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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 17, 2004

Iolani Classic will start big dance

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

The 21st Annual Iolani Prep Classic field is slimmer in quantity when it comes to Mainland teams, but still full on quality.

The nationally renown tournament began last night with a first-ever "Division II" bracket and starts its traditional 16-team major competition today with four games, including Radford, Kalaheo and Kamehameha against top Mainland teams.

First-round action continues tomorrow with St. Anthony, Roosevelt and Kaua'i taking on three more Mainland opponents. The Classic usually has eight Mainland teams, but two teams that had been scheduled to come have withdrawn.

There also is no No. 1-ranked team like last year's Oak Hill Academy, but longtime Iolani coach Mark Mugiishi said that could be a good thing.

"Sometimes when you have a team like that, they're so good it's unrealistic for any other team to win it," Mugiishi said. "This is still an excellent field, with four teams ranked somewhere in between No. 11 and No. 40. It's very unpredictable this year as far as who is going to win it; any of them can."

Leading the way is Fairfax, a perennial power from Los Angeles. The Lions were ranked No. 8 in Street & Smith's preseason magazine and are No. 11 in USA Today's Super 25 rankings.

Fairfax, which won Classic titles in 2001 and 2002, features a trio of standout forwards in 6-foot-6 senior Jamal Boykin, 6-8 junior Matt Shaw and 6-5 sophomore Jerren Shipp.

Boykin already has signed with Duke. Shaw is regarded as one of the nation's top juniors, and Shipp was named to California's Freshmen All-State team last season.

Xaverian (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was ranked No. 9 by Street & Smith and is led by 6-1 guard Levance Fields, who has signed with Pittsburgh.

Rice (Manhattan, N.Y.) has two top juniors in 6-9 forward Curtis Kelly and 6-1 guard Edgar Sosa, and is ranked No. 23 in USA Today.

Montverde (Fla.) is No. 25 in USA Today and features Luc MbahaMoute, a 6-7 forward who has committed to UCLA.

The other Mainland teams participating are Male of Louisville, Ky., and Roman Catholic of Philadelphia. Both are considered to be strong programs in their region.

Among the Hawai'i teams are Iolani, Kalaheo, Punahou and Kamehameha — which finished first, second, third and fifth, respectively, in last year's state tournament. Punahou guard Miah Ostrowski is the only returning player from The Advertiser's All-State first team.

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2456.

• • •

All games at Iolani School

(Division II first round)

  • Academy of the Pacific 50, Lana'i 48
  • Thompson Academy 62, ASSETS 57

(Division I first round)

  • 3:30 p.m. — 'Aiea vs. Punahou
  • 5 p.m. — Radford vs. Rice (New York)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Montverde (Fla.) vs. Kalaheo
  • 8 p.m. — Kamehameha vs. Roman Catholic (Philadelphia)

(Division II)

Third place

  • 12:30 p.m. — Lana'i vs. ASSETS


  • 2 p.m. — AOP vs. Thompson

(Division I first round)

  • 3:30 p.m. — St. Anthony vs. Xaverian (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • 5 p.m. — Iolani vs. McKinley
  • 6:30 p.m. — Fairfax (Los Angeles) vs. Roosevelt
  • 8 p.m. — Kaua'i vs. Male (Louisville, Ky.)