The B bracket title clash between Angoon and Wrangell was a spectacle of physical play, with the teams combining for a whopping 60 free throws. Angoon went to the line for 40 of those shots in an entertaining 94-80 revenge win over the team that bested them two days earlier.
Wrangell had tripped up the Angoon squad in the semifinals on Thursday, 86-79. That physical play continued into Saturday’s championship game without missing a step.
“It takes a lot of concentration and control,” Angoon’s Ozelle Jamestown said. “A big part for me is playing in front of my grand parents and parents. We don’t want to show out or anything like that. We definitely played the way we were taught. We enjoyed it. They hit us in the mouth the first game. It was a situation that we were so accustomed to winning, we hadn’t lost since we had been playing. Somebody finally hit us in the mouth and we bounced back today with a pretty good win.”
Wrangell’s Cody Angerman hit the first basket of the game and Archie Young got Most Valuable Player Clayton Edwin to cough up the ball on the next possession.
Wrangell couldn’t score but Kurt Young blocked a shot and a new Gold Medal rivalry was on.
Angoon’s Jordan Jamestown hit two baskets in a row for a 4-2 advantage.
“You couldn’t expect more from Wrangell,” Jordan Jamestown said. “They played an awesome game. It was very physical, but you wouldn’t want to earn a championship any other way. It gets difficult at times but you have to realize that you are doing it for a higher purpose. You are doing it for the name on your chest. You just pull it together and fight through it.”
Angerman answered to tie the game for Wrangell.
After an Edwin basket, Wrangell’s Ryan Howell was fouled hard, hit both free throws and then had to retire to the bench to recuperate.
The first half would feature six ties and 12 lead changes.
Edwin hit two free throws with 9:05 left in the first to pull Angoon to within two points at 23-21, and then answered Wrangell scores by Graham Gablehouse and Angerman to score on the team’s next three possessions and give Angoon a 28-27 lead with 7:08 in the first. Angoon would never relinquish the lead again.
Baskets by J. Jamestown and Edwin pushed the advantage to 35-27. Angoon closed the first half with a 9-3 run and a 44-35 lead.
Missed shots with no rebounds hurt Wrangell in the second half while Angoon found second and third attempts.
“They just got to many offensive boards,” Wrangell co-coach Keith Appleman said. “We didn’t get any breaks inside. It was just banging. I just think we were a little short on our legs. We played hard to the end and we weren’t going to give up.”
Wrangell still battled to within seven points at 52-45 with 15:23 remaining in the game as K. Young drove to the glass.
“They are a great team,” Young said. “You can’t take any thing away from them. I think they just out rebound us. They played hard and it was a great battle. I hope the crowd liked it. Now I am taking a long break and will think about basketball in the future. Hopefully we will be back. We’ll see.”
Edwin scored to push the lead back to nine points and Cole Appleman drew a foul on a 3-point attempt, knocking down all of the charity shots to bring the Stikine River boys to 54-48 with 14:12 left.
Angerman drove baseline and lifted a shot over J. Jamestown to the glass to make the score 54-50.
Ozelle Jamestown hit four free throws, sandwiched around an Angerman jumper, to keep Angoon up 58-52.
After four straight misses by Wrangell, Gablehouse hit a free throw to close within five points.
Again J. Jamestown found the basket and Edwin scored and was fouled, completing an old fashioned 3-point play and pushing the lead back out to 10 points at 63-53 with 9:33 remaining.
Wrangell’s Tony Harding nailed a 3-point shot and then a free throw to bring it back to six at 63-57 but O. Jamestown followed a rebound in and Edwin hit two free throws.
Wrangell’s last gasp brought the score to 70-61 on a Howell jumper at 6:20.
Angoon would outscore Wrangell 24-19 down the stretch, relying on second shot attempts.
Harding hit a 3-point shot and Cole Appleman hit two more to finish the night for Wrangell, while Edwin scored nine of the last 11 points for Angoon.
“They shot a better percentage than we did,” Wrangell’s Archie Young said. “Defensively, I didn’t think we did bad, we shot the ball pretty well. They rebounded really well, second chance points were the biggest difference. Hands down they are way better athletics than we are. They have three guys who are very athletic in the Jamestown brothers and Clayton (Edwin). We are not athletic, we just pride ourselves on just playing hard, playing physical and playing smart.”
Edwin led Angoon with 38 points, Jordan and Ozelle Jamestown 22 apiece, John Croasman 6, William Silva, Stuart Jack and Curtis Lane 2 each.
Angoon hit 33-40 at the charity stripe; Wrangell went 13-20.
Tony Harding and Cole Appleman scored 20 points apiece for Wrangell, Cody Angerman added 15, Kurt Young 9, Ryan Howell and Jason Clark 6, Graham Gablehouse 3 and Mitch Mork 1.
Angoon won championships in the B bracket in 1976, ‘78, 2010, ’11, ‘13 and this tourney; and in the C bracket in 1984, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’89; Women’s bracket in 2004; and Intermediate bracket in 2006.