HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Bears still own Maui
The Baldwin Bears are all about playing with poise under pressure.
With Kamehameha-Maui rising to the upper levels of Maui Interscholastic League hoops, there was a possibility that the Warriors could surprise Baldwin, the longtime dominant program.
It wasn't to be. Baldwin trounced the new kids on the block 56-26 Saturday night to seal another regular-season title and a state-tournament berth. After five games in eight days, the Bears have the next nine days off.
"Well, it's good. We need the rest," Baldwin coach Wayne Gushiken said. "But it's bad because we won't have any games before states."
The seventh-ranked Bears will have an exhibition game against a cast of MIL All-Stars on Saturday, but that's a dicey situation. Matt Heyd, their go-to scorer, is still healing from a rash of ankle injuries.
"Matt will play a little bit in that All-Star game. He'll play no more than half the game," Gushiken said.
Equally important is Jeff Tumacder, Baldwin's highly efficient point guard. In the one game when the senior had foul trouble, the Bears hibernated and lost to King Kekaulike.
"He's our floor leader and pushes the ball up the court. And when he's not in there we have a freshman point guard (Michael Mars)," Gushiken said.
The longtime coach will be glad to arrive in Honolulu soon enough. "The way they call it (on Oahu), especially when we played at the Punahou tournament, I don't think Jeff will get into foul trouble as he did here," Gushiken said. "We had had a funky year here with officiating. They let everything go inside, then called ticky-tack fouls outside."
Surprised or not: The Oahu Interscholastic Association playoffs have yielded some minor surprises. Kalaheo, which had beaten Mililani by 14 points in a nonconference game two months ago, went to the Trojans gym and secured a state berth. Marvin Judd found his shooting touch and Kalaheo won 74-60, ending a perfect OIA season for first-year coach Hiram Akina and his squad.
It was not an upset, regardless of Mililani's status as top seed in the West. The East has been the dominant division for many years now, and had Campbell not made a comeback from 12 points down to edge Moanalua, all four state-tourney representatives from the OIA would again be from the East.