Chants of Tlingit Heat and Rudy filled the stands at Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday night as Kake outlasted Yakutat for the 2012 Gold Medal Basketball Tournament’s ‘C’ bracket championship.
It was not just another Kake championship. It was the Tlingit Heat’s seventh title in a row and ninth overall.
“Seven times,” Nick Davis said. “How many teams can say they have done that. We play for the community; we are not out here playing for ourselves. We are playing for everybody that came up and every body that is listening back in Kake and never had the chance to come and watch. To win this seven is unbelievable. Number eight? You never know, we will see what happens.”
Jay Peterson ignited the Kake offense in the first half, scoring 14 of his 16-game points in the stanza and David Watkins added two deep threes to keep the ball rolling for the Tlingit Heat.
Yakutat’s Damien Long was a hand full again for the opposition, scoring 23 points in the first half on his way to a game-high 42 points.
Leading 37-34 starting the second half Kake scored immediately for a five-point advantage only to watch Yakutat go on a 12-8 run for a 46-45 lead.
‘C’ bracket Most Valuable Player Rudy Bean then buried a three-pointer to give Kake a 48-45 advantage and then Bean began to have the ball in his possession.
The teams would tie the score six more times including free throws by Kake’s Bean and Nick Davis, and shots by Yakutat’s Darien Long, Mike Smith, and Joe Mallott.
Davis and Bean accounted for 32 of Kake’s 39 second half points.
“Free throws,” Rudy Bean said. “Wow, I was thinking I have to make them.”
Yakutat’s Long and Smith accounted for 30 of their team’s 36 second half points.
“Chemistry,” Bean added. “We have been together and played together for so long it is definitely chemistry.”
After Davis gave Kake the lead with 2:59 remaining they never relinquished that advantage again. Yakutat would pull within one three at 71-68 on two Mike Jensen free throws with 1:42 left but Davis hit two more charity strippers as Yakutat’s Joe Mallot fouled out. Long stole the ball for a Yakutat score to get to 70 but Davis hit another free throw and Bean scored on a break-a-way lay up.
Kake was lead by Rudy Bean’s 35 points, Jay Peterson added 16, David Watkins 10, Nick Davis nine, Lloyd Davis five, and Mike Smith one.
Yakutat got 42 points from Damien Long, Mike Jensen added 15, Jerry Riddlington five, Steven Fields four, Gary Klushkan and Joe Mallot two apiece.
Kake was 19-23 at the charity strip, Yakutat went 16-19.
Said Kake’s Jay Peterson after the game, “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it.”
The ‘C’ bracket All-Tournament team selections were Jimmy Carson (Juneau Filcom), Tom Booth (Metlakatla), Jason Shull (Klukwan), Gary Smith (Sitka), Randy Nutting (Sitka), Damien Long (Yakutat), Mike Jensen (Yakutat), Jerry Riddlington (Yakutat), Nick Davis (Kake), and Mike Smith (Kake).
The final two members of the all tourney team were Sportsmanship Award winner Lloyd Davis (Kake) and MVP Rudy Bean (Kake).