The Ben Gay, knee braces and ice packs were flying as the 2012 Gold Medal Basketball Tournament began the Masters Division play on Monday afternoon with Klukwan stopping Kake 63-55.
The Klukwan masters jumped out to 36-22 first half lead with a dominating inside presence of Jeff Shonbro and Joe Parnell while Kake struggled to find a shooting touch.
“They just jumped on us early,” Kake’s Paul Rostad said. “Now it looks like we have to play, and win, a game a day.”
Klukwan’s Rob LaRosa had his touch in the first half, sinking 13 points including 3-3 from outside the arch.
Klukwan went on a 16-6 run to open the second half and it looked like Kake was well out of contention.
The Kupreanof Island boys kept pecking away at the score, running off 13 straight points at one point, and soon closed the score to 58-50 with four minutes remaining.
Kake’s strategy was to foul and hope Klukwan missed their free throws. While the misses did occur it was the Klukwan team that got their own rebounds and the clock ran out with Klukwan up 63-55.
Parnell scored a game-high 23 points, LaRosa added 17, Shonbro 11, Cris Wossman and Joe Cornell four apiece, Frank Cornell and Larry Sweet two each.
Kake was led by Mike Martin’s 16 points, Kip Howard added 15, Willis Cavanaugh 12, Lonnie Anderson and Paul Rostad five apiece, and Myron Martin two.Both teams hit 6-10 at the free throw line.
“It was a good try,” Kake’s Myron Martin said. “Everyone was just cold. The plan was to play every day, we will be back.”
Klukwan will face defending champion Hoonah at 12:30 p.m. today in a quarterfinal winners bracket contest. Kake falls into the losers bracket and will play an elimination game against the loser of Monday evening’s game between Metlakatla and Sitka (that foe was not available by press time).
Most of Metlakatla’s roster did not arrive as snow hampered their departure.