It wasn't quite a piece of cake, but Angoon Kwaan did get its piece of Kake KWBA in the end.
Fighting to the bitter end, Angoon beat Kake 72-66 during their Gold Medal tourney Women's Bracket winners' game at Juneau-Douglas High School.
Led by the skills and grace of former JDHS and Davidson College standout Meagan Gleason, Angoon jumped to a quick lead before it ran into some trouble.
"We hadn't played against a zone (Monday) so we incorporated a new offense, which still didn't quite work, but we pulled it out," said Gleason, who scored 22 points. "At least we have a pressure situation under our belts."
Tied 5-5 with 13:49 left in the first half, Angoon began a 10-2 run and led for the remainder of the half.
"We were a little stagnant on offense ... but we picked it up," Gleason said. "Running is obviously our game. We're in fairly good condition, so if we can run we're going to do a lot better than if we have to come down and play against a zone defense, which obviously wasn't that good today."
"The first game we ran really, really hard," said Sarah Demmert, who traveled from Oregon to play for Angoon. "This game we came in and I think we were expecting it to be a little easier than it was, and they gave us a good run for our money."
Angoon controlled the pace of the first half before Jonna Adams and Kake charged back with a 12-6 run to narrow Angoon's lead to 35-29 at halftime.
"I think we just need to start paying more attention to where the ball is, first of all," said Kake's Lavonne Alsup, who scored five points. "Once we started doing that we started looking better."
Kake came out of halftime with newfound energy and scored the first four points of the half. Gleason, quick to answer, ran the court following a steal and extended Angoon's lead to 37-33 on a layup with 17:54 left in the game. An 11-1 Angoon run ensued, ending at 14:27 with another Gleason layup. Gleason was fouled and completed the three-point play, increasing Angoon's lead to 48-34.
"They played good, they played really good," Kake's Dawn Jackson said. "They've got some good point guards and they pass really well."
Just when it looked like Kake had been frosted, they slowly began a comeback. After some solid defense and a couple of clutch shots, Kake's Karlee Smith hit a crucial 3-pointer at 5:03 to narrow Angoon's lead to 62-59.
Adams then tied the game 62-62 with 4:38 to play by converting a three-point play after being fouled on a layup. Kake took its first lead of the second half when Marla Dixson tossed up an shot that miraculously dropped to make the score 64-62 with 4:10 left to play.
"I don't really know what happened," said Angoon's Melissa Kookesh, who scored 10 points. "I think they just started shooting all those 3-pointers and that's what got them ahead because you can easily get ahead with those."
After losing the advantage, Kake took back a 66-65 lead when Violet Anderson made two free throws with 1:30 left - but they would be the final points Kake would score.
Angoon went on a 7-0 run to close the game, putting the ice on Kake with two free throws by Gleason with 0.6 seconds left on the clock.
"For the most part it was just working the ball around and taking our time and we took back the lead," Kookesh said.
Melinda Joseph scored eight and Amber Jamestown added seven for Angoon.
Adams led Kake with 22 points, Dixson and Smith each scored nine, and Michele Friday added eight.
Huna ANS 57, Yakutat ANS 37
Yolanda Snively led all scorers with 22 points as Huna ANS soundly defeated Yakutat ANS during the Tuesday's other Women's Bracket winners' game.
Marie Collins scored 16 points for Huna, and Sarah Barry and Shannon Dybdahl each added six points.
Violet Sensmeier led Yakutat with 12 points, Rochelle Lekanof scored 10, and Stephanie Johnson added eight.
Eric Morrison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.