Huna Totem eliminates Metlakatla

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

While Tuesday's Gold Medal C Bracket game between Huna Totem and Metlakatla was punctuated by extracurricular comments and verbal warnings, Kamal Lindoff let his game do the talking and led Huna Totem to a 75-53 victory.

Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire
Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire

Lindoff finished with a team-high 18 points by slashing the lane with hard drives. Time and time again, Lindoff shook off Metlakatla's hack-attacks and calmly shot 8-11 from the stripe.

"It was a little frustrating at first because we weren't getting the calls," Lindoff said.

As the game wore on, though, the momentum remained with Huna Totem.

"We started driving on them more in transition and got them into foul trouble because we knew they were getting tired," he said.

Attempting to rebound from a 41-19 halftime deficit, Metlakatla opened the second half with an 8-0 spurt, but Huna Totem struck back with a 10-2 run of its own, essentially putting the game out of reach for good.

Huna Totem employed a big front line and did a good job keeping Metlakatla from grabbing the loose balls. Low post players such as Mike Mills blocked out well on offensive, which led to several easy baskets. Under the basket, Huna's defense confounded Metlakatla's center Tom Booth Jr. and forced the opposing team to shoot a very low percentage from the perimeter.

"We have bigger guys then they do, and it really gave us an advantage," Lindoff said.

Teammate Albert Hitchman added to Lindoff's comment and said, "Even though we didn't get very many points out of our post game, it was nice to have them down there."

Randy Cook led Metlakatla in scoring with 22, but was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

"We started off really slowly," Cook said. "We couldn't hit any of our shots, were throwing the ball away, and getting no rebounds. It was an all around bad effort."

On the other hand, Hitchman, who finished with 16 points, rose above his pregame jitters and knocked home four 3-point jumpers in the first half of the game.

"It felt pretty good to hit a couple shots," Hitchman said. "During our first game, it was like there was a lid on the basket."

On Tuesday the basket did not have a cover on it, but when Huna could not get the shots to fall, more often then not, Metlakatla sent the opposition to the line for free throws. Huna Totem shot 48 free throws and made 31.

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