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Defending "B" champ Angoon survives opening day scare

Champs stop Klukwan 69-67

Posted: March 18, 2012 - 11:06pm
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The real March Madness begins as Angoon's Stephen Johnson is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning basket at the buzzer to defeat Klukwan in the opening game of the 2012 Gold Medal Basketball Tournament on Sunday. Angoon won 70-67 to advance in the "B" bracket.  Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
The real March Madness begins as Angoon's Stephen Johnson is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning basket at the buzzer to defeat Klukwan in the opening game of the 2012 Gold Medal Basketball Tournament on Sunday. Angoon won 70-67 to advance in the "B" bracket.

Angoon’s Curtis Lane and Klukwan’s Jacob Hotch just ruined the JDHS gymnasium maintenance budget. The opposite team point guards “shot the lights out” as Angoon survived with a last second score at the buzzer to put challenger Klukwan into the “B” losers bracket of the 2012 Gold Medal Basketball tournament on Sunday’s opening round of action.

“I graduated from JDHS so I know the court,” Lane said. “I didn’t hit everything, I could have hit a lot more. There is no secret about shooting here, it is all about practice and repetition and being confident. This is just the first game and we will get better as the tournament goes a long. We are going to play hard no matter how good or bad we play.

While Lane shot the lights out, scoring a game-high 33 points, it was the defense of Stephen Johnson that saved the game.

With the score tied at 67 and Klukwan’s Hotch dribbling up court towards a screen by his teammates, Johnson stepped in to steal the ball and take a hurried shot at the rim that was nothing but net for the Angoon win.

“We have a lot of scorers on our team,” Johnson said of his only two points of the game. “I just focus on guarding the opposing point guard pretty much. We don’t have the Jamestown boys here this year so I have some pretty big shoes to fill. I was just trying to help on the weak-side defense and help my teammates on their big guy inside. That was a good warm up game.”

Trailing 35-29 at the half Angoon got back-to-back treys from John Creesmum Jr. to start a second half run and then got behind the down-town touch of Lane to tie the score at 41 with 14:46 remaining. The two teams tie up four more times, including a Klukwan basket at the 1:05 mark by Brett Garvey to knot the clock at 67.

John Creesmum Jr. added 14 points for Angoon, Bailey Johnson eight, William Silva five, Guy Hunter three, Jason Frank and Levi Johnson Sr. two apiece.

Klukwan was led by 19 points from Jacob Hotch, Brett Garvey added 16, Leve Hotch 11, Tony Delgole six, Jordon Cornell five, Tony Thompkins four and Michael Ward two.

Angoon hit 14-15 at the charity stripe, Klukwan was 12-17.

Angoon advances to play Haines at 3:30 p.m. today in a “B” bracket winners contest. Klukwan plays Kake in a “B” bracket tournament elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

On the back of the Angoon jerseys is the title of a biblical passage. John 3:54;

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever should believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

“I learned that in my dad’s Sunday school class,” Sasha Soboleff said of his late father. “It is appropriate for this environment and action.”

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