It was a closer game than Hydaburg would have liked on Tuesday night in B Bracket play of the 65th Annual Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament.
At least for a little while.
Hydaburg overcame an early deficit to blow out Kake 107-92 in a game that was over by halftime.
The Kake offense was hanging tight with Hydaburg’s up-and-down pace in the first eight minutes of the game, and its defense was giving last year’s third-place team problems in halfcourt sets. Tracy Jackson, Adam Dolan and Lance Doake got going early in the game for Kake, pushing the Tlingit Warriors out to an 18-17 advantage over one of the tournament’s highest-scoring teams. But it was all downhill from there for Kake.
Hydaburg’s Darren Edenshaw said his team just needed to collect itself.
“We called a timeout and our coach kind of got on us, telling us to pick it up,” he said. “Threes started falling, we started running and that’s our game: run and gun.”
Once the ball started going through the cylinder for Hydaburg, the floodgates opened. Eric Hamilton, Harold Dilts, Devin, Darren and Vinny Edenshaw led a Hydaburg attack that took a 46-13 run into halftime to lead 63-31 after briefly falling behind by one point at around the 12-minute mark of the first half. Darren Edenshaw got the run started with a hook shot inside to put Hydaburg back on top 19-18, but it didn’t stop there.
Holding a 38-26 lead, Hydaburg nailed 3-pointers on five consective possessions while only allowing one triple in the process. Before you could even blink an eye, Hydaburg had made its mark, pushing the lead out to 53-29 in a span of about 10 minutes.
The two teams combined to hit 25 3-pointers in the game.
Hydaburg nearly made it to the championship game in last year’s Gold Medal Tournament without any bench to speak of, but this year that’s different.
“(The depth) helps a lot this year. Even in our first game we only had six players after one of our key guys fouled out before overtime,” Darren Edenshaw said. “We’re going to get one more guy tomorrow, so we’re looking forward to that, too.”
With a newfound bench depth and an offense that saw six players score in double figures, Darren Edenshaw said he feels this team can take the title from Angoon this year.
“We have to take it game by game,” he said. “But if we play well I think we can win.”
Dilts led the way for Hydaburg with 26 points, including four 3-pointers, while Darren Edenshaw was second on the team with 21 points. Vinny Edenshaw dropped 15 points for Hydaburg, all of which came on 3-pointers. Hamilton scored 16 points, T.J. Young had 14 and Devin Edenshaw pitched in 10.
Kake outscored Hydaburg 61-44 in the second half, but the game was well out of reach as the Tlingit Warriors were unable to get any closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Hydaburg will play Yakutat at 3:30 p.m. today after Tuesday’s blowout win.
Dolan led Kake with 20 points, Jackson had 17, Doake scored 10 — only two in the second half — and Kyle Anderson had 10 points. Kern Aceveda scored 11 points for the Tlingit Warriors, all in the second half.
With the loss, Kake has been eliminated from Gold Medal championship contention.