The Hoonah Masters looked like the Hoonah youngsters as they found some long range accuracy and mixed it with a bit of inside-the-key toughness to defeat Juneau city league masters division champions C.B. Green 58-53 in the opening game of the 67th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School on Sunday. C. B. Green was added to the tournament when Klawock pulled out due to a roster dispute.
Louie White led the way for Hoonah, hitting 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half including four crucial free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Leading 48-42, Hoonah tallied 10 straight singles from the charity stripe down the stretch as the Green team fouled to get ball possession.
Norm Staton hit a short shot to pull C.B. within two at 49-47 but Ken Willard Jr. hit two free throws to push the lead back to four. Garvin Martin followed with a single free throw, White notched two more singles, Willard toed the charity stripe twice and White swished the game’s final two freebies.
C.B. Green lived and died from beyond the arch.
Staton connected on two from deep in the first half and Charles Matlock three from long range but they trailed 26-19 as White and Willard hit from deep and Pete Schneeberger controlled the paint for Hoonah.
Garvin Martins return to the court was key for Hoonah as he tied the score at 15-15 in the first half after being fouled on an inside shot and hitting the following free throw for an old-fashioned three-point play.
“That was the first time I have touched a ball in four years,” Garvin Martin said of his return to Gold Medal play. “It was kind of shaky. Once I hit my first couple layups it was better. My legs were kind of weak but I am excited to be playing. It feels good to run again.”
Willard buried his first three for the lead and Martin hit again for a 20-17 advantage, then tipped the next rebound out to Willard on the run for a lay up.
“It is nice to have my brother back on the court,” Showalter Martin said. “More experience on the team and just great to see him out of the corner of your eye.”
Hoonah kept a patient offense through out the second half and never relinquished the lead.
C.B Green pulled within three points at the 16-minute mark, the 10-minute mark and the five-minute mark before getting within two points, but could never get the lead.
Hoonah was led by White’s 19 points, Willard added 16, G. Martin eight, Schneeberger six, Brian Sheppard four, Showalter Martin three, and Duane Jack Sr. two.
Tagaban led C.B. Green with 16 points, Staton 13, Matlock 11, Ken Krietzer seven, and John Forchemer six.
Hoonah was 15-20 at the charity stripe, C.B. Green 7-16.
Hoonah plays against Klukwan in the winner’s bracket at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
C.B. Green plays in the losers bracket at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday against the loser of defending champ Kake and Juneau Alliance, a 56-43 winner over Yakutat in the tournament’s opening game.