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Chiefs chop down a giant

Unheralded Metlakatla stuns Wrangell; Craig gets by Mount Edgecumbe as top seeds fall

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002

A broken nose did not hamper Chris Bryant as his game-high 28 points led the Metlakatla Chiefs to a stunning 70-52 upset over the Wrangell Wolves in Region V-Class 3A boys basketball playoff action Thursday.

In the opening semifinal game at Juneau-Douglas High School, the Craig Panthers knocked off the Mount Edgecumbe Braves 83-63, setting up a Southeast championship matchup between the Chiefs and the Panthers at 5:15 p.m. today.

Metlakatla's victory will rank as one of the biggest upsets of the year in the entire state and prevents the second-ranked Wolves (18-2) from qualifying for next week's state tournament in Anchorage.

"We're in it. We're going to state," Metlakatla first-year coach Joshua Muehlenkamp said. "Chris (Bryant) really stepped up. He's a great player. I'm so lucky to have him on my team. He makes coaching easy."

"We just started a new thing -- we started praying before the games," Bryant said. "We put God in first place and he led us the promise land."

Bryant, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, left Wednesday's game, a win 55-53 nail-biter against Petersburg, after suffering a broken nose in the fourth quarter. But he decided to play Thursday despite the injury. He finished with seven points against the Vikings.

"I caught an elbow and hit the floor and broke it," Bryant said. "It was too swollen to have surgery, so I decided to play."

And good thing for the Chiefs (11-10), who were already without their season-leading scorer Chevy Hayward for the tournament and had John Mackie hampered by a broken foot.

Bryant scored the first bucket of the game and Wrangell never led in the game. Metlakatla built a 15-8 lead after the first quarter and went up 30-20 in the third quarter on a terrific pass under the basket from Willie Taylor to Bryant, who laid it in.

The Wolves closed the lead to 34-26 at the half, but their offense seemed to sputter. Wrangell had plenty of good looks at the basket and dominated the offensive glass, but few shots fell for them.

Wrangell showed why they had been ranked second in the state all season with a 9-0 run to late in the third and early in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 44-43. But the Chiefs responded with quick baskets by Jared Johnson and Mackie before Beau Hayward tanked a trey to put Metlakatla back up 51-43 with just over 5 minutes remaining.

The Wolves' Tony Marriott, who finished with 21 points, and Brad Angerman, who scored 13, valiantly tried to get Wrangell back into the game, but everything seemed to fall for the Chiefs as the cruised to the finish. This will be the first time since 1996 that Wrangell will not represent Southeast at the state basketball tournament.

Taylor had 10 points for Metlakatla, Apollo Marsden scored nine and Shane Martinez added eight points. Cole Appleman scored 10 points for Wrangell and Brent Stokes contributed eight.

"It feels good, We knew we could do it," Bryant said. "Nobody thought we were going to do it, but we did it. They worked us in four games this season. Somehow we got it together and won."

"Everybody expected Wrangell to walk all over us," Muehlenkamp said. "They are a great team and do everything right."

In the boys 3A championship game, Metlakatla will be looking for its first title since 1988, while Craig will be looking to take home its first ever title. Wrangell plays Mount Edgecumbe at 1:30 p.m. today for third place.

"I want it," Muehlenkamp said. "Just because those kids worked so hard all season. But mostly I want them to have fun because that's what it's all about.

Panthers 83, Braves 63

Craig's upset over Mount Edgecumbe was not in the same caliber as Metlakatla's victory, but an upset nonetheless. Panthers' head coach James Carle did not agree.

"I don't believe it's an upset," Carle said. "I don't think out record represents out team. I believe we were focused and out defense and rebounding made the difference."

The second-seeded Braves received a first-round bye in the tournament by finishing in second place with a 10-4 record in league play, while Craig (10-12), who finish 7-7 in league play, had to get by Haines 68-36 on Wednesday to make it the semifinals.

The Panthers never trailed in the contest as Fred Hamilton and Raymond Douville each scored 22 points while Ryan Savage added 19 points and Jordan Savage scored 12. They led 17-9 after the first quarter and 33-29 at the half before breaking the game open in the second half.

"I'm proud of all my guys," Carle said. "Freddy (Hamilton) showed some good leadership."

Mount Edgecumbe was led by Chris Boskofsky's tournament-high 38 points, but he was the only Brave to score in double figures. Peter Anderson scored nine and Matt Mercier added seven for Mount Edgecumbe.

Jeff Kasper can be reached at jkasper@juneauempire.com.

Chiefs 70, Wolves 52

Thursday's Region V-3A boys game at JDHS

METLAKATLA (70) -- Beau Hayward 2 0-0 5, Jared Johnson 1 2-4 4, Willie Taylor 4 2-2 10, Apollo Marsden 4 1-3 9, Chris Bryant 8 10-12 28, John Mackie 3 0-0 6, Gilmore White 0 0-0 0, Shane Martinez 2 3-5 8, Bryan Hayward 0 0-0 0, Jarret Leisle 0 0-0 0, Roy Nathan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 18-26 70.

Wrangell (52) -- Brad Angerman 4 5-5 13, Cole Appleman 4 2-4 10, Randy Churchill 0 0-0 0, Brent Stokes 3 1-2 8, Mike Villarma 0 0-0 0, Tony Marriott 8 4-5 21, Wrady Woodworth 0 0-0 0, Cooper Seimears 0 0-0 0, David Wilson 0 0-0 0, Jeremy Stolley 0 0-0 0, Harry Churchill 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 12-15 52.

METLAKATLA 15 19 10 26 -- 70

WRANGELL 14 12 15 11 -- 52

3-point goals -- Metlakatla 4 (Bryant 2, Hayward, Martinez), Wrangell 2 (Stokes, Marriott). Fouled out -- Wrangell (Marriott). Technical fouls -- Wrangell (Churchill). Total fouls -- Metlakatla 17, Mount Edgecumbe 20.

Panthers 83, Braves 63

Thursday's Region V-3A boys game at JDHS

CRAIG (83) -- Ryan Savage 7 5-5 19, Fred Hamilton 7 4-4 22, Raymond Douville 8 5-7 22, Jordan Savage 5 0-3 12, Ryan Hamilton 1 3-4 5, Josh Coleman 0 0-0 0, Tony Mackie 0 0-0 0, Adam Johnson 0 0-0 0, Eric Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Ryan Jones 1 0-0 3, Kolt Garvey 0 0-0 0, Louis Isaacs 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 17-23 83.

Mount Edgecumbe (63) -- Matt Mercier 3 1-2 7, Carl Lestenkof 0 0-0 0, Chris Boskofsky 13 4-6 38, George Beans 0 0-0 0, Peter Anderson 3 3-6 9, Darryl Hugo 1 0-0 2, Peter Jorgensen 2 0-0 4, J.J. Paukon 1 0-0 3, Gary Pauken 0 0-0 0, Cliff Shellabarger 0 0-0 0, Mike Harrington 0 0-0 0, Oscar Active 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 8-14 63.

Craig 17 16 22 28 -- 83

Mount Edgecumbe 10 19 15 19 -- 63

3-point goals -- Craig 8 (F. Hamilton 4, J. Savage 2, Douville, R. Hamilton), Mount Edgecumbe 8 (Boskofsky 8). Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- Craig (J. Savage). Total fouls -- Craig 12, Mount Edgecumbe 18.



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