Klukwan seemed to be in an up-hill battle all game against Shee Atika on Tuesday afternoon at Juneau-Douglas High School.
And while it might have taken overtime, Klukwan lasted the longest in a 85-78 C Bracket slugfest to advance to play Hoonah at 2 p.m. today.
Shee Atika controlled much of the first half Klukwan was unable to muster the type of offense it wanted early in the game. Atika was looking good heading into the break, even though a double-digit lead had been chiseled to five points, 38-33.
But Klukwan chipped away until it finally grabbed the lead, 62-61, in the final minutes of regulation. Klukwan pushed the lead to four points, 71-67, with less than two minutes remaining, but Shee Atika had another run.
After Klukwan’s Jason Shull hit six straight free throws down the stretch, Shee Atika found itself down by three with 14.3 seconds remaining in regulation. The team pushed its way to the frontcourt and and tried to get the ball to one of its best shooters, Sean Joslyn or Galen Pearson, but neither could get a good look.
But Charles Matlock, who had already hit one three in the game, found an open spot in the defense at the top of the key and fired away. The ball hit nothing but net and Shee Atika found new life as the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation.
Still, Klukwan’s comeback would not fall short. Shull and David Buss took over in the extra four minutes, combining to score all 10 of their team’s points in the overtime period. Shee Atika was only able to score three points on a 3-pointer from Joslyn.
Buss led the way for Klukwan with 28 points, while Shull’s 27 were second highest on the team. Buss hit seven 3-pointers in the game, doing most of his damage from behind the arc, and Shull nailed 11 of 14 from the line, almost all of which came in the second half. Aaron Nash was the only other player in double figures for Klukwan.
Joslyn’s 21 points were a team high for Shee Atika while Pearson put in 20. Ed Mercer pitched in 17 points while Michael Mills was the only other player in double figures with 10 before he fouled out late in regulation.
Klukwan will face Hoonah at 2 p.m. today in the second round of the loser’s bracket. Shee Atika has been eliminated from C Bracket competition.