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While the adults are the focus of the Juneau Lions Club's 58th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament this week at Juneau-Douglas High School, there's another tournament in town.
Just a couple of hundred yards away, at the Marie Drake gym, the HoopTime Southeast Shootout is giving middle school and older elementary school basketball players a chance to play ball.
Started three years ago by Gary Brown of the Juneau Lions Club, Juneau's HoopTime basketball program took over the tournament this year and expanded it to four brackets - two for girls and two for boys. The A Bracket is for seventh and eighth graders, while the B Bracket is for players in grades four through six.
"For HoopTime, our season started in January," said Brent Wilson, president of HoopTime. "One of the Angoon coaches said this is great. They've already played more than they had all season."
Teams had some non-counting round-robin games on Monday and Tuesday to warm up and get a feel for the competition, but the real tournament started on Wednesday with 16 games (two at Harborview Elementary School next door).
It continues today with 15 games starting between noon and 7 p.m. There are seven games scheduled between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday. The championship games all take place on Saturday, with the girls B Bracket game at 8:45 a.m., the boys B Bracket game at 10 a.m., the girls A Bracket final at 11:15 a.m. and the boys A Bracket title game at 12:30 p.m.
The Metlakatla girls B Bracket team beat HoopTime 5th-6th 17-13 in one Wednesday opening-round game. Three of Metlakatla's sixth graders were sick, so the Metlakatla players were "tired," Janelle Caspersen said.
"I could play better," teammate Stephanie Enright said. "We beat them (HoopTime) twice. We played Angoon (later Wednesday) and we got them to overtime."
"And we lost by two, or was it four," Jennifer Caspersen said.
"I think we'll do pretty good," Janelle Casperson said of their rematch with Angoon.
In the girls A Bracket, HoopTime 7-8 edged Hoonah 16-14 as Susie Hurt scored the game-winner. HoopTime beat Hoonah in round-robin play earlier in the week, but some of the girls said it wasn't as close as Wednesday's game.
"I was a little worried," Kaylee Matheny said.
"We have a good team," Sarrah Matheny added.
In a boys B Bracket game, Sitka beat HoopTime 5th 32-24. Kevin See of Sitka said he enjoyed playing in his first tournament like this.
"I had a lot of fun," See said. "I like everything, winning and having fun."
In boys A Bracket games, Sitka 1 beat HoopTime 8th Blue 34-30, Angoon beat HoopTime 7th Red 29-20 and HoopTime 7th Black beat Sitka 2 35-13. No scores were available for Native Culture Club vs. Red Storm, Hoonah vs. the Native Culture Club-Red Storm winner, HoopTime 8th Silver vs. Angoon and HoopTime 7th Red vs. HoopTime 8th Blue.
In girls A Bracket games, HoopTime 7-8 edged Hoonah 16-14 and Sitka beat Angoon 23-10.
In boys B bracket games, Sitka beat HoopTime 5th 32-24 and HoopTime 6th rolled to a 72-3 victory over Hoonah. No score was available for the Angoon vs. HoopTime 6th game.
In a girls B Bracket game, Metlakatla beat HoopTime 5th-6th 17-13. No scores were available for the Hoonah vs. HoopTime 5th game, the Angoon vs. Metlakatla game and the HoopTime 6th vs. the Hoonah-HoopTime 5th game.
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.