They brought their ‘A’ games, perfected over years in the ‘B’ and ‘C’ divisions, to the masters elimination game on Thursday afternoon in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School.
The result? An ‘A+’ across the board as Kake defeated defending Masters Bracket champion Hoonah 57-50 in a fan-frenzied classic.
“We knew it was going to be a close game,” Kake coach Delbert Kadake said. “I guess it came down to whoever went to the gym the most in the off season.”
The game had it all. A finger wag by Kip Howard after he sent a Hoonah shot to the wall. Hoonah player Ken Willard being sent to the bench by the referee for being a little too mouthy. Tough guard defense by Hoonah’s Louie White and Kake’s Michael Nannauck.
Step-back shots in the post by Hoonah’s Stuart Mills.
When Hoonah made a run in the second half, Howard followed his own miss to score and push the lead back to four at 48-44.
When Kake threatened to run the score, Hoonah’s John Martin Jr. and White physically controlled the ball.
At the end it was textbook Kake basketball. Long outlet passes after scores to catch the defense off guard and playing solid defense; and with the lead at the end of the game, slowing the pace and making Hoonah foul.
“Most of our guys have been using the treadmills,” Kadake said. “So I guess that is what helped. I was glad we outlasted them a little longer. It could have gone either way.”
Howard led Kake with 18 points, Paul Rostad had 15, Willis Cavanaugh 13, Myron Martin and Mike Martin four apiece, and Lonnie Anderson three.
Kake went 14-21 at the free throw line, Hoonah hit 10-15.
Ken Willard Jr. scored 17 to lead the Huna Masters, Showalter Martin added 12, Louie white Sr. nine, John Martin Jr. five, Stuart Mills four and Pete Schneeberger three.
“If our guys play our roles it is tough to beat us,” Kake’s Lonnie Anderson said. “It was just defense that did it for us. If you can play defense you can beat anybody.”
Kake will play today at 6 p.m. against the loser of Thursday’s late game between Klukwan and Yakutat.
Yakutat eliminates Klukwan Chilkats 60-56
Only four Yakutat players made the scorebook on Thursday, unfortunately for Klukwan two of those scorers amassed 52 points, just four shy of what the Chilkats tallied on the day.
Damien Long wracked up 34 points and Mike Jensen added 18 as Yakutat put the Klukwan Chilkats out of Gold Medal Tournament action. While that duo led the scoring it was a team effort that got the win, especially on the defensive end as Steven Fields, Jerry Riddlington, Joe Nelson, Gary Klushkan, Joe Mallot, Eric Anderstrom and Bob Rockwood each had a turn at banging on the boards and slowing down the Chilkats’ running game.
“It takes teamwork to get through the tournament,” Fields said. “That is all I can say is teamwork, our guys stick together.”
Fields is a major part of the glue that keeps the Yakutat team stuck together and when he rolled an ankle in the first minute of the second half Klukwan went on an 8-0 run.
“It felt like a broke it,” Fields said. “It was just a painful high ankle sprain.”
With Fields on the bench the Chilkats took a 41-38 lead.Fields would return to the game in the later stages.
Jensen and Long then went for a string of free throws to tie the score at 41, then at 43, at 48 and then to take the lead for good at 51-50.
Long went 8-8 from the charity stripe in the last three minutes of play.
Jerry Riddlington added six points for Yakutat and Joe Mallot two. Yakutat went 24-35 at the free throw line, Long and Jensen tallied all but one of the makes.
Klukwan was deadly from the charity stripe, hitting 7-8, but Yakutat had just 11 team fouls.
Yakutat will play Sitka in an elimination game tonight at 7:30 p.m. to see who gets to play in Saturday’s championship game at 6 p.m.
“It doesn’t matter who we play,” Fields said. “We just have to keep busting our butts and keep going.”
Kake Tlingit Heat 86 Sitka 60
The Tlingit Heat are one win away from a seven-peat as ‘C’ bracket champions after stopping Sitka 86-60 on Thursday in semifinal winners bracket action.
Kake was up 44-30 starting the second half of play and were never threatened in the remaining 20 minutes of action.
Rudy Bean led the Tlingit Heat with 25 points, Nick Davis added 18, Wayne Friday and Wayne Watkins nine apiece, Jay Peterson and David Watkins eight apiece, Lloyd Davis five, and Donald James and Mike Smith two apiece.
In a rather gentlemanly game on the court Kake went just 3-5 as the charity stripe and Sitka was just 5-9.
Gary Smith tallied 17 points for Sitka, Richard Didrickson and Randy Nutting added 15, Randy Hitchcock five, and Steve Walker and Casey Gould four apiece.
The Kake Tlingit Heat now wait in Saturday’s 6 p.m. title game seat for the winner of tonight’s Yakutat and Sitka contest at 7:30 p.m.
Metlakatla Merchants eliminate Hoonah ANB 78-63
“We’ve got a whole new team and I am playing with all my cousins,” George Peratrovich said. “We are finally clicking. It is the first time playing with each other and it is getting interesting. We are getting into shape and as we do that we are getting into a better flow.”
Shane Martinez led Metlakatla with 19 points, Jace Scudero Jr. had 18, Jason Enright 16, George Peratrovich 11, Marty Martinez Jr. six, Dean Mahan and Michael Henderson four apiece.
The Merchants sank 14-24 from the charity stripe, Hoonah went 17-23.
Travis Dybdahl led the ANB with 17 points, DJ Lindstrom added 13, David Lindoff 10, Roonie Hasselquist eight, James Wilson seven, Anthony Lindoff six and Arthur Campbell two.
“It took a little bit for us to get used to each other but once we started clicking and trusting each other it started to flow,” Shane Martinez said. “We have guys from Metlakatla, Ketchikan, Petersburg and Hydaburg. We are really starting to play well together, with guys from all over so it takes a while. Severson married into our community last summer and he was a big help in the first game.”
Severson missed this win however, yet Metlakatla has a teamwork flowing and Martinez sets the pace.
“I just try to make sure everybody is doing their job,” Martinez said. “And filling their roles. My dad has always taught me to be the general on the court. There is a lot of talent out there on the court, and some of us have played together since middle school.”
To take the title requires two more wins and a bit more running.
Metlakatla will play Haines at 9 p.m. tonight in an elimination game that will determine who advances to Saturday’s title clash against Hydaburg.
“We have got to run,” Peratrovich said. “Just run and hit our wide open shots. It is going to be a battle. There are some tough teams still a head.”
Hydaburg tops Haines 101-92 in semifinal
Devin Edenshaw scored 33 points and Vinny Edenshaw added 21 as Hydaburg continued to run through the ‘B’ bracket undefeated with a 101-92 win over the Haines Merchants on Thursday night. Hydaburg will play in the title game on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Haines drew first basket blood with three straight hoops for a 7-0 advantage but Hydaburg led at the break 54-43 and used their speed to combat the taller Merchants.
Freddy Hamilton added 18 points for Hydaburg, Darren Edenshaw 17, Joe Young six, Charley Frisbe three, Eric Hamilton two and Tony Peele one.
Haines was led by Tyler Healy’s 39 points, Tyler Swinton added 19, Orion Falvey nine, Ben Egolf eight, Harry Reitze six, Norman Zura five, Chris Dixon four, and Ryan Olson two.
Haines went 12-14 at the free throw line, Hydaburg was at the charity stripe 37 times and nestled in 23.
Haines plays tonight at 9 p.m. against Metlakatla to see who will get a chance to play the rested Hyda boys again. Metlakatla lost to Hydaburg on Monday by the tally of 90-81.
In a late Masters Bracket contest, Klukwan stopped Yakutat 80-72 to advance to Saturday’s championship game at 4 p.m.
Rob La Rose led Klukwan with 24 points.
Yakutat was led by Joe Klushkan’s 27 and John Jensen added 12.
Yakutat plays Kake at 6 p.m. tonight in an elimination game to see who gets another chance at Klukwan and the title.