Bears, Lunas Will Host State Tourney Games
By Fred Guzman
On Friday night, Baldwin will entertain OIA Division-I runner-up Farrington, which lost its No. 1 ranking and and unbeaten status in a 23-0 loss to Kahuku. The winner of the 6 p.m. game at War Memorial Stadium will meet second-seeded Punahou in the D-I semifinals the following Friday at Aloha Stadium.
On the other side of the D-I bracket, Big Island champion Kealakehe hosts Leilehua, a high-powered offensive team that finished third in the OIA. The winner moves into the semis against top-seeded Kahuku, which avenged its only loss of the season by soundly defeating Farrington.
Lahainaluna opens its bid in the D-II tournament on Saturday in a 7 p.m. game against Konawaena. The winner will visit second-seeded Waipahu the following week. In the other side of the bracket, the winner of today’s playoff game on Kauai between Kapaa and Waimea will host Pearl City, with the survivor facing No. 1 Iolani in the other D-II semifinal.
Baldwin tuned up for the state playoffs with a regular-season-ending 41-0 romp past the undermnned Lunas, who were missing several key players due to injuries and other reasons.
Quarterback Keelan Ewaliko and running back Kina Malafu each rushed for three touchdowns for the Bears, while their defense limited the Lunas to 117 yards of total offense.
Malafu gained 147 yards compared to Ewaliko’s 142, enabling the QB to barely beat out his teammate for the MIL rushing crown with 810 yards. Malafu finished with 800.
The victory enabled Baldwin to post a perfect 8-0 MIL mark for the second straight season and capture their seventh straight league title. The Lunas finished 5-3 in the league.
On Saturday afternoon, Kamehameha-Maui capitalized on seven Maui High turnovers to closed out the season with a 21-0 homecoming victory. Both teams closed out their MIL ledgers with 3-5 marks.