Teamwork deserts Metlakatla in losses to Valdez, Heritage

Mount Edgecumbe takes fourth place in Class 3A tourney

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2004

ANCHORAGE - The Metlakatla boys basketball team was in Anchorage for the Class 3A state tourney this week. Its teamwork was somewhere else.

Facing tough competition without the central focus that had guided them to the Southeast title, the Chiefs lost to top-ranked, undefeated Valdez 82-69 on Friday in the state tournament semifinals at Sullivan Arena. On Saturday, Metlakatla fell to Heritage Christian 61-47 in the third-fifth place game. Valdez beat Barrow 70-65 in overtime Saturday to claim its second Class 3A state title in three years.

"The whole tournament we weren't playing our style," Metlakatla senior Gilmore White said. "We weren't playing team basketball. That's what got us here."

"We came up here too confident," senior Shane Martinez said. "We didn't have the heart we usually do."

The two losses ended a stellar season for the Chiefs (24-4), who beat Mount Edgecumbe for the Region V-Class 3A title, and then edged Class 4A Ketchikan in overtime for the Southeast crown. Mount Edgecumbe took fourth place at the state tournament.

"They had an excellent season. They played hard all season," coach Josh Muehlenkamp said after Friday's game. With Chiefs players disappointed in the loss, he said "basketball is just a little thing in life, just a bunch of kids having fun. This is where you learn lessons about not giving up, working together, being part of something bigger than yourself."

On Friday, the Chiefs and Buccaneers were tied at 12-all after the first quarter of play before Valdez made a 26-11 run in the second quarter. Facing a large deficit in the second half, the Chiefs began fouling Valdez players in an effort to draw out the game.

Metlakatla committed 32 fouls to Valdez's 15, and four of the Chiefs' five starters fouled out. The Buccaneers converted 41 of 55 free throws.

"They played a really great game," Metlakatla sophomore Layte Hudson said of Valdez. "We didn't play our game, fell behind and it was really hard to catch up."

Chiefs senior Chris Bryant broke 30 points for the second straight game - he poured in 36 against Valdez, along with nine rebounds and five steals. Senior Beau Hayward added 17 points for Metlakatla.

Carl Arts and Mark Banner scored 25 apiece for Valdez, which improved to 27-0 entering Saturday's championship game against Barrow.

Heading into Saturday's game, Muehlenkamp said he would turn the reins over to his five seniors.

"I'm going to let the five seniors play. ... I'll let them do what they want to do," he said. "It's their last high school game together. It should be a special time for them."

Bryant scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Hayward added nine points and White, Martinez and Bryan Hayward scored seven points apiece in Saturday's game.

Metlakatla trailed 17-6 after the first quarter, but closed to within a point - 37-36 - when Bryant hit two free throws with 1:58 to play in the third quarter. But Heritage Christian's Lonnie Ridgeway answered with a basket, and Thomas Millar followed with a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 42-36.

Heritage Christian pulled away in the fourth quarter. Rocky Gutierrez led the Eagles with 17 points. The Chiefs had 28 rebounds to the Eagles' 18.

While the year did not end the way they had hoped, the Chiefs said they enjoyed the journey.

"It was awesome," Martinez said. "I just love being on the court with these other guys. I wouldn't choose anybody over them."

Mount Edgecumbe 71, Eielson 55

Mount Edgecumbe 63, Nome-Beltz 36

After opening the state tournament with a loss to Barrow, the Mount Edgecumbe boys rebounded with two straight wins to claim fourth place.

Junior Josh Thomas scored 24 points and senior Matt Mercier added 19 as the Braves beat Eielson on Friday, and senior George Beans led the way with 19 points in Mount Edgecumbe's win over Nome-Beltz on Saturday.

"We really wanted to end the season with two wins, for all the seniors," Mercier said.

On Friday, the Braves went up 25-19 after one quarter, but trailed 36-35 at the half. They regained a three-point lead after three quarters, and pulled away with a 19-6 run in the final period.

Brandon Thomas, Cliff Shellabarger and Max Shellabarger added six points apiece for Mount Edgecumbe (22-6). Shellabarger added eight rebounds, and he and Mercier had four steals apiece.

Evan Skinner scored 24 points to lead Eielson.

On Saturday, Beans paced Mount Edgecumbe with 8-for-12 shooting from the field.

"He stepped up and played to his abilities, and ended his career on a good note," Braves coach Archie Young said.

Mercier added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Thomas had seven points and 11 rebounds. Matt Blandford led Nome-Beltz with 17 points.

Young finished the game with five four-year players on the court - Mercier, Beans, Oscar Active, Cliff Shellabarger and Warren Kushin. This year marked their first trip to the state tournament.

"They came to school together, and I wanted them to finish together," Young said. "They're a very special group of kids."

"Our team is way closer than other teams," Mercier said. Not only do they play together at the state-run boarding school, but "we live with each other all the time. It brings the team together."

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

CLASS 3A BOYS

EAGLES 61, CHIEFS 47

Saturday's Class 3A boys state tournament third-fifth place game from Anchorage's Sullivan Arena

METLAKATLA (47) - Creighton Boyd 1-1 0-0 2, Beau Hayward 3-9 2-2 9, Chris Nathan 0-0 0-0 0, Gilmore White 3-4 1-3 7, Shane Martinez 3-9 1-2 7, Bryan Hayward 1-3 5-6 7, Garen Blandov 0-0 0-0 0, Aaron Brendible 0-1 0-0 0, Layte Hudson 0-1 0-0 0, Chris Bryant 3-10 7-9 15, Donald Tompkins 0-0 0-0 0, Floyd Russell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-38 16-22 47.

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (61) - Sean Whitener 0-2 0-0 0, Brandon Britt 0-0 0-0 0, Peter Baldwin 1-3 0-0 2, Trenton Millar 0-6 4-6 4, Zach Powers 0-0 0-0 0, Gabe Miessner 5-10 2-2 14, Thomas Millar 2-4 3-4 8, Rusty Gutierrez 6-11 2-2 17, Bryce Kauffman 0-1 0-1 0, Lonnie Ridgeway 4-6 0-3 8, Donovan Fogarty 0-1 0-0 0, Jared Reando 2-3 4-6 8. Totals: 20-47 15-24 61.

METLAKATLA 6 14 17 10 - 47

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 17 14 13 17 - 61

3-point goals - Metlakatla 3-13 (Bryant 2-5, Beau Hayward 1-5, Hudson 0-1, Martinez 0-2), Heritage Christian 6-20 (Gutierrez 3-5, Miessner 2-7, Th. Millar 1-2, Kauffman 0-1, Whitener 0-2, Tr. Millar 0-3). Fouled out - Metlakatla 2 (Beau Hayward, Martinez), Heritage Christian 0. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Metlakatla 22, Heritage Christian 20.

BRAVES 63, NANOOKS 36

Saturday's Class 3A boys state tournament fourth-sixth place game from Anchorage's Sullivan Arena

NOME-BELTZ (36) - Ian Alvanna-Stimpfle 1-7 0-1 2, Jack Hoogedorn 0-0 0-0 0, Reese Madden 0-1 0-0 0, Matt Blandford 7-20 0-1 17, Travis Weiss 2-8 0-0 4, Ryan Sherman 0-1 0-0 0, Brendon Tran 0-0 0-0 0, Thurston Stiles 11-4 2-5 4, Wayne Alvis 1-2 0-0 2, Nathanial Olson 0-0 0-0 0, Qutuq Ireland 2-7 1-3 5, Iddaa Jackson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 15-53 3-10 36.

MOUNT EDGECUMBE (63) - Tommy Stasenko 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Mercier 5-9 0-0 12, Cliff Shellabarger 0-2 2-2 2, Oscar Active 3-5 0-0 6, Warren Kushin 0-4 0-0 0, Jory Peterson 0-2 0-0 0, Teddy Cruise 1-2 4-6 6, Josh Thomas 2-11 1-2 6, Brandon Thomas 3-6 1-1 7, Scott Patkotak 1-3 0-0 2, George Beans 8-12 3-6 19, Max Shellabarger 1-5 0-0 3. Totals: 24-61 11-17 63.

NOME-BELTZ 8 10 4 14 - 36

MOUNT EDGECUMBE 10 20 13 20 - 63

3-point goals - Nome-Beltz 3-15 (Blandford 3-10, Alvis 0-1, Ireland 0-1, Weiss 0-2), Mount Edgecumbe 4-15 (Mercier 2-3, M. Shellabarger 1-1, J. Thomas 1-6, Active 0-1, Peterson 0-1, Beans 0-1, Kushin 0-2). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Nome-Beltz 14, Mount Edgecumbe 17.

CLASS 3A BOYS

BUCCANEERS 82, CHIEFS 69

Friday's Class 3A boys state tournament semifinal game from Anchorage's Sullivan Arena

VALDEZ (82) - Gilbert Benjamin 2-2 1-1 7, David Tamura 1-2 9-12 11, Derek Warkenthien 0-0 6-13 6, Brendan Flynn 0-0 0-0 0, Carl Arts 6-9 11-12 25, Kris Craig 1-5 6-8 8, Mark Banner 8-11 7-8 25. Totals: 18-29 41-55 82.

METLAKATLA (69) - Creighton Boyd 0-0 0-0 0, Beau Hayward 5-10 6-6 17, Gilmore White 1-2 0-0 2, Shane Martinez 2-3 4-6 8, Bryan Hayward 2-4 0-0 8, Aaron Brendible 0-0 0-0 0, Layte Hudson 1-2 0-0 2, Chris Bryant 13-19 5-8 36, Donald Tompkins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-40 15-20 69.

VALDEZ 12 26 20 24 - 82

METLAKATLA 12 11 24 22 - 69

3-point goals - Valdez 5-8 (Arts 2-3, Banner 2-4, Benjamin 1-1), Metlakatla 6-13 (Bryant 5-8, Beau Hayward 1-4, Martinez 0-1). Fouled out - Valdez 0, Metlakatla 4 (Beau Hayward, White, Martinez, Hudson). Technical fouls - Valdez 0, Metlakatla 1 (bench). Total fouls - Valdez 11, Metlakatla 32.

BRAVES 71, RAVENS 55

Friday's Class 3A boys state tournament consolation bracket game from Anchorage's Sullivan Arena

MOUNT EDGECUMBE (71) - Tommy Stasenko 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Mercier 8-19 1-1 19, Cliff Shellabarger 2-3 2-2 6, Oscar Active 0-0 0-0 0, Warren Kushin 1-5 0-0 2, Jory Peterson 1-1 0-0 2, Teddy Cruise 0-3 0-0 0, Josh Thomas 8-13 5-6 24, Brandon Thomas 3-5 0-0 6, Scott Patkotak 1-3 0-1 2, George Beans 2-6 0-0 4, Max Shellabarger 3-5 0-0 6. Totals: 29-63 8-10 71.

EIELSON (55) - Charlie Hill 0-2 0-0 0, Daniel Henderson 0-0 0-0 0, Evan Skinner 7-14 9-16 24, Jamaal Tanner 3-9 0-0 7, Nick Scales 2-8 0-0 4, Josh Finney 0-1 1-2 1, William Winkler 9-21 0-0 19, Jason Holt 0-1 0-0 0, Chad Whaley 0-0 0-0 0, Jed Demientieff 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-57 10-18 55.

MOUNT EDGECUMBE 25 10 17 19 - 71

EIELSON 19 17 13 6 - 55

3-point goals - Mount Edgecumbe 5-16 (J. Thomas 3-5, Mercier 2-8, Kushin 0-1, M. Shellabarger 0-2), Eielson 3-15 (Skinner 1-1, Tanner 1-3, Winkler 1-7, Hill 0-1, Scales 0-3). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - Mount Edgecumbe 1 (bench), Eielson 0. Total fouls - Mount Edgecumbe 15, Eielson 13.



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