though. Raiders sharpshooters hit six treys, including three by Chanel Hirata. Iolani's long-range accuracy is a plus that few teams can surpass, even Punahou.
The Buffanblu and Raiders have plenty of action this week. Punahou has Mid-Pac, Sacred Hearts -- which pushed Kamehameha to the end in a 46-40 loss -- and a rematch with Iolani.
Iolani has Sacred Hearts and Kamehameha before facing Punahou.
Defending state champion Konawaena has endured growing pains since the graduation of key seniors like All-State forward Jazzmin Awa-Williams. With their roster of eight players, the Wildcats secured a morale-boosting victory on Friday with a 60-52 win over Kamehameha-Hawaii.
"We're not at the state-championship caliber," coach Bobbie Awa said, looking ahead to big games in the next two weeks. "Right now, our goal is to win the BIIF. We have to go into every game ready, especially against Hilo and Waiakea. We have to be ready for them. It's going to be a tough one for us, and Honokaa's getting better every game."
The ILH has three teams in the top 10, but only two Division I state berths.
The BIIF is in a similar situation, with three of its D-I teams in the top 10 and just two D-I state berths.
Kamehameha-Hawaii, the No. 10 team, is the defending D-II state champion.
Star-Bulletin Top 10
The top 10 high school girls basketball teams, according to a poll of coaches and media.
| 1. Punahou, 11-5 (18)
||beat Sacred Hearts
| 2. Iolani, 11-3
||vs. Sacred Hearts
| 3. Konawaena, 9-1
| 4. Radford, 10-6
||beat Pearl City
| 5. Kalani, 12-3
| 6. Kamehameha, 9-5
||beat Sacred Hearts
| 7. Hilo, 8-4
||none last week
| 8. Waiakea, 8-2
| 9. Farrington, 11-2
|10. KS-Hawaii, 8-4
||lost to Konawaena
» Voted on by coaches and media from around the state
» First-place votes in parentheses
» 10 points for first-place vote, 9 for second, 8 for third; etc.
» Also received votes: Roosevelt 15, Lahainaluna 11, Mid-Pacific 4, Campbell 1, Moanalua 1.