Klukwan used stifling defense to open a big second-half lead, then held off a late rally to beat Kake 86-76 in ‘C’ bracket play Monday at the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.
That defense prevented Kake from scoring a field goal in the first five minutes of the second frame, facilitating a 16-4 run that gave Klukwan a 61-46 edge. David Buss keyed that run by hitting three 3s. He would finish with 16 points.
“We didn’t give them any real easy looks,” Klukwan’s Stuart Dewitt said. “That was a big difference. We gave them some easy looks to get going in the first half. We just got a hand in their face a little better.”
Klukwan’s lead would swell to 69-51 before Kake came back with the help of Rudy Bean’s 11 second-half points. Kake chipped the lead down to 79-74 with 2:53 remaining to play, but would come no closer.
Physical play marked the second half, as both teams made frequent trips to the free-throw line. Kake would take 18 foul shots in the frame, hitting 12, while Klukwan went 8-15 from the line in the final 20 minutes.
The first half featured the squads exchanging runs and Klukwan taking a small 45-43 lead at the break. Kake opened the game with three different shooters nailing 3s in 90 seconds to take a 9-0 lead before Klukwan could get on track.
Klukwan rallied by working the ball inside to Dewitt. He would hit three shots from close range in the opening five minutes to help Klukwan stay in the game. Dewitt scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the first half, including a key 3 that ended a second 9-0 run by Kake.
“We just needed to slow it down a little and get a couple of easy buckets,” Dewitt said.
Jason Shull added 12 points and Jessie McGraw 10 to Klukwan’s victory. Bean finished with 30 in defeat, with Nick Davis adding 14, David Watkins 12 and Jay Peterson 11 for Kake.
Klukwan advances to a 6 p.m. Thursday winners’ bracket game against against Hoonah, an 85-71 winner against Yakutat Monday. Kake drops into a 2 p.m. Wednesday elimination game against Hydaburg. Hydaburg dropped an 89-81 decision to Hoonah on Sunday.
Scoring: Kake 76 (Jay Peterson 11, Adam Davis 2, Lloyd Davis 7, Rudy Bean 30, David Watkins 12, Nick Davis 14), Klukwan 86 (Jason Shull 12, Luck Dunbar 7, Jessie McGraw 10, David Buss 16, Jeremy strong 4, Neil Erikson 2, Stuart Dewitt 30, Jackie Wyatt 5).