Kalaheo jets to No. 1
There will be no 1a, 1b and 1c in the poll.
That’s how close the top three teams in the state are, and it explains why Kalaheo is a reluctant No. 1 in today’s Star-Bulletin Boys Basketball Top 10. The Mustangs collected 20 of 28 possible first-place votes from coaches and media to surge into the top spot for the first time this season.
"Being No. 1 is the kiss of death," Kalaheo coach Chico Furtado said. "Everyone who’s been No. 1 gets knocked off."
True enough, Punahou was No. 1 in two stints before losing in league play. Iolani has also been at the top.
Kalaheo, 10-0 after beating Kailua last night, has depended on steady floor leadership from point guard Taylor Jay. Senior Cheynne Lishman is among the top offensive players in the state after adding a powerful drive to complement his NBA-range 3-point shot. Lishman, at 6-foot-1, added considerable strength and size in the offseason.
However, Kalaheo’s rise is about depth and role players. Alika Ka‘anapu, D.J. Chang and Christian Hepa are among several valuable contributors in the Mustangs’ disciplined system. The bigs are also adept at beating foes up the floor as Jay pushes in transition. That attack netted a number of easy baskets in a key win over Moanalua last week.
"That’s what we try to do, get our big guys down the floor. We’re rotating four guys in the post. Unless you’re just tearing somebody up, you’re splitting time, so you might as well go hard," Furtado said.
Punahou fell off its perch after a stunning 66-48 home loss to Mid-Pacific.
"Mid-Pac is the best 2-6 (in the ILH) team in the state," Furtado said, recalling a loss to the Owls at the Iolani Classic.
Mid-Pac was 13-5 in nonconference play, but racked up a series of injuries and illnesses during league play. Even with the win over then-No. 1 Punahou, the Owls couldn’t crack the Top 10 today.
Instead, Mililani returned to the poll at the 10 spot.
The Top 10 high school boys basketball teams as voted on by coaches and media from around the state. First-place votes in parentheses. Ten points for first-place votes, nine for second, eight for third, etc.
| 1. Kalaheo (20), 19-5
| 2. Punahou (5), 17-3
||lost to Mid-Pac
| 3. Iolani (3), 12-8
| 4. Kamehameha, 17-4
||beat Saint Louis
| 5. KS-Hawaii, 18-3
| 6. Kahuku, 13-4
||lost to Moanalua
| 7. Konawaena, 17-6
||beat St. Joseph
| 8. Saint Louis, 7-8
||lost to Kamehameha
| 9. Maryknoll, 13-8
||lost to Iolani
|10. Mililani, 15-8
» Also receiving votes:
Mid-Pacific 25, Moanalua 25, Aiea 13, Lahainaluna 7, Kapolei 6, Honokaa 5, Campbell 3, Leilehua 3
» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Moanalua (No. 10)