Team Mauka outlasts Team Makai to win 2023 Polynesian Bowl

The latest edition of the Polynesian Bowl is in the books.
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 4:25 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The latest edition of the Polynesian Bowl is in the books.

Where some of the top high school prospects in the country duked it out and in the back and forth affair, in the end it would be team Mauka to get the win.

The sixth edition of the annual all star showcase started with high energy, but that didn’t translate to the score board, team Makai got out to an early 7-0 lead before team Mauka would storm out in the second quarter to take a 13-10 lead into halftime.

After the break it would be much of the same, a low scoring back and forth but in the end team Mauka would win the game, 22-17.

However, it was much more than just a game as local players got to play one last time in their home state.

“I mean it was a fun experience, a lot of high caliber athletes and a lot of great talent on the team.” Kahuku receiver Kainoa Carvahlo told Hawaii News Now. “So it was just a great opportunity to play my last high school game here.”

It was the realization of a dream they’ve had since childhood.

“Oh, for sure This has always been a dream for me.” Carvahlo said. “You know, I was once in the stands just asking for gloves, asking for cleats, just like all these little kids and now I’m here, it’s such a very special.”

For other players who left the islands, they got to end their prep career back where it all started.

“I’m coming back to my stomping grounds and it was, it hit me at first, but it came out great.” Texas commit Tausili Akana said.

The games offensive MVP was Tennessee commit Nico Iamaleava, who threw for 186 yards and a touchdown and on defense it was Andrew Harris.