After falling behind by as many as 15 points in the first half, Kake did more than keep it interesting in the second, as the red-and-black attack rallied to defeat Haines 86-79 in a ‘B’ bracket elimination game Wednesday night.
Kake opened the second half on an 8-2 run, which stirred the mostly pro-Kake crowd at Juneau-Douglas High School into full-throated participation. This encouraged the men in red jerseys to keep chipping away at Haines’ advantage until a pair of Rudy Bean free throws evened the score at 71 with just more than 4:30 left in the game. Adam Dolan followed up on a breakaway feed from Bean, giving Kake its first lead of the contest, 73-71 with about four minutes left on the clock.
The lead see-sawed back and forth for the next two minutes, with Haines’ Michael Ganey knocking down a 3 with 2:10 left, giving the guys in green what would prove to be their final lead of the game, 77-76.
Kake clung to an 81-79 edge with less than half a minute left when a Haines miss from short range led to a wild scramble for the rebound. Tracy Jackson escaped the scrum with the ball for Kake and sped down the court for what would have been a point-blank attempt. Instead, a hard foul from Haines’ Ryan Olsen — his fifth — sent Jackson to the line. He nailed both charity tosses to put Kake up by four, then returned to the line moments later after a steal and breakaway led to an intentional foul call against Haines’ Will Egolf. Jackson hit two more freebies to give Kake an 85-79 lead, which all but ended the contest.
A wager on a Kake victory would have gotten long odds at halftime. Haines used its twin towers — Will and Ben Egolf — to a literal huge advantage. They towered over the court, scoring 25 of the green machine’s 42 first-half points and limiting Kake to just 10 field goals from inside the 3-point line in the opening frame. Anthony Ross Dolan kept Kake from being completely blown off the court by hitting three first-half 3s and scoring 20 of his game-high 34 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Jackson finished with 17 points, while Bean tallied 16 and Adam Dolan 14. Will Egolf led Haines with 18 points, while Tyler Healy had 14 and Ben Egolf and Dave Berry added 13 each.
Kake advances in the knockout bracket to take on Hydaburg in a 3:30 p.m. game today. Hydaburg advanced with a 79-70 win against Klawock on Wednesday. Vinny Edenshaw led Hydaburg with 31 points, with Tyler Bell adding 15 and Devin Edenshaw 13. Dom Brinson scored 22 for Klawock, Bubba Larson added 20 and Aquino Brinson 14 in a losing effort.
In the masters’ bracket, Kake edged Hoonah in a battle of previously unbeaten squads. Kake’s Willis Cavanaugh led all scorers with 24, with teammate Wayne Friday adding 16. Kip Howard finished with 13 and Nick Davis 11 for Kake, which will advance to a 2:45 p.m. Saturday championship game. Hoonah will await the winner of a 6 p.m. elimination game today between Klukwan and Sitka, with the masters’ elimination final set for 4 p.m. Friday.
In Wednesday’s ‘C’ bracket elimination games, Metlakatla knocked out Sitka 75-58. Willie Hayward scored 30 in the winning effort, while teammate Mike Henderson added 12. Tom Gamble led Sitka with 25 points, and Sean Soslyn contributed 15 points in defeat.
The other ‘C’ elimination contest saw Angoon edge Hoonah 72-68. Kevin Mitchell scored 20 for the victors, aided by 17 from Jeremy Martin and 15 from Walter Kookesh. Albert Hinchman scored 20 and Gary Brown Jr. 15 for Hoonah.
Angoon and Metlakatla meet at 12:30 p.m. today in a knockout contest.