Baldwin Bears, MIL leaders, defeat KSM boys basketball

Baldwin+High+School%27s+senior+center+Pasoni+Tasini+eclipses+Maui+Warrior+Erin+Lindsey+at+Tuesday%27s+game%2C+January+17%2C+2012%2C+at+the+Baldwin+gymnasium.+The+Bears%2C+in+first+place+in+the+MIL%2C+won+45-24.

Photo by Reid Cairme

Baldwin High School's senior center Pasoni Tasini eclipses Maui Warrior Erin Lindsey at Tuesday's game, January 17, 2012, at the Baldwin gymnasium. The Bears, in first place in the MIL, won 45-24.

By Reid Cairme, Features writer

KS Maui’s attempt to topple the Baldwin Bears boys basketball team and come back from Saturday’s loss to the Lahaina Lunas ended in defeat when the Warriors lost 24-45 in last night’s game at the Baldwin High School gymnasium, January 17, 2012.

The Bears, who are undefeated this MIL season, brought a tough game to the court. Senior Pasoni Tasini, center, led the evening in points and was a tough rebounder under the basket.

In the second half of the game, senior Gabriel Ross, guard, stood out as he hustled and drove the ball down the court many times. And sophomore Tevarua Eldridge also put a few points on the board as well as assisted and rebounded.

But, freshman Kody Takushi was one of the most formidable foes to play against the Warriors.

At 5’5″ and in his freshman year of high school, Takushi is already a starter on Baldwin’s varsity team. He has years of experience on the court. He said he started playing basketball at the age of 6 with his father.

All of that practice is evident in Takushi’s all-around gameplay. Not only does his height give him an advantage when it comes to steals, but he’s also quick and an excellent ball handler. He’s a solid three-point hitter as well, sinking two for the night, and he isn’t afraid to take the ball to the basket.

Though he had no free throws tonight, he’s proven to be more than consistent there, too.

When Takushi learned that he had made the varsity team at the beginning of the season, he said that “it felt really good because [I knew] if I practiced more, I could take it to the next level.”

The Warriors recognize his skill as well. “Despite his size, he isn’t afraid to take the ball to the bigger guys,” Kamehameha junior Billy Ayakawa said.

The Bears scored first in the night’s game, and near the end of an evenly matched first quarter, the Warriors lost their early lead and never recovered. By the end of the quarter, the Bears held a 1-point lead against the Warriors, 10-9.

Baldwin coach Wayne Gushiken said, “We were sluggish during the first quarter. We started out  really slow.”

Baldwin played a defensive game all night, keeping the score low and burning time on the clock. Their defensive strategy
proved effective as the Warriors only scored 2 points in the second quarter to the Bears’ 9.

At halftime, the score was 11-22, Bears.

In the last half of the game, the Bears chalked up 22 points to the Warriors’ 10.

Warrior morale seemed low in the third quarter, but during the fourth quarter, they started playing more aggressively and utilizing the full court.

However, their play became frantic, and they gave up the ball more often than not. The Warriors had 28 turnovers throughout the game.

“We basically said, ‘Here is the ball. Take it,’” Head Coach Chad Kalehuawehe said.

The errors kept the Warriors from victory, and the game ended 24-45, Bears.

“Baldwin came to play tonight,” Coach Kalehuawehe said. “They’re  the standard.”

The highest scorer for KSM was sophomore Erin Lindsey, scoring 7 points, one of which was the only successful of seven Warrior free throws for the night.

Luke Batoon, also a leading scorer for the Warriors, was on the disabled list for the game.

“We basically lacked the will to win. We could’ve executed more on offense, rather than playing half-court defense most of the time,” Junior RJ
Moku said.