HHSAA Boys Basketball
Yarbrough rallies Bears past Surfriders, sets up clash with Saint Louis next


Thu, Feb 24, 2022 @ Moanalua

Final 1 2 3 4  
Kailua (13-1, 14-4) 19 962357
Baldwin (9-2, 12-6) 8 22 16 1460
H. Yarbrough 22 pts  1 3pm  11/14 FTs
J. Philbrick 15 pts  2 3pm  5/6 FTs
Q. Akaka 14 tot  2 off  12 def
N. Donnelly 12 tot  5 off  7 def

SALT LAKE — After a bit of a slow start, the Baldwin boys basketball team found its rhythm Thursday afternoon. 

Hudson Yarbrough scored 13 of his game-high 22 points after halftime to lead No. 9 Baldwin to a 60-57 win over No. 7 Kailua in the quarterfinals of the Heide & Cook/HHSAA Division I Boys Basketball State Championships.

The Bears, who are seeded fourth in the 12-team tournament, improved to 12-4 with the victory, which puts them into Friday's semifinal round, where they will play No. 1 Saint Louis in a 5 p.m. semifinal at Moanalua. 

Baldwin shot 48.8 percent (21 of 43) from the field and was 4 of 10 from beyond the arc. It sealed the game at the free throw line, where it shot 14 of 22, including 10 of 16 in the fourth quarter. 

"That was definitely a point of emphasis going into the state tournament," Baldwin coach Cody Tesoro said of the charity stripe. "These teams are so evenly matched and it comes down to a possession or two and making free throws, so we really focused on it."

And it paid off. 

Yarbrough, a 6-foot-7 senior center, made 8 of 10 from the line in the final stanza. 

But in the opening frame, the Bears sputtered out of the gates. Kailua scored the first eight points of the game and led by as many as 13 on Noa Donnelly's basket off an assist from Ethan Kunz that gave their team a 19-6 lead with one minute and 55 seconds until the second quarter. 

Baldwin answered with a 7-0 run capped by Alex Murata's running floater to make it 19-13 at the 7:07 mark of the second quarter. 

After Kunz knocked down a pair of free throws, the Bears made their run. Avery Pauole threw down a one-handed dunk in transition that spurred a 14-3 run that included six points by Quintan Akaka. 

Yarbrough's 3-pointer from the left wing gave Baldwin its first lead at 27-26. It took the lead for good on a straightaway 3-pointer banked in by Trotter Apo just seconds before the end of the second quarter to take a 30-28 advantage into the break. 

The Bears outscored the Surfriders, 22 to 9, in the second quarter. 

They picked up in the second half where they left off the first and scored the first nine points out of the intermission, triggered by a three-point play by Pauole. Yarbrough hit a 16-foot jumper on his team's next possession and then drove the baseline for a bucket the following trip up the floor. 

Pauole's putback gave Baldwin a 39-30 lead midway through the third quarter. It closed out the period with a 7-2 run that included a dunk by Akaka in transition. 

The trio of Yarbrough, Akaka, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, and 6-6 junior forward Avery Pauole combined for 44 points and 26 rebounds.

"The bigs, those three, they play well with each other. They're aggressive, they're long, they're physical and athletic and we rely on them. Once they got the jitters out we kind of settled into the game," Tesoro said. 

Tesoro noted that the slow start wasn't typical of his team, which he attributed to some big-game nerves with most of his players experiencing their first state tournament this week. 

"Very much so and in the past we're usually a team that gets off to a fast start, but I think only three of these guys played significant minutes two years ago, so this is a whole new ball game for a lot of ‘em, but they responded well. They responded very well and I was happy with the way they battled back," Tesoro said. "It was just a matter of nerves and settling down."

Kailua chipped away at the Bears' lead in the final quarter, when they outscored them, 23 to 14. 

Jonny Philbrick scored the final five points for the Surfriders and finished with a team-high 15 points. The prolific guard also had four assists, three steals, one rebound and a block and played all 32 minutes. 

Defending Philbrick was a point of emphasis for Baldwin, Tesoro affirmed. The duo of Murata and Brody Reformina did the bulk of the work covering Philbrick. 

"We know Jonny is a bucket and our game plan, as you could tell, was to limit his touches and make it tough for him to score. Brody and Alex were the main guys and they've been our defensive guys the whole season. They're always on the other team's best player, regardless of how tall — guards, wings — they're always on the best players and that their job," Tesoro said. "You know, everybody has those players and they did it well."

Kunz scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds with three assists. Donnelly tallied eight points, 12 rebounds — five of them on the offensive glass — with three assists, three steals and two blocks. 

Kailua, which finished second in the OIA, shot 21 of 61 (34.4 percent) from the field, six of 21 (28.6 percent) from 3, and 9 of 14 (64.3 percent) from the line. 

Akaka had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, as well as three steals, two assists and a pair of blocks. Pauole tallied nine points and eight boards and Kobe Gonzales chipped in with seven points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. 

"Congrats to Kailua, they had a tough season and I want to give them and their coaching staff credit because they do a good job and we're looking forward to tomorrow," said Tesoro, whose team had a first-round bye Monday. 

The Surfriders, who were coming off of a 53-33 win over Kapolei on Monday, fell to 14-3 and will play Kahuku in a consolation game Friday, 5 p.m. at McKinley's Student Council Gymnasium. 

No. 1 Saint Louis rides hot start past No. 8 Kahuku

Hayden Bayudan scored 19 points to lead a trio of scorers in double figures as top-seeded Saint Louis cruised to a 63-36 win over Kahuku in the late quarterfinal at Moanalua Thursday night. 

The Crusaders (18-2) also got 14 points from A.J. Bianco and 11 from Aiva Arquette in their first action in this week's Heide & Cook/HHSAA Division I State Championships. 

"We're hungry and, you know, that was a tough (Kahuku) team and the guys executed our game plan tremendously and it was just a really good team effort," said Saint Louis coach Dan Hale, whose team had a bye in Monday's first round of the tournament. 

The Crusaders made their first 10 shots from the field Thursday night.

"That always helps," Hale quipped. 

Saint Louis jumped out to a 22-7 lead on a Bianco bucket inside with two minutes and 25 seconds left in the opening quarter. 

"Those are tough shots we were hitting, but we got some good pressure on them and it paid off with some of the turnovers," Hale said. 

In fact, the Red Raiders turned it over 20 times. The Crusaders recorded 15 steals, led by Shoncin Revuelto's four. Bayudan and Bianco had three steals apiece. 

Saint Louis limited Kahuku to just 15-of-40 shooting from the field. Leading scorer Amari Westmoreland-Vendiola was held to a season-low 10 points in the loss. 

"We know he's a really, really good player, so we just made sure that we knew where he was at all times and we try to trap him and get the ball out of his hands as much as possible," Hale said. 

The Crusaders shot 49.1 percent (27 of 55) from the field. They grabbed 34 rebounds, including 14 offensive boards, to 25 total rebounds for Kahuku. 

Bayudan scored eight points in the first quarter and had 13 by halftime. He shot 9 of 14 from the field and added three assists and three steals. 

"Hayden's tremendous. He's so crafty with the ball and he's so fast — he can run and get up and down the court and he's a tough guy to catch," Hale said. 

Saint Louis led by as many as 34 points late in the game, but Kahuku scored the final seven points of the game. 

Daniel Kaio had nine points and Leonard Ah You contributed eight points and six rebounds for the Red Raiders, who were coming off of a 62-37 win at Kamehameha-Hawaii in Monday's opening round. 

The Crusaders led at halftime, 38-17.

Friday's semifinal between Saint Louis and Baldwin will be the second meeting between the teams this season. 

"They're a very good team. We played them in the preseason and they were tough then," said Hale, whose team came away with a 58-42 win over the Bears at Radford's Jim Alegre Invitational back on Dec. 21. 

He added, "They got really good bigs; it's a really solid, really good team, it's going to be a good test for us."

Saint Louis and Baldwin will tip-off at 5 p.m. Friday at Moanalua, while Iolani and Mililani will play in the 7 p.m. semifinal.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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