The Hoonah Old-timers, led by Greg Garcia's team-high 19 points, held off the Sitka Moose Nuggets 85-70 in Sunday morning's M bracket opener.
Hoonah traded baskets with Sitka early behind the sharpshooting of Myron Martin, who finished with 13 points for the Old-timers. But after a 9-0 Hoonah run midway through the first half, the Old-timers climbed to a 23-9 lead and never looked back.
Sitka was able to pull within 11 points going into halftime and only trailed by six at one point in the second half thanks to the dominant inside presence of Mark Wittingtan, who paced the Moose with 26 points and 8 rebounds.
Late in the game, Hoonah's depth proved too much as they raced to a 20-point lead driven by the hot hand of Ken Willard Jr., who finished with 16 points.
Even a string of Wittingtan jumpers in the closing minutes couldn't bring Sitka back. Ray Kitka added 10 points for the Moose in the loss.
Yakutat takes down Juneau
After a back-and-forth first half of basketball, Hydaburg was able to pull away from Juneau after the half to win the game 55-43 during the opening day of the 64th Annual Gold Medal Tournament.
Yakuatat came out of halftime and wasted no time adding to their two-point lead as they exploded for a 16-4 run to open the second half. Juneau would get no closer than nine points as the shots would not fall for the Old Timers as they fell by double digits.
Yakutat allowed very little penetration as they packed the paint defensively, forcing outside shots from a struggling Juneau team.
The Old Timers were not able to keep Yakutat out of the paint as they spent much time at the line, especially during the second half.
Each time Juneau made an attempt at a comeback, once cutting the lead to 10 points late in the game, Yakutat answered by ripping off another run of their own as they kept the Old Timers at arm's length in the second half.
Klawock beats up on Metlakatla
After Kake pulled out of their Sunday afternoon matchup with Klawock, Metlakatla stepped in and took it on the chin 110-75 in a matchup that was uneven from the start.
Klawock's experience, talent and depth proved too much for the undermanned squad from Metlakatla, as the twin-tower combination of Sam Peters and Sid Edenshaw and the Old Totems' outside shooting put the game away early.
Klawock jumped out to a 15-0 lead and never looked back. Edenshaw said this team has played together for a while and that makes a difference on the court.
"We're used to each other. We've been practicing in Klawock, so we're in pretty decent shape," he said. "Metlakatla's kind of short-handed and that makes a big difference.
"I know we had more horses than they did this time around. We just kept running them and had good teamwork."
Edenshaw also said he is happy with the way the team has played and has confidence in their chances going forward in the tournament.
"Everything was going pretty good - we had a good inside, outside combination and our outside shooters were hitting, so that opens up the inside," he said. "We've just got to be focused and there are good teams in there. The score won't be like this every game.
"We would like it to be, but every game is going to get tougher."
With the win, Klawock made it to the second round of the winner's bracket where they will face Klukwan at 9 p.m. this evening.
Klukwan advances after rout
Sunday's final M Bracket tilt saw Klukwan pull away from Angoon over the final minutes of the first half after 14 early lead changes and three ties to win going away, 84-61.
With the game tied at 28 with less than seven minutes to go in the half, Klukwan closed with a 12-2 run to lead 40-30 at the break.
Larry Sweet ignited the run with a steal, leading to a lay-up for Rob Laroch to the tie the game. Roger Calloway then splashed a baseline jumper off a dish from Frank Coronell. Laroch then stuck a 3-pointer, followed by a stickback by Calloway.
Al Jack scored inside for Angoon, but Klukwan closed 5-0 for a 10-point lead, which ballooned from the outset of the second half as Klukwan opened with a 25-6 run to put the game out of reach.
Joe Parnell led four Klukwan players in double figures with 25 points. Calloway added 17 points, Coronell 16 and Laroch 11.
Joey George scored 23 points to lead Angoon, Ron Hanson chipped in 14 and Ben Coronell 10.
Skagway defeated Yakutat 92-77 in late B bracket action. More information to come in Tuesday's paper.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.