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Lunas indeed seed No. 2, Bears 3 for state tournaments
November 3, 2012 - Robert Collias
Here is my story and schedule wrapping up the comings and goings for the state football tournaments.
In a secret guarded like it was deep in Fort Knox, the Lunas are indeed the No. 2 seed — they couldn't have realistically been anything else — and they will open at Aloha Stadium on Nov. 17, a Saturday, against the Nanakuli-Konawaena winner as part of the Division II semifinal doubleheader. The games involving the Lunas and top-seeded Iolani are at 4 and 7 p.m. — and it hasn't been decided which seeded team will "host" the nightcap — but it is my best guess that the Lunas will play in the early game, for those who want to make travel arrangements.
Anyone who watched Nanakuli's 21-6 loss to Radford in the OIA White Division (II) title game can tell the Lunas are legitimate state contenders.
Baldwin, as we knew, will be the 3 seed in Division I, as the MIL champion is most of the time, behind the ILH and OIA winners.
The brackets were penciled out in the week before the final MIL games, or about 10-11 days ago, as they annually are.
The only reason I can think of for keeping them so under cover is that teams in league playoffs could try to throw games for more favorable state match-ups. That comes down to OIA teams — the only league that gets multiple teams in either state tournament — possibly backing down in games to draw the Big Island champion instead of the MIL. Former HHSAA staffers have confirmed this to me in the past.
The MIL has a pretty solid record in the state tournaments — Baldwin has been to six final fours in D-I, the Lunas have four state wins and have been to the state final in 2007, King Kekaulike won the 2006 D-II state title. On the other other hand, the BIIF is 2-22 all-time in state tournaments, 0-13 at the D-I level.
Anyway you slice it, it makes no sense for HHSAA officials to keep the state-tournament-bracket decisions under wraps as much as they do unless they are concerned about teams trying to slide into more favorable state games, which is a colossally sad statement on prep athletics in our state.
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