Edgecumbe boys win region title

Braves beat Vikings for first Southeast crown since 1993

Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2005

From Barrow and Hydaburg, Shishmaref and Fort Yukon, Mount Edgecumbe High School's boys basketball players gathered at the start of the season as individuals and worked to create a team.

In Friday's Southeast-Class 3A boys region title game, the Braves underwent a similar transformation. Mount Edgecumbe started with a single star, then spread its scoring around to pull away for a 62-46 win over Petersburg.

It is the first region title since 1993 for Mount Edgecumbe, a state boarding school in Sitka that draws students from villages across the state.

"We have a great group of guys who come together from all over the state, for only a few months a year," said Braves senior Josh Thomas, who scored a game-high 29 points and powered his team in the first half. "It's pretty incredible how we came together as a team. ...

"The first half was pretty much all me. In the second half we worked the ball around a little more, and it paid off because we pulled away."

Mount Edgecumbe (18-2 overall) and Petersburg (16-9 overall) each qualified for the Class 3A state tournament, to be held March 31-April 2 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. It will be a family affair - Young and Petersburg coach Rick Brock are first cousins; both are from Wrangell.

Thomas opened Friday's scoring with back-to-back 3-pointers, but Petersburg answered with a basket by senior Sam Jensen and a 3-pointer by senior Jeb Phillips to cut the Braves' lead to 6-5. Thomas hit another 3 to put the Braves up 9-5, but their lead was cut to just one - 13-12 - at the end of the quarter.

Petersburg took its first lead - 16-14 - on a basket by junior Stuart Meeks with 6:20 left in the second. The Vikings were ahead 20-18 when Thomas drained a long 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the half to put Mount Edgecumbe ahead. Petersburg regained the lead on a basket by Jensen, and the Vikings were up 24-23 at the half.

Thomas came out strong in the third quarter, and hit a 3-pointer with 6:22 left in the period to put Mount Edgecumbe ahead 28-26 - a lead the Braves would not give up the rest of the way. Mount Edgecumbe started to diversify its offense and built its lead.

"He's got broad shoulders," Mount Edgecumbe coach Archie Young said, referring to Thomas carrying the team in the first half. After awhile, Thomas' success started to make the Braves complacent.

"We started to become fans, too," Young said.

Damen Bell-Holter added 13 points and Earl Alstrom scored nine for the Braves. Jensen scored 12 points and Phillips added 10 for the Vikings.

"If we had made the first few baskets in the third quarter, we would have kept that (first-half) momentum going," Brock said. "It's hard to keep fighting uphill. They've got so many offensive weapons."

Petersburg had to battle through injuries this season. Phillips was sidelined most of the regular season with a broken thumb.

"I'm proud of our kids," Brock said. "It's been a tough year, but they've really tried to stick together as a group."

Mount Edgecumbe finished its Southeast season with a perfect 16-0 record against Class 3A competition. The boys completed an Edgecumbe sweep, as the Braves' girls team beat Petersburg earlier in the day to claim the Class 3A girls region title.

The Braves dedicated their region titles to Mount Edgecumbe Pacific Rim and Asian languages teacher Ray Stein, who is being treated for cancer at a hospital in Sitka.

Third-fourth place game

Wrangell 74, Craig 71

With the game tied and 0.5 seconds left, Wrangell senior Gordon McCloskey sank his first free throw and put back his missed second shot Friday for a 74-71 win over Craig, allowing the Wolves to claim third place at the region tournament.

Wrangell (10-10 overall) led 41-34 at halftime and 55-49 after three quarters before Craig (13-10 overall) stormed back behind a game-high 34 points from senior Eric Hamilton.

McCloskey scored 20 points to lead Wrangell, while Chris Haggard, Nic Howell and Dwight Yancey added 16 points apiece.

Alexei Gamble added 13 points for Wrangell.

Fifth-sixth place game

Chiefs 51, Glacier Bears 47

Metlakatla built big leads in the first and third quarters, then had to hold off Haines rallies Friday as the Chiefs beat the Glacier Bears 51-47 to claim fifth place at the region tourney.

Metlakatla (6-18 overall) jumped ahead 9-0 early in the first quarter, and held a 14-4 lead after one period. Haines (4-13 overall) narrowed the gap to 25-19 at halftime before Metlakatla increased its lead to 41-28 after three quarters.

The Glacier Bears closed the gap again, but the Chiefs' Clifton Guthrie hit five free throws - Metlakatla's last five points - to provide the winning margin.

Layte Hudson scored 20 points and Guthrie had 12 for the Chiefs. Nathan Narum scored 13 points to lead Haines, while David Berry and Brian Combs added 11 apiece for the Glacier Bears.

• Andrew Krueger can be reached at andrew.krueger@juneauempire.com.

SOUTHEAST-CLASS 3A BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

BRAVES 62, VIKINGS 46

Friday's championship boys game from JDHS

PETERSBURG (46) - Sam Jensen 6 0-0 12, Kalen Williams 1 0-0 2, Blake Buotte 2 0-1 4, Jeb Phillips 2 4-7 10, Aaron Phillips 1 0-0 2, Matt Short 4 0-1 8, Stuart Meeks 3 0-0 6, David Mazzella 0 0-0 0, Trevor McCay 1 0-0 2, Cameron Severson 0 0-0 0, Cody Peterson 0 0-0 0, Michael Serafini 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 4-9 46.

MOUNT EDGECUMBE (62) - Josh Thomas 10 3-4 29, Brandon Thomas 2 1-2 5, Tommy Stasenko 2 0-0 5, Erik Stickler 0 0-0 0, Earl Alstrom 3 2-2 9, Damen Bell-Holter 3 7-7 13, Caleb McGraw 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20 14-17 62.

PETERSBURG 12 12 9 13 - 46

MOUNT EDGECUMBE 13 10 19 20 - 62

3-point goals - Petersburg 2 (Phillips 2), Mount Edgecumbe 8 (J. Thomas 6, Stasenko, Alstrom). Fouled out - Petersburg 0, Mount Edgecumbe 1 (B. Thomas). Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Petersburg 17, Mount Edgecumbe 13.

WOLVES 74, PANTHERS 71

Friday's third-fourth place boys game from JDHS

CRAIG (71) - Eric Hamilton 13 5-6 34, Nick Jones 0 2-2 2, Phillip Pierce 2 0-0 4, Alexei Gamble 5 3-3 13, Nick Mackie 0 0-0 0, Mike Demmert 1 6-8 8, Rick Marvin 0 0-0 0, Serafin Lara 0 0-0 0, Charles Deffenbaugh 0 0-0 0, Kelvin Vaughn 0 0-0 0, Corby Weyhmiller 1 4-6 6, James Seley 2 0-1 4. Totals: 24 20-26 71.

WRANGELL (74) - Mike Howell 2 0-2 4, Jake Mork 1 0-0 2, Gordon McCloskey 6 6-9 20, Alex Acuna 0 0-0 0, Chris Haggard 7 1-1 16, Nic Howell 4 6-14 16, Dwight Yancey 7 2-2 16, Spencer Stavee 0 0-0 0, Peter White 0 0-0 0, Kenny Wilson 0 0-0 0, Andrew Versteeg 0 0-0 0, Curty Kautz 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 15-28 74.

CRAIG 18 16 15 22 - 71

WRANGELL 17 24 14 19 - 74

3-point goals - Craig 3 (Hamilton 3), Wrangell 5 (McCloskey 2, N. Howell 2, Haggard). Fouled out - Craig 1 (Weyhmiller), Wrangell 2 (M. Howell, Yancey). Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Craig 25, Wrangell 22.

CHIEFS 51, GLACIER BEARS 47

Friday's fifth-sixth place boys game from JDHS

METLAKATLA (51) - Layte Hudson 10 0-0 20, Creighton Boyd 0 0-0 0, Donald Tompkins 3 1-2 7, Clifton Guthrie 3 5-6 12, Floyd Russell 2 0-2 4, Cameron Benson 0 0-0 0, Aaron Brendible 1 0-0 3, Bradley Martinez 2 0-0 5, Adam Hayward 0 0-0 0, Franklin Hayward 0 0-0 0, Ashton Hayward 0 0-0 0, Garen Blandov 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 6-10 51.

HAINES (47) - David Berry 4 3-4 11, James Blilie 0 1-2 1, Nathan Narum 6 0-0 13, Daniel Stickler 0 2-2 2, Brian Combs 3 3-4 11, Jake Narum 1 2-2 4, James Hart 1 0-0 2, Orion Falvey 0 0-0 0, Wayne Stickler 1 0-0 3, Christian Lende 0 0-0 0, Kelly Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 11-14 47.

METLAKATLA 14 11 16 10 - 51

HAINES 4 15 9 19 - 47

3-point goals - Metlakatla 3 (Guthrie, Brendible, Martinez), Haines 4 (Combs 2, N. Narum, W. Stickler). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Metlakatla 16, Haines 15.



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