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KS Maui-King Kekaulike pre-game

October 29, 2011 - Robert Collias
Just sitting here at King Kekaulike Stadium for Na Alii's homecoming night game against cross-the-street rival Kamehameha Maui.

Gonna be a late start for the varsity contest because the junior varsity game just ended, dramatically, with Na Alii winning 27-26 on the strength of a touchdown pass caught by Tyson Takabayashi from Ryley Widell and a successful 2-point conversion run by Brandon Haupu, all with 59 seconds to play.

Just got word from Aloha Stadium that No. 3 Kahuku beat No. 2 Leilehua 9-7 in the OIA semifinals.

That result, along with the second semifinal between No. 4 Campbell and No. 1 Farrington, will have an impact on MIL Division I champion Baldwin. The Bears appear ready to host a quarterfinal on Nov. 11 — it has been announced on OC16 TV all week that the station is coming to Maui to broadcast a state game that night.

So the schedule is apparently set, at least somewhat (it usually is by now), but it hasn't been announced yet by the HHSAA.

But where it gets a little weird is that several folks have informed me that the Bears are in line to play the OIA runner-up. If Baldwin is the third seed in the tournament — which it seems locked into (behind the OIA and ILH and ahead of the Big Island, and rightfully so on all accounts and history) — it should get the OIA third-place team, the school that has to be the No. 6 seed in the six-team bracket.

The reason is the state rule that says league champions and runners-up must be on different sides of the brackets. The OIA is rightfully in line to get the top seed since it currently has the top four teams in the state rankings. The rule separating league champions and runners-up works OK with the regular 12-team tournaments, but it is weak when the OIA is the only league in the state football tournaments to get more than one representative into the event.

If Baldwin gets the OIA runner-up, the state association is effectivley saying that the Bears are the No. 4 seed. That does not compute based on the BIIF's record in the state tournament — the league won its first D-I level state game ever last year.

Just an example, if true, of more OIA influence on the entire HHSAA system.


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