Kake is continuing its march through the C bracket division, and while miles are wearing on the Kupreanof Island Tlingit Heat hoopsters’ hair color, it is sure not affecting their free throw percentage.
“They have to man up on us,” Kake’s Nick Davis said. “You don’t see guys playing zone against us. Once it gets down to fourth quarter it is a matter of who has the tougher bench or the guys that can run a little longer.”
Kake hit 23-30 at the charity strip, including seven of their last nine points, to advance another step towards their seventh straight championship.
The first half featured five lead changes and three ties and ended with Haines on top 37-32 and Kake looking tired. The action included sharpshooters Jay Peterson and Rudy Bean putting the defending champs up early with back-to-back jumpers from deep outside the arch while Klukwan’s Andrew Friske was content to pick and choose his shots from around the key as the lead was never more than five points for either side.
Eight different Haines players found the net during the first half while Kake had just four players make the scorebook during the entire contest.
Kake went on an 8-0 run to open the second half and never lost the lead again. The game would go to tie three-more times, including Jason Shull’s basket with six minutes remaining.
Bean then hit eight points, six of which were free throws, and Mike Smith and Nick Davis found the rim as the Tlingit Heat took momentum for the win.
“We tried to work the one-and-one a little bit and then the bonus came down to two shots,” Davis said. “We knew they would back off a little on the defense situation knowing they had the double foul situation.”
Bean scored a game-high 33 points including five from deep beyond the arch. Nick Davis added 19 points, including a perfect second half at the charity strip with 8-8. Mike Smith hit for 14 points and Jay Peterson eight.
Klukwan went to the free throw line just six times and hit three. Friske scored 21 for Haines, David Buss 13, Shull 11, Danny Thomas eight, Daniel Klanott and Rueber Lowen three apiece, Neil Erickson, Aaron Nash and Jackie Watt two each.
Kake advances to Thursday’ 6 p.m. semifinal game against Sitka, a 74-63 winner over Yakutat.
Klukwan falls into the losers bracket and will play Wednesday at 6 p.m. against the winner of today’s 2 p.m. elimination game between Juneau Filcom and Angoon.
Sitka 74 Yakutat 63
Damien Long exploded for 44 points but no other player made double figures for Yakutat as the Sitka boys took their second victory in as many nights in a 74-63 Gold Medal ‘B’ division winners bracket game.
Randy Nutting led Sitka with 28 points including six straight free throws during crunch time. Gary Smith added 15 points for the boys from the outer coast of Baranof Island. Richard Didrickson and Steve Walker contributed nine points apiece.
Mike Jensen added eight points for Yakutat.
Yakutat will play in the losers bracket on Wednesday at 2 p.m. against the winner of today’s Metlakatla and Hoonah 2 p.m. elimination game.