Despite arriving in Juneau approximately five hours before tipoff, Tracy Jackson still managed to score 28 in Kake’s first round win in the 71st Lion’s Club Gold Medal Tournament.
Kake built an early 10-point lead over rival Angoon, a margin it would retain most of the game, winning 86-73 Sunday morning.
It was the second of 40 games to be played at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym this week.
“It’s a blessing to be here with these guys, these are my childhood friends, my brothers,” Tracy said in the locker room after the game.
Tracy’s younger brother Shea made his mark too, scoring 16 points and slowing Angoon’s electric duo of Stephen Johnson and JJ Jack-Nixon.
“We’re a fast team,” a sweat-clad Nixon said. “Our three balls weren’t hitting until the second half so I think shooting will be our key element.”
Nixon (26 points) led all Angoon scorers by bullying his way to the basket and drawing contact under the rim.
The tournament hasn’t seen the last of Angoon, according to Tracy, who played with just four players on the bench.
“Angoon has a good chance to battle through the loser’s bracket,” he said. “You can tell their experience is there. They know how to close games.”
Trailing by 17 points midway through the second half, Angoon forced several turnovers, igniting their visiting fans. They went on a 13-1 run over a five minute stretch to pull within eight points with 1:51 remaining in the game.
“Our legs started to warm up at the end and that’s when I could tell we were awake,” Nixon said.
But Angoon scored only three points in the final two minutes and Kake was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line to secure the victory.
“We’re starting to mesh pretty good and everyone supports one another,” Tracy said.
Hoonah survives multiple Yakutat rallies
Billy Brown hoisted a 3-pointer as his defender barreled to the floor with 8.5 seconds left in the game — Yakutat’s last chance at upsetting Hoonah Saturday afternoon. The shot missed the mark, preserving a 65-62 Hoonah advantage.
Hoonah added four more to close their 69-63 first round win at the 71st Gold Medal Tournament.
“Sometimes they fall short,” Billy said of his final 3-pointer, one of his nostrils stuffed with bloodied tissue.
Hoonah was the bigger and stronger team, but Yakutat’s Brown and Josh James combined for 44 points, attacking the rim throughout the game with efficiency.
“If we can get those inside looks, it brings the defense in,” Brown said.
Yakutat made four 3-pointers in the first half and three in the second.
Hoonah took a 15-14 lead midway through the first half on a Richard Moore bucket, and never trailed the rest of the game.
Hoonah’s George Fisher scored 19 points and eight of his teammates contributed at least two points.
“The first game’s a reality check. It’s always fun, you’re looking forward to it the whole year,” Hoonah’s Devin Moritz said.
Moritz hit back-to-back 3-pointers — his only points of the game — to counter an 11-2 second half Yakutat run that briefly knotted the game at 49.
Brown and James would bring Yakutat within one with 20 ticks remaining, but Brian Koenig made two free throws, and Brown missed the 3-point equalizer on the other end.
Wrangell 84, Metlakatla 81
Eric James scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half to edge Wrangell past Metlakatla on Sunday afternoon. Metlakatla’s Franklin Hayward scored 25 points in the loss.
Haines 86, Hydaburg 71
Haines’ Tyler Healy, Ben Egolf and Kyle Fossman each scored 20 or more points to boost their team over Hydaburg Sunday night in their first round game. Devin and Vinny Edenshaw scored 26 and 25 points respectively for the losing team. Both sides played shorthanded as a handful of players missed the game for both teams.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.