Playing just five guys, Hydaburg needed a little help to close out a victory over Klawock in Gold Medal Basketball Tournament B Bracket losers' bracket action on Tuesday.
All it took was a couple of well-placed timeouts, a dribbling exhibition by Vinny Edenshaw and making free throws down the stretch as Hydaburg claimed a 79-71 victory at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gym.
Hydaburg, which had to forfeit its opener Sunday against the Haines Merchants because of a broken plane in Seattle, was able to rally from nine points down early in the second half and stay alive in the tournament. Hydaburg will play Metlakatla at 5:30 p.m. in a losers' bracket game. Klawock is out of the tournament.
Hydaburg did have a guy on the bench - Bob Edenshaw - but he didn't enter the game and was only there in case someone fouled out or got hurt. All five Hydaburg starters played the entire game and all five finished in double-figure scoring - Vinny Edenshaw with 23 points, Sid Edenshaw with 16, Al Nix with 15, Harold Dilts with 14 and Kevin Young with 10.
"We've got a roster full of guys - we're just hoping to stay around long enough for them to get here," said Hydaburg's Sid Edenshaw, Bob's brother and one of two former Klawock Old Totems playing for Hydaburg (Al Nix is the other). "We need some younger legs."
"I'm glad we won," said Young, who scored all of points in the second half. "Darren (Edenshaw) will be in tomorrow, Matt Carle will be in Thursday and my brother (Mount Edgecumbe High School boys coach Archie Young) is going to try and get here on Friday, if we're still around."
Klawock got off to a fast start, making six 3-pointers before the game was nine minutes old. Klawock's biggest lead was 12 points, 27-15, when Hydaburg started chipping away at the lead. Hydaburg cut the margin to seven points, 40-33, by halftime.
"We slowed down too fast," said Doug Edenshaw, who led Klawock in scoring with 21 points and is a cousin to all but two players on the Hydaburg roster. "We should have kept running. Don't underestimate them. I'm glad they're back. It was a good game. It was good to run with them. It was pretty exciting."
"We came out hot, but we slowed down too soon and I got in foul trouble," said Klawock forward Jason Smith, who scored 13 points and provided tough defense on Sid Edenshaw and Nix before he fouled out with 2:43 left, when it was still a one-point game. "It was hard, because we had no backup big guy. But I had fun, I just wish we would have gone a little farther."
In the second half, Klawock cooled down and Hydaburg slowed the pace. Hydaburg kicked the ball inside to its two veterans - Sid Edenshaw and Nix - and when the defense collapsed, Vinny Edenshaw, Young and Dilts got hot from the perimeter. Hydaburg finally took the lead, 52-50, with 12:38 left on a 3-pointer by Dilts.
"We had to keep our composure and catch our wind," Dilts said. "We had to be Haida iron men. We made clutch free throws."
The teams swapped leads, but the Hydaburg players were starting to look tired with about five minutes left. Hydaburg took a 70-69 lead on a Young steal and bucket with 4:17 left to play, and Young and Sid Edenshaw both called timeout so the team could catch its breath. A minute later, Young was being trapped at midcourt and Nix called a timeout just before the referee could make a five-second call.
"I saw him getting trapped and we had to keep possession of the ball," said Nix, who added that this was going to be his last Gold Medal after 20 years.
Vinny Edenshaw dribbled more than a minute off the clock, with some nice moves to keep away from Klawock fouls, and then Nix scored on a behind-the-head pass by Sid Edenshaw to make it 72-69 with 1:58 to play. Young hit a pair of free throws with 1:13 left to make it 74-69, and Doug Edenshaw made two free throws 10 seconds later to pull Klawock back within three points. Hydaburg made five of six free throws over the last minute to close out the game.
Also scoring in double figures for Klawock were Shawn Williams with 13 points and Fred Hamilton with 12.
Angoon ANB 77, Yakutat ANB 72
Down by 12 points early in the game, Angoon ANB rallied to eliminate Yakutat ANB in a losers' bracket game. Angoon will play Kake Tlingit Heat at 9 p.m. today in a losers' bracket game, while Yakutat is out of the tournament.
Phillip Daetwiler, a former Angoon resident who now works for a moving company in Michigan, scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half, including the free throws that finally gave Angoon the lead, 71-70, with a minute to play.
"It's a sweet feeling right now," said Daetwiler, who added that he didn't come all the way from Michigan to go two games and out. "We figured, even when we were down 10 points it was always a game. At halftime we said 'it's zero-to-zero and a new ballgame.' That's the way we are."
Levi Johnson added 15 points for Angoon, while Curtis Lane and Walter Kookesh scored 10 each (Lane hurt his leg in the first half and didn't play the rest of the game).
Jimmi Jensen scored 25 points, Damien Long added 18, Jared James scored 11 and Ralph Johnson had 10 points for Yakutat, but all four fouled out late in the game.
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.