The Haines Merchants had control of the first half 36-29 and looked as though they would be running to a title behind the soft touch of Tyler Swinton who knocked down 15 of his game-high 33 points in the stanza. Hydaburg had a different view of the action.
“It is a lot of fun to coach this much athleticism,” Hydaburg coach Al Nix said. “To get them motivated and get the best out of them. They are all good ball players. They just needed to play like how they got to this point. Settle down and play team ball.”
Hydaburg mounted a classic comeback in the second half using team offense and hard defense.
Vinny Edenshaw hit nothing but net from past the arch to take the lead 57-55 with 9:09 remaining.
Haines’ Tyler Swinton was fouled and sank two free throws to tie the game for the Merchants.
It was Darren Edenshaw time after that. Edenshaw drew the fifth foul on Haines’ Ryan Falvey and scored on a layup. Then stole the ball on the other end and fed Joe Young for a lay up.
Haines stayed in the game by feeding Swinton in the post.
With 6:04 remaining Haines’ Ryan Olson was sent to the penalty box for complaining on a call and Hydaburg spread the court.
Vinny Edenshaw waved the team to clear out and he drove between the Haines bigs to draw and foul and sink two free throws for a 63-60 cushion at the 3:47 mark.
“Either Devin or I can get to the hole,” Vinny Edenshaw said. “No one can really guard us. Man, it took us two years to get this. We wish Angoon had been in the final, maybe next year.”
Trading baskets Haines tied the score at 67 with a Swinton three at the 1:25 mark. Vinny Edenshaw hit three straight free throws to ice the game as Haines missed three shots for a tie in the final 11 seconds.
Edenshaw hit one final shot from the charity stripe to make the final second a two possession game.
Vinny Edenshaw led Hydaburg with 26 points, Devin Edenshaw and Darren Edenshaw added 16 apiece, Joe Young nine, Eric Hamilton three and Sid Edenshaw one.
Tyler Swinton scored 33 for Haines, Tyler Healy and Ben Egolf eight apiece, Orion Falvey six, Jesse McGraw five, Ryan Olson four, James Hart two, and Norman Zura one.
Hydaburg hit 23-31 at the free throw line. Haines went 10-16.
Hall of Famer Sid Edenshaw played key minutes for Hydaburg. Edenshaw came down from the Klawock Masters division team this season to provide some strength inside for the short-handed team.
“We don’t have a masters division from Hydaburg,” Sid Edenshaw said. “My job was to lean on their bigs and get some rebounds. We had a fairly good rotation but the shots were off tonight. The main thing is we won.”
The Gold Medal Basketball Tournament ‘B’ bracket All-Tourney team are Ben Egolf (Haines), Jacob Hotch (Klukwan), Curtis Lane (Angoon), Travis Dybdahl (Hoonah) George Peratrovich (Metlakatla), James Scudaro (Metlakatla), Tyler Healy (Haines), Tyler Swinton (Haines), Fred Hamilton (Hydaburg), Vinny Edenshaw (Hydaburg),
The final two tournament team selections were Sportsmanship Award winner Joe Young (Hydaburg) and Most Valuable Player (Devin Edenshaw).