Kalaheo the team to beat in OIA
Don't look now, but the times are a-changin' once again.
It wasn't long ago that Kalaheo seemed to be a team locked in an erratic pattern. Losses to Mid-Pacific and Saint Louis in December tournaments inspired more questions than answers, but the Mustangs have endured their growing pains.
Today, they collected 25 of 32 possible first-place votes to remain at No. 1 in today's Star-Bulletin Boys Basketball Top 10.
The Mustangs drew a first-round bye for this week's Oahu Interscholastic Association playoffs and will host the Kaimuki-Leilehua winner on Friday in a quarterfinal matchup.
One thing that won't be changing is the always fluctuating schedule of OIA games. This week, Kahuku learned that it has lost homecourt advantage for a second game in a row.
Last week, the Red Raiders' home game against Kalaheo -- on senior night -- was moved to Mililani for TV purposes.
This week, Kahuku will travel to Mililani for a quarterfinal game against the Castle-Mililani winner. That means that Mililani, the third seed in the Red West, will have the edge over the Red East's second seed.
Kahuku coach Nathan James displayed his displeasure last week before the game with Kalaheo. Now that his team will possibly play at a lower seed's homecourt, he isn't exactly thrilled. On top of losing the homecourt, Kahuku's athletic program has to shell out for bus rental and will lose significant concession revenues.
The major reason for all the TV games at Mililani is fiber optics. Mililani's gym is already wired up for broadcast, as is McKinley's facility. Both gyms have enough space outside to accommodate OC-16's huge broadcast trailer.
Kalaheo, 12-0 in regular-season play, has the bye and a homecourt in the quarterfinal, but the site of the semifinals is not determined. The title game is set for McKinley's gym.
Coach Chico Furtado weighed the pluses and minuses.
"I'm a happy camper because our kids earned a homecourt advantage from going 12-0," he said.
Mililani has the possibility of hosting three playoff games despite being just a third seed.
Other OIA playoff games have been moved, according to the new schedule, to accommodate girls and boys teams. At Moanalua, for example, the boys team is seeded third and will host its first-round playoff game. The girls team is not a third seed, but will play at home to give Moanalua fans a two-fold basketball bonanza.
The aforementioned Kaimuki-Leilehua game will be played at Nanakuli's gym after originally being scheduled at Moanalua.
Similarly, the Kailua-Pearl City game, which would've been played at Mililani, will tip off at Campbell's gym.
In addition to OIA coverage, games in the private-school Interscholastic League of Honolulu have been moved this week. The finals of the girls playoff tournament will be played at Neal Blaisdell Center on Thursday.
Punahou (8-2 ILH), ranked No. 2 in the Top 10, can retain a share of first-place with a win. Kamehameha (8-3 ILH) needs a win to possibly force a tie at the top. The ILH's top two teams will earn automatic state berths.
The rest of the league will play off for third place. The league's third-place team will travel to the Big Island to face the BIIF's third-place team in a play-in game for a state berth.
Raiders battle Lancers
Iolani hosts Sacred Hearts tonight at 5 in the first round of the ILH's second-place tournament. The tourney winner will claim the lone remaining state berth.
A story in yesterday's Star-Bulletin erroneously listed Iolani as a state-tournament entry already.
Star-Bulletin Top 10 Poll
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 (25), 21-5
| 2. Punahou (6), 18-3
| 3. Iolani (1), 14-8
||at Saint Louis
| 4. Kamehameha, 19-5
| 5. KS-Hawaii, 19-3
||beat St. Joseph
| 6. Konawaena, 18-6
| 7. Saint Louis, 10-8
| 8. Kahuku, 14-5
||lost to Kalaheo
| 9. Moanalua, 20-10
|10. Mililani, 16-9
» Also receiving votes:
Mid-Pacific 21, Campbell 19, Aiea 15, Honokaa 10, Lahainaluna 7, Kapolei 4, Maryknoll 4.
» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Maryknoll (No. 9).