Maui Highlights: First Round State Basketball Tourney
The Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association tips off the 2017 Snapple Boys Basketball State Championships today, Feb. 13, 2017, with a new format in the Division I bracket.
League runner‐ups have the benefit of home‐court advantage for the first round in a do‐or‐die situation. The winners move on to the remaining three‐day tournament on Oʻahu, while the losers end their bid for the state title.
Kalaheo at Maui Sabers: OIA fifth place Kalaheo (10‐4) is making its way to the Valley Isle to take on MIL runner‐up Maui (8‐7). The Mustangs are making their 33rd appearance and are in the top five in at least nine record book categories, including most appearances (5th), current consecutive appearances (record 5), most games played (4th), most championships (5th), runner‐up finishes (4th), third place finishes (3rd) and fifth place finishes (1st). The Sabers are making their 13th appearance spanning six decades, but haven’t seen a final since the 1980s and 90s. And while both teams have been around for decades, this will only be their second meeting in the state tournament with the series tied at one game apiece.
Lahainaluna: Number 3 Lahainaluna plays the winner of Monday’s Kapolei vs Leilehua game at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. at Radford. No. 3 and MIL champ Lahainaluna is making its 22nd appearance, coming into the tournament with an unblemished 14‐0 record. While the Lunas traditionally have not done well in the Division I tournament (0.191), this season they went 6‐0 in non‐league play outscoring OIA, ILH and BIIF opponents, 338‐217.
Hawaiʻi Prep vs. Seabury: In the Division II bracket, No. 2 Seabury (13‐1) is making their 10th appearance, with last year marking highest finish as runner‐up. The Spartans will face the Ka Makani of Hawaiʻi Prep (8‐5), making its 4th appearance, with one state title in 2014 coming in as the unseeded league runner‐up. This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams in the tournament, with the Ka Makani leading the series, 3‐0. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at St. Francis. All Division II tournament games commence Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Kalani High and Saint Francis School. While both schools have their respective teams in the 8-team tournament, they will be playing at the opposite sites at least for the first round.
Other First Round Action:
Moanalua at ʻIolani: ILH runner‐up ‘Iolani (11‐4) is a solid contender for the state title as well. The unseeded Raiders are making their 25th appearance, have an 0.759‐win percentage (60‐19), and are ranked first in most state tournament championships (11). Of those 11 state‐title runs, twice were they unseeded league runner‐up (1983, 2016). The Raiders take OIA fourth place Moanalua (8‐7), which are making their 20th tournament appearance but hasn’t seen a title game since their back‐to‐back championships in 1996‐97. This will be the teams’ fifth meeting in the state tournament with the series tied, 2‐2.
Kailua at Konawaena: OIA third place Kailua (11‐4) is making their second‐consecutive state tournament appearance after a tournament record 25‐year drought. Konawaena (13‐1) is making their fifth‐straight appearance, 10th overall. This is the first meeting between both teams in the tournament.
Leilehua at Kapolei: OIA sixth place Leilehua (10‐3) is making its fourth‐straight appearance, 14th overall dating back to 1966. The Mules only championship came in 1973, with the next best finish as runner‐up in 1983. They face a familiar season opponent in OIA runner‐up Kapolei (12‐1) with the Hurricanes winning, 58‐42, just a few weeks ago. This marks Kapolei’s third Division I appearance, first since 2013.