Free throws and a freak accident helped the Hoonah boys basketball team knock off the Juneau-Douglas High School junior varsity team 74-70 in overtime last Thursday as the Braves went on to claim the title in the three-day Don Hather Memorial Tournament in Skagway.
Dustin Bowen scored 29 points and David Lindstrom added 27 for Hoonah, which went 3-0 in the tourney that took place Thursday through Saturday. Hoonah also beat Vanier Christian School of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and Porter Creek from just outside Whitehorse. Juneau went 2-1 with victories over Thorne Bay and Skagway. Vanier and Porter Creek also went 2-1, while Skagway and Thorne Bay both went 0-3.
Clae Baker scored 35 points to lead the Crimson Bears JV (2-2 overall), who shot just 9-for-21 from the free-throw line against Hoonah (3-0 overall). But they lost Bryan Ryder to a freak injury. Ryder had scored 12 points in the first half when he suffered a broken left thumb as he took a seat on the bench. Juneau JV coach Steve Potter said Ryder caught his hand on the edge of the bench and he may be out as long as six weeks.
"We definitely got better, but our poor free-throw shooting really hurt us, especially in an overtime game," Potter said. "Clae Baker had a good weekend. He scored 35 against Hoonah and he had a dunk against Skagway. It was disappointing to lose Bryan Ryder. The main reason he made the trip was he didn't play last year and he needed some minutes. Hoonah didn't have anyone who could match up with him."
"I had a really good tournament, and I got a lot of playing time in the Hoonah game and that will help me this week," said Baker, who also swings up to play on the varsity, which is on a four-game road trip to Palmer and Anchorage this weekend. "I got a lot of post moves and a lot of touches."
Juneau led by eight points in the third quarter, but Hoonah rallied and the teams swapped leads in the final quarter. Lindstrom hit a 3-pointer in the final minute of regulation to force overtime.
Baker got Juneau started off with a couple of quick buckets in the overtime, but Hoonah responded. The Braves took the lead when Bowen hit a 3-pointer, and he added a free throw to seal the victory with six seconds left to play.
In Thursday's other games, Rob Driscoll-McKinnon scored 17 points and Paul Fraughton added 10 as Porter Creek beat Thorne Bay 52-22 and Eric Gray scored nine points as Vanier beat Skagway 53-19. Jesse Grant led Thorne Bay (0-3 overall) with seven points and Herald Carl added six. Trevor Cochran scored nine points and John McCluskey added six for Skagway (0-3 overall).
On Friday, Ryan Larson scored 20 points and Baker added 16 as the Juneau JV beat Thorne Bay 76-20. Casey McDougal led the Wolverines with six points, while Matt Steele and Grant both had five.
Also on Friday, Lindstrom scored 29 points and Bowen added 27 as Hoonah beat Vanier 67-50, while Driscoll-McKinnon scored 16 points to lead Porter Creek over Skagway 65-14. Jake Henricksen scored seven points to lead the Panthers.
On Saturday, Baker scored 18 points while Cameron Cook and Larson both scored 11 points to lead the Juneau JV to a 64-22 victory over Skagway. Cochran scored 14 points to lead the Panthers.
In Saturday's other games, Bowen scored 23 points and Lindstrom and Devin Moritz both added 17 as Hoonah beat Porter Creek 61-39, and Conal Slobodin scored nine points as Vanier beat Thorne Bay 50-31. Grant scored 13 points and Ryan Gray added 12 to lead the Wolverines.
In the girls tournament, Hoonah and Skagway finished undefeated with three wins apiece over larger schools. The Juneau JV and Hydaburg each wound up 1-2 at the tournament, while F.H. Collins of Whitehorse and Vanier both finished at 0-3.
On Thursday, Cassandra Peters scored 20 points and Kristi Skaflestad added 10 as Hoonah (3-0 overall) beat the Juneau JV 40-30. Nellie Metcalfe scored nine points, and Kaley Nauska and Tess Staton added six apiece for Juneau (1-2 overall). Skagway (3-0 overall) routed F.H. Collins 42-19 behind 17 points from Savannah Ames and six from Audrey Neitzer.
In Thursday's other game, Hydaburg (1-2 overall) nipped Vanier 23-21 as Mary Cline and Sasha Guthrie scored six points apiece.
Hoonah edged F.H. Collins 42-39 on Friday as Kristi Skaflestad scored 16 points and Jessica Skaflestad scored nine. Skagway beat Vanier 35-9 as Ames scored 14 points and Neitzer chipped in six. In Friday's other game, the Juneau JV beat Hydaburg 26-20 behind six points from Ashleigh Wilwert and four points apiece from Metcalfe and Staton. Guthrie scored 13 points and Cline added seven for Hydaburg.
Peters scored 10 points, while Kristi Skaflestad and Lindsay Yandall scored eight apiece as Hoonah trounced Vanier 34-11 on Saturday.
Skagway doubled up the Juneau JV 52-26 on Saturday, with 23 points from Candi Ketterman and 16 from Savannah Ames. Metcalfe scored eight points to lead Juneau, while Veronica Leitz added five. F.H. Collins beat Hydaburg 56-31 in Saturday's other girls game as Amanda Brown scored a tourney-high 25 points. Cline scored nine points and Guthrie scored eight for Hydaburg.
The Skagway News contributed to this report. The Juneau Empire sports desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.