KS Maui Warriors lose to Bears, out of tournament

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Photo by Reid Cairme

Senior Alika Sanchez takes a shot during the MIL tournament match against the Baldwin Bears on Feb. 9, 2012. The Bears won 59-36, ending the Warriors' post-season.

By Reid Cairme, Features

The KS Maui Warriors lost, 36-59, to the Baldwin Bears during the second round of the Maui Interscholastic League tournament on Feb. 9, 2012, at the King Kekaulike High School gym.

This meant the end of the Warriors’ season and that they did not qualify for the state tournament. Having come in fourth in the league during the regular season, the Division 1 tournament was one last chance to get a state berth.

Even in the face of defeat, the Warriors did not back down. They continued to fight until the last buzzer sounded.

“That’s been their attitude all season,” Coach Chad Kalehuawehe said. “They’re never afraid.”

The Warriors were never able to get a lead on the Bears, but they excelled at coming up with the rebounds early on.

Junior Billy Ayakawa shone in the first half, scoring multiple baskets and a three-point shot.

“I think I played well,” he said. “It was going well early because I was hitting a lot of outside shots.”

The rebounds shifted in favor of the Bears in the second half of the game. Coupled with steals made by the Bears and turnovers on bad passes by the Warriors, the Bears openend up a big lead over Kamehameha Maui.

Down by more than 20 points in the fourth quarter, the players finished the game in style.

They were invigorated and in good spirits throughout the game, bringing in some razzle dazzle and some of the younger players like sophomore Gyle McGurn and freshman Keawe Rindlisbacher.

Rindishbacher, who had not played much early in the season but who has gotten more playing time lately, showed a lot of promise in the final quarter of the game.

He said that what motivated him was “the desire and heart to win this game.”

Despite scoring twice in the last five minutes of the game, Rindlisbacher was disappointed that their tournament run was over. “We could have won,” he said.

Head Coach Chad Kalehuawehe also put seniors Daylan Machado and Alika Sanchez on the court in the fourth quarter to play out their final minutes as Kamehameha Maui basketball Warriors.