Punahou almost perfect at state tennis championships

May 8—Punahou sophomore Payton Jim On was robbed at a chance of the career grand slam in prep tennis last year, so he made a different kind of history in his first state tournament.

Jim On beat teammate Brandon Ramos 6-1, 6-0 for the boys singles title at the HMSA /HHSAA Tennis Championships at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch on Saturday.

He lost only three games in his five matches in the affair, the fewest of any champion since the tournament began in 1964. His sweep of Ramos in the first finals match between teammates in 37 years was the most lopsided final since Punahou's Robbie Lim blanked Mark Ilagan of Farrington in 2003.

Jim On won the ILH last year, but the HHSAA canceled its state tournament. No player has won four boys singles titles, but Bill Bartlett (1975-77 ) and Kawika Lam (2013-15 ) have won three. Jim On has a chance to join them.


Fellow Punahou sophomore Elise Wong won the girls singles title to put her on the path of three in a row. She beat Mid-Pacific's Kylie Canubida 6-3, 6-3 after a rain delay, giving Punahou a sweep of boys and girls singles titles for the first time since 2007. Wong swept all five of her opponents in the tournament.

The boys doubles tournament went the same way as the singles did, with a top seed from Punahou getting it done.

Tsubasa Okada and Tanner Ige topped teammates Alex Kinoshita and Aidan Baracao 6-1, 6-1 for the crown, and as a further example of Punahou's dominance Cole Kurata and Conner Kurata swept Maika Nucci and Bruin Yomono of Waiakea to take third place.

Punahou wasn't completely perfect in the state final, with top-seeded 'Iolani pair Julia Visaya and Karli Vo sweeping Punahou's Jariahlyn Rhoades and Sophia Woofter 6-3, 6-1 for the girls doubles title.

Losing the girls doubles didn't hurt the Buffanblu in the least in the team race, with the Buffanblu girls scoring 22 to more than double the 10 points earned by runners-up Mid-Pacific and 'Iolani. It is the 18th straight team title for the Punahou girls. Next year they can tie Edina (Minn.) for the national record for most consecutive state titles. The latest state championship is the 46th for the Punahou girls, no other school in the nation has had more than 33.

Punahou took the boys crown with 33 points, with Waiakea in second with 12 and 'Iolani in third with seven points. Like the girls, the Buffanblu boys hold the national record for state titles and added their 52nd. Englewood Cherry Creek (Colo.) is far back in second with 41 straight, the last in 2015. Punahou's latest boys title is its first since 2016, the last of a national record 26 in a row.