Gabriel Ross sank two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to give Baldwin a hard-earned 41-39 win over Leilehua Thursday night in Division I quarterfinal play at the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships. at McKinley gym. Maui’s King Kekaulike Na Ali’i, who stunned defending champs Kamehameha-Kapalama, was defeated tonight by Kahuku, 46-35.
“He’s done that for us all season. He might miss a lot of free throws in the first half, but he comes through in the second,” Baldwin coach Wayne Gushiken said of Ross, who was 1-for-5 at the line before hitting his final two tries.
Fourth-seeded Baldwin (25-3) advanced to the semifinals and will play the Punahou-Hilo winner Friday at Neal Blaisdell Arena.
“I feel great. With our other team (King Kekaulike) winning the other day, it bodes well for the MIL,” Gushiken said.
Kamehameha-Hawaii 39, Academy of the Pacific 37, overtime
Senior guard Lanaki Apele scored on an acrobatic reverse layup with 1:45 remaining in overtime and then hit a free throw in the closing seconds to help the Warriors of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation beat the Dolphins of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
Apele’s shot put the Warriors ahead, 37-36, and his free throw with 12.5 seconds left made it 38-36. Arkadiy Mkrtychyan made one of two free throws to close it to 38-37 with 11.4 ticks on the clock, but Mattia Raebel made one of two free throws with 0:09.5 showing to make it 39-37.
The Dolphins could only manage a desperation 27-foot attempt on its next possession and could not secure the rebound.
With Baldwin also advancing to the semifinals, this marks only the third time since 1995 — and first since 2008 (KS-Hawai’i 2nd, Konawaena 3rd) — that two Neighbor Island teams are in the Division I final four. In 2000, Hilo won the title and Baldwin finished fourth. In 1995, Waiakea took third and Hilo fourth.
OTHER QUARTERFINAL GAMES
Punahou 78, Hilo 53
Kahuku 46, King Kekaulike 35
Kamehameha 56, Pearl City 49