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Ross’ Free Throws Lifts Baldwin Over Leilehua, 41-39

February 24, 2012, 12:42 AM HST · Updated February 24, 11:43 AM
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Gabe Ross.layup

Baldwin High School's Gabe Ross scores two of his team-high 13 points against Leilehua Thursday at McKinley Gym. Photo by Ben Juan.

By Rodney S. Yap

Baldwin High School senior guard Gabe Ross sank a pair of clutch free throws with 3.7 seconds to play in regulation to lift the Bears to a 41-39 win over Leilehua in Division I quarterfinal action Thursday of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships.

With the two-point victory at McKinley Gym, the Bears will play top-seeded Punahou in today’s early semifinal game at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on OC16 from the Neal Blaisdell Center. ESPN 550-AM radio will also air the game live with Barry Helle and Fred Guzman calling the action.

“I just listened to what my coaches told me during the time out,” said Ross, who led the Bears with 13 points. “They told me to calm down and relax.”

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Ross, who had missed his previous four attempts from the free-throw line, said he cleared his head before stepping to the charity stripe.

“I wasn’t thinking about anything else… I took a couple of deep breaths before I shot the ball.”

Nothing but net.

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2012_basketball.logoMeanwhile, in other quarterfinal games involving MIL schools, Seabury Hall upset fourth-seeded St. Francis, 49-48, at Farrington Gym. A layup by senior forward Jake Golm with 35 seconds remaining in the game sealed the win for the Spartans. Golm finished with 11 points for Seabury, which now advances to the semifinals of the state Division II tournament against top-seeded Kalaheo at Farrington Gym tonight at 7 (live on ESPN 550-AM). The Mustangs beat Kohala, 51-39, to advance.

Back-to-back upsets was just too much to ask of King Kekaulike, especially considering the MIL Division I runner-up was making its first trip to the state tournament in the 17-year history of the school. To everyone’s surprise, Kekaulike upset defending state champion Kamehameha-Kapalama on Wednesday, 43-38, but the going was much tougher on Thursday against second-seeded Kahuku were Na Alii came up short, 46-35. Turnovers and poor free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter (6 of 17) hurt Kekaulike’s attempts to rally late in the game.

Kahuku faces third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii in the late Division I semifinal at the Neal Blaisdell Center at 7 p.m.

Today’s 3 p.m. game between King Kekaulike and Academy of the Pacific will be broadcast live on ESPN 550-AM radio from the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Baldwin and Leilehua were tied 21-21 at halftime. The Bears’ built an eight-point lead on Bradley Bowlin’s three-point play, 33-25, with 1 minute, 13 seconds left in the third quarter.

Leilehua chipped away at Baldwn’s lead and eventually tied the score at 39-39 with 1:26 to play, when Cody Halvorson buried a three-pointer from atop of the key. The basket came off a set play following a Leilehua time out.

On the ensuing possession, Baldwin would turn the ball over at the 24.6 second mark, when Ross was called for traveling trying to execute a spin move in the lane.

“I got kind of worried when they tied it,” Ross said. “But we kept telling ourselves to stay focus, keep our heads on straight and play together.”

The Mules would put up a three-point attempt from the right corner with just under 10 seconds to play that came off the rim long and was tapped around before eventually ending up in the hands of Ross, who would be fouled in the act of shooting with just under four seconds to play.

“After I made it I felt nothing but relief and the guys were all congratulating me,” Ross said. “It felt good.”

On Leilehua’s final possession, Bowlin knocked a length-of-the-court pass attempt to teammate Ryan Garces who picked up the loose ball as time expired.

Like many kids growing up, Ross often imagined what it would be like to knock down the winning basket in a big game.

“Sure I’ve always dreamed of being in that situation and making the winning basket,” he said. “Reality was much better than my dreams.”

Division I Quarterfinal Summary

At McKinley Gym

#4 Baldwin 41, Leilehua 39

BALDWIN (13-0)  13      8    12     8 —  41

LEILEHUA (11-5)  10    11      6    12 — 39

BALDWIN: Kody Takushi 2, Gabriel Ross 13, Jeremiah Badillo 0, Ryan Garces 2, Semisi Malafu 0, Randy Wong 2, Bradley Bowlin 8, Pasoni Tasini 9, Tevarua Eldriidge 5, Adrian Garces 0. Totals 16  9-18  41. 3 point goals: Baldwin,  none.

LEILEHUA: Russell Siavii 8, Jeremiah Andrade 2, Mikal Peyton 0, Reece Acohido 2, Larry Wheeler-Rutkowski 4, Troy Ross 4, Cody Halvorson 10, Christian Manzo-Loera 0, Penetito Melei 9. Leilehua, 2 (Halvorson).

***

At James Alegre Gym, Kahuku’s Mikeli Fiso and Sam Ching combined for 23 points as the Red Raiders broke open a 16-13 advantage at halftime with six unanswered points in the first two minutes of the third period. The Red Raiders extended their lead to 10 points, 31-21, on Kawe Johnson’s three-pointer to open the fourth quarter.

Kekaulike handled Kahuku’s press and used its half-court offense to keep the score close in the first half. Jacob Havron had a team-high 11 points, while Jansen Agapay added nine, including seven in the first half. The Upcountry school made only 46% of its free throws (13-of-28) compared to Kahuku’s 67% (16-of-24). The Red Raiders also did a good defending Kekaulike’s Chase Iwata-Bartelme, limiting the sophomore guard to 7 points with plenty of help-side defense in the backcourt.

#2 Kahuku 46, King Kekaulike 35

KING KEKAULIKE (9-5)     9          4          8          14 – 35

KAHUKU (17-1)                      11         5         12         18 – 46

KING KEKAULIKE: Jansen Agapay 2 4-6 9, Alroy Ferreira 0 2-2 2, Chase Iwata Bartelme 2 3-8 7, Keita Naito 0 0-0 0, Jordan Mauliola 1 0-0 2, Jacob Havron 4 2-10 11, Gabe Gunter 1 2-2 4. Totals 10 13-28 35.

KAHUKU: Evan Ramirez 1 4-4 6, Kawe Johnson 3 2-2 9, Mason Kualii-Moe 1 5-9 8, Lasselle Thompson 0 0-0 0, Danny Aki Jr. 0 0-0 0, Bronson Beatty 0 0-0 0, Mikeli Fiso 5 3-5 13, Sam Ching 4 2-4 10. Totals 14 16-24 46.

3-point goals: King Kekaulike 2 (Agapay, Havron), Kahuku 2 (Kualii-Moe, Johnson).

***

At Farrington Gym, Seabury Hall upset fourth-seeded St. Francis of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 49-48, on a game-winning layup by senior Jake Golm with 35 seconds left in the game. Shane Jacob had a team-high 14 points, including two 3-pointers, as Seabury built a 15-7 first-quarter advantage. The Spartans were ahead 33-29 at halftime, before St. Francis pulled to within one point after three quarters, 40-39.

Golm finished with 11 points for Seabury. Keoni Tom-Millare had a game-high 20 points for St. Francis. Matthew Nuumanaia chipped in 11 points for the ILH school.

In semifinal action tonight at Farrington Gym, Hawaii Prep faces McKinley at 5 p.m., followed by Seabury Hall and Kalaheo at 7 p.m. (live on ESPN 550-AM radio).

Division II Quarterfinal Summary

Seabury Hall 49, #4 St Francis 48

St. Francis (11-2)        7    22    10    9  — 48

Seabury Hall (7-0)   15    18       7    9  — 49

ST. FRANCIS: Austin Ursua 3 3-3 9, Mathew Nuumanaia 4 3-5 11, Shabir Lynton 1 0-0 2, Drew Wilson 0 0-0 0, Keoni Tom-Millare 7 4-4 20, Kai Sun 0 1-6 1, Blayne Won 1 3-4 5. Totals 16 14-22 48. 3 pointers — 2 (Tom-Millare 2)

SEABURY HALL: Alex Chiarella 3 0-1 6, Kaleb Palmer 1 1-2 3, Max DeLyon 0 0-0 0, Shane Jacob 6 0-2 14, Rayson Surayama 0 0-0 0, Rocky DeLyon 2 1-4 5, Michael Clarion 0 0-0 0, Jake Golm 5 1-6 11, Steven Shoemaker 3 4-4 10. Totals 20 7-18 49. 3 pointers — 2 (Jacob 2).

 

Thursday’s Division I Results

Kapolei 83, Moanalua 51

Kamehameha-Kapalama 56, Pearl City 49

#3 KS-Hawaii 39, Academy of thePacific 37

#4 Baldwin 41, Leilehua 39

#1 Punahou 78, Hilo 53

#2 Kahuku 46, King Kekaulike 35

 

Friday’s Division I Games

All at Neal Blaisdell Center

Consolation: Kapolei vs. KS-Kapalama, 11 a.m.

5th Place Semis: Hilo vs. Leilehua, 1 p.m.

5th Place Semis: King Kekaulike vs. Academy of the Pacific, 3 p.m.

Semifinals: Punahou vs. Baldwin, 5 p.m.

Semifinals: Kahuku vs. KS-Hawaii, 7 p.m.

 

Thursday’s Division II Results

Seabury Hall 49, #4 St. Francis 48

McKinley 77, #3 Kapaa 69

#1 Kalaheo 51, Kohala 39

#2 Hawaii Prep 69, Hanalani 55

 

Friday’s Division II Games

At Farrington Gym

Division II Semifinals

Hawaii Prep vs. McKinley, 5 p.m.

Kalaheo vs. Seabury Hall, 7 p.m.

Division II Consolation Games

At Kaimuki Gym

Kohala vs. St. Francis, 5 p.m.

Kapaa vs. Hanalani, 7 p.m.

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