Sitka stormed to a 21-5 lead in the early going before holding off a late Kake rally to win their Monday evening C Bracket matchup 88-78 in first-round action.
Sitka scored inside-out early as Kake struggled to find any offensive rhythm.
Kake chipped away at the deficit, closing within eight points, 23-15, after scoring six straight, with Kip Howard scoring inside off a dish from Rudy Bean, who then knocked down two free throws and scored inside after a steal.
The teams traded scores as Sitka slowly began to inch away. Six straight Sitka points pushed its lead to 37-21 with 5:29 left in the first half. Chris Carson scored inside, Jim Carson got a lay-up and then knocked down two free throws.
Nick Davis scored for Kake, but Ed Mercer came back with a 3-pointer to answer for a 41-23 lead, and Sitka held a 49-33 advantage at the break.
Sitka built its lead up to 20, 67-47 after scoring five straight points, but Kake wouldn't go away, cutting the deficit back to 10 after scoring nine straight as Sitka kept turning the ball over. But Sean Joslyn went straight to the basket for a tough lay-in to end the drought.
Kake then went to Bean, who made a free throw and then drained a deep 3-pointer, followed by two free throws for Wayne Friday after a steal to cut the deficit to 6, 71-65, with 6:50 to go.
A steal by Jay Peterson led to another Bean triple to again cut the deficit to 6, 76-60, with about five minutes to play, but Kake would get no closer.
Jim Carson led Sitka with 28 points, while Rich Krupa added 21, and Mike Mills 12.
Bean led al scorers with 43 points, and Kip Howard added 15 for Kake.
Hoonah rolls Klukwan in C bracket opener
In the first C bracket action of the tournament, Hoonah dispatched of Klukwan 90-73 in another spirited tilt at Juneau-Douglas High School gym.
Hoonah went on an 11-4 run to end the first half and build a 40-32 lead at the break. They carried the momentum into the second half where they went on a quick 6-0 run to push the lead to 12 points. Hoonah never looked back as they were able to hold off any comeback attempts by Klukwan on their way to the victory.
Hoonah's Kamal Lindoff scored 31 of his 40 points in the second half, including a stretch where he scored 22 straight points for his team.
Klukwan began to hit their shots late in the game, but it was too late as Hoonah was able to hit enough free throws down the stretch to keep the lead intact.
Albert Hinchman pitched in 20 points for Hoonah as the team's second leading scorer.
On the other side of the ball, Klukwan's David Buss had 22 points while Guy Tompkins overcame first-half struggles to score 17 points on the afternoon.
Juneau Empire ©2015. All Rights Reserved.