The Angoon old timers completed the comeback it couldn't accomplish on the opening day with a thrilling 80-77 win over the Klukwan Chilkats on Tuesday in what's becoming a regular occurrence in many games at the 58th Annual Lions Club Gold Medal basketball tournament.
In the other C Bracket losers' bracket action, the Juneau Old-Timers also made a comeback as they rallied from 14 points down at halftime to beat Yakutat 76-66, knocking Yakutat out of the tournament. Angoon moves on to play the Kake ANB today at 4 p.m. while the Juneau Old-Timers play the Newtimers at 7:30 p.m. in the losers' bracket at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.
Angoon completed the comeback it couldn't accomplish in an 84-82 loss to the Newtimers in Sunday's opening round of competition. In that game, Angoon nearly made up a 15-point deficit in just over 1 minute, 30 seconds to come up one basket short of an amazing comeback.
Tuesday's comeback against Klukwan was not as drastic, but every bit as exciting.
Klukwan controlled the game early and led by as much as 37-27 with 5 minutes to go in the first half. Steve Fossman found his mark often and early, connecting with 13 first-half points.
Angoon's Kenny Johnson and Andy Lee sparked a charge midway through the second half with a barrage of 3-pointers and took a 60-53 lead. Klukwan retaliated with a 3-pointer from Larry Sweet, a 3-point play by Joe Parnell, and a hook shot from Hall of Famer Greg Stigen to retake the lead 61-60 with 8:40 to play.
The lead shuffled back and forth until the final three minutes. From that point on, only a single field goal was made by either team - a 3-pointer by Klukwan's Don Nash. Angoon, however, was able to convert nine of 11 free throws in that span, which turned out to be the difference.
Klukwan had one final shot to tie the game in the final seconds, but came up just short. With Angoon leading by three points with 2.9 seconds to go, the Parnell lobbed a long in-bounds pass to Dan Hotch, who was able to get a shot off before the buzzer. The shot fell just short and rattled off the rim.
Hotch offered a typical old timer's remark after the game. "I shouldn't have been playing - screwed up my knee on Sunday," he joked. "If I would have had another knee, I would have had a better shot."
Johnson, hobbled by a calf injury, led all scorers with 35 points and shot an amazing 91 percent from 3-point range, making 10 treys.
"I tore my calf muscle and that's all I could do is shoot," Johnson said. "We always have good games with these folks (Klukwan) - they're our friends."
"That's the way they all should be," Hotch said.
Lee, Angoon's workhorse, had another stellar game, scoring 24 points, including four 3-pointers to go along with the 34 points he put up on Sunday. Deandre King, who missed Angoon's first game, scored nine points and Glen Miller added six points to lead Angoon.
"We played as a team and started looking inside more," King said, who made the jump from the B Bracket last year. "The C Division is a little tougher - they're older and stronger than the guys in the B Division. Now that I got a game under my belt, tomorrow will be a much better game."
Fossman led the Chilkats with 21 points, followed by Parnell with 15 points, Hotch with 12, Larry Sweet scored 11 and Nash finished with 10 points. Sweet was injured on one of the final plays of the game and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance shortly after the game was finish. Medics thought Sweet had a concussion and he was being held for observation and an MRI, but was awake and speaking, Nash said later.
"There's always next year," Stigen said. "That's what we get when we play short-handed."
Juneau Old-Timers 76, Yakutat 66
Trailing by 14 at halftime and still facing a double-digit deficit with less than 10 minutes to play, the Juneau Old-Timers rallied to eliminate Yakutat from the tournament.
Frank Coronell scored 24 points - 16 in the second half - and Peter Girardin added 20 points - 14 in the second half - to lead the Old-Timers, who trailed 42-28 at halftime and still trailed by seven points with less than three minutes to play. Steve Rice had nine points for Juneau, while Gerald Mayeda and Leon Aceveda scored eight apiece.
John Jensen scored 24 points to lead Yakutat, while Art Chappell added 15 points and Matt Wheeler scored eight.
Jeff Kasper is a freelance writer and former Empire sportswriter. He can be reached at 209-7427.
Note: On Monday and Tuesday's edition, the replacement team for the Klawock Old Totems was referred to as the Klawock Newtimers. This team should be properly referred to simply as the Newtimers.