Eldridge’s Hot Hand Leads Bears Over Waiakea
By Josh Pacheco
It was fitting that Baldwin junior Teva Eldridge received the game’s impact player award following his team’s 65-51 win over Waiakea Thursday at the Larry Manliguis Hilo High Holiday Classic.
Eldridge’s unstoppable play in the third quarter helped complete the Bears’ comeback from a slow first quarter start. Eldridge scored 12 of his 19 points in the quarter, shooting 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, to give Baldwin an advantage that they would not give up.
The 6-foot-1 junior shot 7-for-13 overall from the field, 2-for-4 from three point range, and 3-for-6 from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds.
Waiakea (0-4) opened the game with a 16-7 first quarter advantage, thanks to a strong start from their own junior post player, Lucas St. George. St. George opened the game hitting his first five shots, including all four in the first quarter, to open with eight first quarter points and ten overall in the half.
Baldwin (4-0), coming off of a three-game sweep last week at their own tournament, slowly crept closer in the second half with an 8-for-12 shooting quarter. They forced Waiakea into early foul trouble with three Warriors, including St. George, having two fouls in the half. The Bears took advantage by shooting 5-fot-7 from the foul line in the quarter.
Philip Thomas was another reason why the Bears were able to draw even at halftime. All seven of his points came in the second quarter, including a baseline runner that dropped as the horn sounded to even the game at 29.
The third quarter appeared to be a chess match between Eldridge and St. George. Waiakea’s post presence was a perfect 3-for-3 in the quarter, scoring six points. He also got help from guard Bryson Ita, who drained a pair of threes.
Eldridge’s inside-and-out game made the difference. After missing his first shot in the quarter, Eldridge nailed two consecutive treys within 1:25 of each other as part of a back-and-forth middle of the quarter. He finished the frame by making three consecutive field goals inside the arc to push the Bears ahead.
Baldwin’s defense also played an impact, forcing 14 second half turnovers, ten of them in the second half, to lead to extra scoring opportunities. For the game, Waiakea turned the ball over 21 times, compared to Baldwin’s 13.
Both teams shot over 50% from the field and made the same amount of field goals. Baldwin shot 24-for-46 (.522) while Waiakea, despite their turnovers, shot 24-45 (.533). The Warriors, however, only went to the free throw line once in the game, shooting 0-for-1.
Baldwin moves into the winner’s bracket to face Pearl City at 6:30 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. The other semifinal features the host Hilo High School taking on Kohala at 8:00 p.m.
In consolation action, Waiakea opens the tournament by facing Kamehameha-Hawai`i at 3:30 p.m. That will be followed by a matchup between Hanalani of Oahu and Kea`au at 5:00 p.m.
Baldwin 7 22 19 17 – 65
Waiakea 16 13 16 6 – 51
Kohala 52, Kea`au 31
The Cowboys’ defense forced 19 second half turnovers to break away from a pesky Kea`au squad, winning 52-31 to open the Larry Manliguis Hilo High Holiday Classic.
Kealen Figueroa scored 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting to lead all scorers. Makani Kualii added 12 for the 3-4 Cowboys.
Kea`au led by four after the first quarter and was in the game throughout the first half. Davin Alviento banked in a three just inside of half court as the first half ended to get the Cougars within three at 23-20. Kea`au shot 5-for-27 the rest of the way under enormous defensive harassment from Kohala.
Alviento scored 15 points and made three treys to lead all Kea`au scorers.
Kohala 9 14 17 12 – 52
Kea`au 13 7 7 4 – 31
Pearl City 57, Kamehameha-Hawai`i 52
The Warriors held a 10 point lead at the end of the first half before Pearl City took it away in the third with a 19-7 scoring quarter. They did enough to hold off the young, yet confident Warriors in the fourth quarter.
Isaac Amorin led the Chargers with 19 points, while Sonny Glisson aded 16. The Warriors, now 3-4 in preseason play, got 19 points from 6-foot-1 senior Ilikai Calip. Rylan Kiko followed with 17 points.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 18 16 7 11 – 52
Pearl City 12 12 19 14 – 57
Hilo 55, Hanalani 49
Despite holding a nine point lead at halftime and a double-digit lead several times in the second half, the Vikings had a difficult time putting away the gritty Royals from Hanalani.
Without Jalen Carvalho, who was on crutches and not dressed to play, the 6-1 Vikings relied on Jodd Carter to pick up the slack. The junior nailed three treys and scored 16 points to move Hilo ahead to the semifinals.
Michael Milton dropped 17 points for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu representative, followed by Niko Milone’s 10 points.
Hanalani 6 19 7 17 – 49
Hilo 17 17 12 9 – 55