Iolani still looking
for a challenge

So much for drama.

The Iolani Raiders stifled all competition at the Punahou Holiday Classic last week, winning four games to retain their No. 1 ranking in the Star-Bulletin Boys Basketball Top 10. Iolani improved to 14-2, including a perfect 14-0 against Hawaii competition.

The Raiders, three-time defending state champions, topped Kailua, No. 4 Baldwin, Fullerton Union (Calif.) and No. 2 Punahou. The road was far from easy.

Kailua boasts one of the state's top centers in 6-foot-7, 305-pound Kainoa LaCount. Baldwin won three games by an average margin of 29 points during the tourney, but lost to Iolani for the second time in three weeks.

Fullerton Union, the 2002 Punahou Classic champion, has a 6-11 center, Brett Hoerner, who will play for San Diego State next season.

Punahou had every reason to even the score with Iolani after losing to the Raiders in early December. Instead, Iolani sculpted another win over its archrival, taking an 18-point lead before winning 43-33.

The one source of consolation for Punahou is knowing that its center, Spencer McLachlin, didn't play in the last two games of the tourney.

While Punahou has a lock on the No. 2 spot and Campbell stayed put at No. 3, Baldwin moved into a tie for No. 4 with Kahuku.

Kahuku notched wins over Waipahu and Nanakuli last week. The Red Raiders, with good scoring from guards Clinton Parks and Shane Hayden, rolled to a 25-point lead over Nanakuli before the Golden Hawks cut the margin to eight at game's end.

Kamehameha returned from a six-day trip to the KSA Holiday Classic in Florida. The Warriors, who stayed at No. 6, got to enjoy DisneyWorld in Orlando. "We had a lot of team bonding," assistant coach Julian Nakanishi said. "We got more game experience."

Konawaena and University remained at the seventh and eighth spots, respectively.

Hilo returned to the Top 10 after a 74-71 win at then-ninth-ranked Kauai on Wednesday. Aukai Wong scored 35 points, including seven 3-pointers, for the Vikings. The win capped a three-night sweep of Kauai Interscholastic Federation teams.

Roosevelt also made a comeback into the poll. The Rough Riders open the Oahu Interscholastic Association season Wednesday against dark-horse contender Kalani.

image: chart

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