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Defending masters champ Hoonah loses opening game

Klukwan continues title march with 94-73 win

Posted: March 21, 2012 - 12:04am
Klukwan Jilkaat Kwaan's Rob Le Rose and Huna Masters' John Martin Jr. fall on the side line as fans look on during Gold Medal action on Tuesday.
Klukwan Jilkaat Kwaan's Rob Le Rose and Huna Masters' John Martin Jr. fall on the side line as fans look on during Gold Medal action on Tuesday.

The masters bracket defending champion Huna team was dealt it’s first loss in just over a year at the Lions Club Gold Medal Basketball Tournament on Tuesday as Klukwan used a series of small runs to take a 94-73 win and collect its second victory in the band aide and banged-up bracket.

Huna Masters hadn’t felt the sting of defeat since dropping the 2010 title game to Klawock.

Klukwan wasted little time continuing their spirited play by draining four buckets and opening a 9-0 lead with just 40 seconds ticking off the clock.

Rob Le Rose would be a pain for Huna in the first half, nailing three from beyond the arch and teammates Jeff Shanbro, Frank Cornell and Joe Cornell would add a long-range bomb as well.

Hoonah’s Stuart Mills kept the Chichagof Island boys in the game by scoring the first six baskets inside while Ken Willard Jr. kept the defense honest outside.

Klukwan led 46-32 at the half and were never threatened in the second stanza of play. Using a deeper bench Klukwan wore down the Hoonah team for the win.

Le Rose led Jilkaat Kwaan with 21 points, Shanbro added 18, Joe Parnell 16, Frank Cornell 15, Chris Wassanan eight, Don Nash seven, Joe Cornell five and Ed Hotch four.

Hoonah was led by Ken Willard Jr.’s game-high 31 points, Mills added nine, Louie White eight, John Martin Jr. and Duane Jack Sr. six apiece, Bernard Wolfe five, Pete Schneeberger and Brian Sheppard four apiece.

Klukwan hit 10-17 at the free throw line, Hoonah went 8-14.

Klukwan advances to Thursday’s semifinal game against the winner of Sitka/Yakutat.

Hoonah plays Metlakatla at 9 p.m. tonight in an elimination game.

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