The Wrangell Thunderbirds put on a clinic against Kake in a B bracket elimination game during Gold Medal play on Wednesday afternoon, sending the Kupreanof Island team packing 80-61 and earning another day in Juneau.
Wrangell’s Cody Angerman and Keith Young hit the first three shots of the game from deep behind the arch and Kevin Young added another before Kake had a chance to get into an offensive flow.
Kake’s Adam Dolan and Anthony Ross kept Kake close in the first nine minutes of play but any missed shots went into the hands of Wrangell’s Ryan Howell.
Howell pulled down his ninth rebound at the 9:17 mark of the first half and Angerman received the result of the hard work with a circus-shot layup, giving the Thunderbirds a 23 -13 lead.
“I am just thinking that I am the youngest player on the team so I need to bring the energy,” Howell said. “I just take what the defense gives me. If they don’t block out I go for a rebound.”
Wrangell went on a 17-8 run and led by 20 points, 47-27 with 30 seconds remaining in the half.
Kake’s Brandon Jackson hit one free throw and Ross a runner to cut into the score 47-30 at the break.
Howell grabbed rebound number 12 in the first minutes of the second half and would finish the game with 15 boards.
“We talked about that at halftime,” Kevin Young said. “He just kept getting rebounds, his energy was amazing.”
Kake closed the score to within 12 points 47-35 on baskets by Ross and Lance Doake, but back-to-back baskets by Harding and Kevin Young regained momentum for Wrangell. Kake had problems posting up against Wrangell’s Graham Gablehouse, Jason Clark and Dustin Johnson and could not get their normal out door shooting to go down.
The Thunderbirds were content to pass the ball and back door cut down the stretch for the final score of 80-61.
Cody Angerman led Wrangell with 18 points, Kevin Young 16, Keith Young 14, Howell 11, Harding 10, Johnson eight, Gablehouse and Clark two each.
Wrangell hit 16-22 at the charity stripe, Kake went 19-22.
Adam Dolan scored a game-high 20 points for Kake, Ross added 18, Doake eight, Brandon Jackson seven, Josh Jackson six, and Shane Padgett two.
Wrangell will play an elimination game today at 3:30 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday’s late game between Metlakatla and Hydaburg. Kake is eliminated from Gold Medal play.
• Contact Sports Editor Klas Stolpe at 523-2228 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.