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When Kake KWBA lost its opening game in the 58th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, the Kake players didn't feel as if they'd played to their potential.
Kake felt better after beating Juneau's T&H Spirit 84-27 in losers' bracket action Wednesday from the Women's Bracket at Juneau-Douglas High School.
The victory eliminated T&H Spirit from the tournament, while Kake stayed alive. Kake will play at 11 a.m. today against the Metlakatla Women, who beat Yakutat ANS 46-44 in Wednesday's other game.
"It was a lot better," Kake's Jonna Adams said when comparing Wednesday's victory to Tuesday's 72-66 loss to Angoon Kwaan. "We'd all just gotten off the ferry and had travel legs and first-game jitters. This was really good."
"We got rid of the jitters and pulled together today as a team," Sarah James added. "We did much better today. We couldn't get anything to fall yesterday."
Kake opened up with the game's first four points and, after a 3-pointer by T&H Spirit's Jamie Katzeek, Kake scored the next 10 points to take a 14-3 lead. The run was helped by a mysterious technical foul call on T&H Spirit coach Andy Lee, who had been sitting on the bench, looking away from the referee who made the call. Lee had questioned a foul call a play earlier, but was silent at the time he received the technical.
T&H Spirit had closed to within 16-8 when Kake went on another 14-0 run to make it 30-8. The biggest question then was whether or not T&H Spirit would reach double digits by halftime. Kake led 36-11 at the break.
The second half was more of the same, with Kake's defense forcing many T&H Spirit turnovers and Kake's young legs leading to breakaway buckets on the other end.
"I think we looked pretty good," Kake's Violet Anderson said.
"We were really trying to find our stride," Kake's Michele Friday added. "Some of us were still traveling yesterday. I think we would have pulled it out. We play Metlakatla next and hopefully we can keep today going tomorrow."
Anderson scored 25 points to lead Kake, with 19 of those points coming in the second half. Dawn Jackson added 14 points, with 12 in the second half, while James scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half and Adams added 11 points.
"We're finally getting the roll of things," Adams said. "It's better (to be in the losers' bracket) because you get to play all the teams."
Katzeek scored seven points to lead T&H Spirit, while Denise Bennett added five. T&H Spirit was put together last week to fill the Women's Bracket and was billed as the "Mystery Team" in the tournament brackets, but many of the players were mysteries to each other when the tournament started.
"This was my first time really playing in five years," T&H Spirit's Mary Folletti said. "A lot of us were introducing ourselves in the locker room. We had a pretty bad game, but some of us are talking about playing together in the city league to keep it going."
Metlakatla Women 46, Yakutat ANS 44
The Metlakatla Women stayed alive in the tournament by grabbing a second-half lead and holding on for a losers' bracket victory over Yakutat ANS.
Vanessa Anniskett scored 14 points to lead Metlakatla, mixing 3-pointers with layups. Angela LeClair scored 10 points, including a couple of breakaway layups late in the game, and Amy McLeod hit three 3-pointers for nine points.
Violet Sensmeier led Yakutat with 15 points and Meridith Mallott-Hunt added 12.
One sidelight to the game was the matchup between Metlakatla's Alberta Jones and Yakutat's Betty Jensen. Jones scored five points for Metlakatla, while Jensen had seven for Yakutat.
"We played against each other 24, 25, 26 years ago when I was at Sitka High School and she was at Yakutat," Jones said. "She always had a good attitude and she still has a nice left-handed shot."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
METLAKATLA WOMEN 46, YAKUTAT ANS 44
Wednesday's losers' bracket game from JDHS
YAKUTAT ANS (44) - Rochelle Lekanof 1 0-0 2, Sheena Nelson 1 0-0 2, Violet Sensmeier 6 1-4 15, Betty Jensen 3 1-2 7, Stephanie Johnson 3 0-0 6, Starr Sensmeier 0 0-0 0, Meridith Mallott Hunt 3 6-9 12, Breanna Sharp 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 8-15 44.
METLAKATLA WOMEN (46) - Jody Caspersen 0 0-0 0, Amy McLeod 3 0-0 9, Angela LeClair 5 0-0 10, Chelsee Chalmers 2 0-0 4, Alberta Jones 2 1-4 5, Vanessa Anniskett 6 0-1 14, Trudy Refour 0 1-2 1, Katherine Howard 1 1-5 3. Totals: 19 3-12 46.
YAKUTAT 22 22 - 44
METLAKATLA 20 26 - 46
3-point goals - Yakutat 2 (V. Sensmeier 2), Metlakatla 5 (McLeod 3, Anniskett 2). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Yakutat 12, Metlakatla 15.
KAKE KWBA 84, T&H SPIRIT 27
Wednesday's losers' bracket game from JDHS
KAKE KWBA (84) - Dawn Jackson 7 0-2 14, Michele Friday 3 0-0 6, Shawna Ashenfelter 3 0-0 6, Marla Dixson 2 3-6 7, Jonna Adams 5 1-2 11, Levonne Alsup 0 0-0 0, Karlee Smith 1 0-0 3, Sarah James 6 0-0 12, Violet Anderson 10 5-5 25. Totals: 37 9-15 84.
T&H SPIRIT (27) - Julie Lane 2 0-0 4, Renee Southerland 0 1-2 1, Sonya Taton 0 0-0 0, Denise Bennett 1 2-2 5, Eunice James-Lee 0 0-0 0, Mary Folletti 0 0-0 0, Jamie Katzeek 2 2-4 7, Rachel Dugaqua 0 0-0 0, Jill Beardslee 1 1-5 3, Mary Tagaban 1 0-0 3, Rebecca Duncan 2 0-0 4. Totals: 9 6-13 27.
KAKE 36 48 - 84
T&H SPIRIT 11 16 - 27
3-point goals - Kake 1 (Smith 1), T&H Spirit 3 (Bennett 1, Katzeek 1, Tagaban 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - Kake 0, T&H Spirit 1 (coach Andy Lee 1). Total fouls - Kake 13, T&H Spirit 9.