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Kamehameha Maui boys, Baldwin girls capture MIL crowns

The Maui Interscholastic League champion Baldwin High School girls (first photo) and Kamehameha Maui boys (second photo) pose for photos after winning team titles Saturday at Wailuku Lanes. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photos

WAILUKU — The Baldwin High School girls bowling team nailed down a little bit of history on Saturday morning at Wailuku Lanes.

The Bears have just four team members — five scores are counted in Maui Interscholastic League competition — and with a “dummy” score of 80 penciled in all year long for the fifth slot, the Baldwin girls emerged as MIL champions.

Baldwin won the first two games of the best-of-3 MIL tournament championship over Kamehameha Maui to clinch the single team spot available to the MIL. Baldwin entered the tournament as the top seed with the regular-season crown in hand.

“Four strong, yes, first time ever in the MIL, four strong,” Baldwin coach Janeen Souza said. “We were able to do it, just the four of us. Crazy.”

The Bears are led by seniors Kaycee Takai and Jailee Fujita. The other team members are Maria Andrade and Kalena Torres-Estores.

Kamehameha Maui boys

Andrade had a 150 and Fujita a 140 to lead the Bears on Saturday. Tahan Valdez had a 141 and Taytum Chai bowled 123 to lead the second-seeded Warriors.

The Bears won the first game 522-459 and the second game 580-562.

“It’s so awesome, it’s so emotional, we seriously just made history,” Fujita said. “Four strong, four strong bowlers in Baldwin High School. And I just cannot stop being so emotional about it.”

To share the MIL title with her fellow senior and longtime bowling friend Takai made it even more special for Fujita.

“You know what, me and her have gone so long, since elementary (school) and stuff like that — it’s so awesome how me and her both stayed in bowling,” Fujita said. “It’s just so awesome.”

The MIL gets 12 individual slots to the state tournament, four of which will go to the Bears as a team.

On the other side of the building Saturday morning, the top-seeded Kamehameha Maui boys wrapped up their title with a sweep of third-seeded King Kekaulike.

“They had this camaraderie, they had very, very good team chemistry,” KSM boys coach Rodney Carillo said. “Four of them are first-year bowlers, they have not bowled one ball in the MIL before, so it’s good. They were very disciplined.

“I have two seniors that I am very much going to miss: Jasyah (Macugay) and Joshua (Miller). This is actually for them because this year is their last year, they didn’t get to bowl last year, but it was awesome this year, real awesome. My boys really performed well this year. I’m proud of them.”

Macugay led the way on Saturday with scores of 165 and 144. Miller had scores of 157 and 137, Luke Kahuhu had a 157 and Kenji Masuda a 145 for the Warriors.

Kamehameha Maui won the first game 640-546 and the second game 694-566.

The rest of the Warriors team comprises Anson Cabello, Seth Navas and Shayden Nomura.

Travis Britain led Na Alii with scores of 154 and 152.

“This has been a lot, right after COVID, to get our first win, it’s not a miracle, but it’s a really good feeling,” said Macugay, the MIL boys individual champion with an average score of 168.3 during the regular season.

Takai led all girls bowlers this year with a 141.0 average.

Macugay thought about the circumstances where five girls and boys teams share donated practice time at the 10-lane Wailuku Lanes facility and smiled.

“It’s amazing, man,” Macugay said. “Just being able to bowl is just a blessing, for all of Maui, really. This one alley, it holds all the spirit and that spirit is strong.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

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