Klukwan came out firing but Klawock didn’t fold.
The Totems closed the first half with a 17-4 run to rally from an early 11-point hole, ousting Klukwan from the 65th Annual Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament, 76-65, on Tuesday at Juneau-Douglas High School.
Klukwan made a trio of 3-pointers, one by Kevin Thompson and two by Jacob Hotch, in building its early lead. Levi Hotch added two free throws and two more 3-pointers, and then two David Barry free throws pushed Klukwan ahead 23-12 with about 13 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
But then Klawock responded with a 11-0 run, tying the game at 23-23 after a bucket inside by Deion Jackson.
Klukwan went back up by 6, 31-25, after a free throw and a stickback inside by Bo Graham and another freebie by Thompson, but it was pretty much all Totems the rest of the half.
Leslie Isaacs tied the game at 33-all with two free throws, and Klukwan knotted the score again 35-35 after a bucket in the lane by Levi Hotch, but Klawock closed with a 7-0 run to take a 42-35 lead at the break.
“We’re a really young team and we’re missing some of our top players, so we came out and played tough defense and got after every loose ball,” said Klawock’s Ric Carle, who dropped 34 points on the night, including five 3-pointers. “We knew we could (rally). We just outplayed them and as soon as we got that lead, we took over from there.”
Klawock’s momentum carried over to the start of the second half as the Totems’ lead ballooned to 17, 54-37, after back-to-back 3-pointers by Mike Henderson and Carle.
Klukwan chipped away and pulled within 9, 59-50, after a triple by Levi Hotch. But Carle answered with seven straight points, including a nice pull-up 15-footer after a ball fake, a triple from the wing and a stickback inside to push the lead back to 16.
Klukwan pulled within 10 just inside the final minute, but got no closer.
Jackson added 12 points and Isaacs 10 for the Totems. Levi Hotch scored 21 points, Thompson 14, Jacob Hotch 13 and David Barry 11 for Klukwan.
Klawock faces Hoonah at 7:30 p.m. today in another elimination game.