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Baldwin will face Kahuku-Mililani loser in state quarterfinals

October 29, 2012 - Robert Collias
The Baldwin High School football team will be the No. 3 seed in the upcoming HHSAA/Chevron Division I state football tournament and will face the OIA runner-up, Baldwin coaches confirmed for me this afternoon.

That third seed is a usual destination for the ninth-ranked Bears (7-1 MIL, 7-2 overall), but Howard Dashefsky appeared to give away as much when he said on an OC Sports broadcast of the OIA playoff on Friday night, "We will be on Maui in two weeks."

The No. 3 seed will be behind the OIA champion — No. 1-ranked Kahuku and fourth-ranked Mililani battle for that title this week — and second-seeded Punahou, the ILH champion.

The Bears will draw the loser of the OIA championship game — either mighty, unbeaten Kahuku or Mililani will be a gargantuan task for Baldwin when it hosts a state quarterfinal on Nov. 9 at War Memorial Stadium.

As the 3 seed, the Bears should get the 6 seed in the six-team state tournament — always the OIA third-place team (Farrington and Leilehua play for that spot this week) — but because of the arcane HHSAA state rule that says league runners-up and champions must be on different sides of the brackets, Baldwin is pigeon-holed into playing the OIA runner-up because Kahuku is the assumed top seed.

Last season in a similar situation, the Bears beat OIA runner-up Farrington 28-24 when Keelan Ewaliko scampered into the end zone from 33 yards out with 42 seconds to play in the state quarters at War Memorial Stadium.

Lahainaluna, in my very strong opinion, will draw the No. 2 seed in the D-II state tournament and get a bye into the semifinals, where it will host at WMS on Nov. 16-17.

We went in depth into the Lunas' scenario here a few weeks back.

The Baldwin draw has been confirmed to me, the Lunas — after their regular season for the ages — is simply what should happen.

No one right now is willing to go completely on the record because the brackets are set to be revealed on OC Sports telecast of the OIA third-place and championship games at Aloha Stadium on Friday night.

Let's be clear, however, the decisions have been made, in pencil.

The seeding meeting took place last week, MIL football cooordinator Scott Soldwisch, the Lunas athletic director.

"The seeding meeting took place last week, but things are not set in stone until the final games are played over the last two weeks," Soldwisch said in an update call this morning.


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