One of Huna Totem's newest players helped keep his squad alive in the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament Legendary C Bracket on Wednesday at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.
Kamal Lindoff scored 35 points and hit 13 of 14 free throws to boost Huna past Filipino Community 99-80 in an elimination game.
Lindoff, 34, moved up from the B Bracket team this year to join Huna's elder statesmen.
"It feels like I'm back in high school," he said with a laugh.
Lindoff and fellow newcomers Albert Hinchman and Andy Gray provided a boost for Huna with younger legs and speed.
The contributions of Lindoff and Hinchman, both guards, significantly helped by bringing the ball up the court against Filco's tough defense.
"It helps in the guard position," Huna's Showalter Martin said. "Compared to last year where we couldn't even bring the ball up."
While the younger players made their mark late, the veterans gave Huna a big lead during the first half.
Down 24-18, Huna went on a 32-8 run to close out the first half. Martin made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points during the spurt, putting Huna ahead 50-32 at the half.
Hinchman also hit a 3-pointer during the run.
"We've played together for quite a few years," Martin said. "It's different having some of the younger guys up. It's a little hard to get the flow. But they're coming along a lot better than I thought in the first year."
Filipino Community, however, mounted a charge by going deep.
Playing against Huna's 3-2 zone, Filco frequently worked the ball to the high post area and then kicked it out to either Sean Joslyn or Al Tagaban.
The duo responded by combining for seven 3-pointers in the second half.
"They have a lot of 3-point shooters," Martin said of Filco. "We had to come out of our zone and go to man-to-man. Otherwise, they would've killed us."
Filco methodically chipped away at Huna's lead with a barrage of shots. Two Jim Carson free throws and a layup by Joslyn cut Huna's lead to 82-76 with 5:03 left in regulation.
Following a time out, Huna settled down and outscored Filco 19-4 the rest of the way to win.
Huna made six of seven free throws in the final five minutes of play. Overall, Huna Totem connected on 27 of 33 free throws.
"We felt they were going to come back on us," Lindoff said. "I knew I had my speed and that helped, but sometimes you get a little too panicky. Once we got our heads together, we held the ball and worked it around more."
Martin had 21 points while his twin brother, Garvin Martin, tallied 16 points in the win. Hinchman had 15 points, Andy Gray scored nine points and Lance Geise hit a 3-pointer in the win.
For Filco, Joslyn made seven 3-pointers en route to a 28-point effort. Tagaban had 19 points, including five 3-pointers, while Ongo Tupou had 11 points. Carson scored nine points, Doug Drazkowski tallied six points, Chris Carandang scored five points and Russ Stevens added two free throws in defeat.
Huna will take on Angoon at 2 p.m. today in another elimination battle.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.