Metlakatla was determined to not let Thursday's win-or-go-home matchup versus Hydaburg turn out like the teams' previous Sunday meeting, in which Hydaburg pulled away early for a 103-88 victory.
The two teams battled to the wire but in the end, not even 37 points from Willie Hayward was enough to win as Metlakatla once again scored 88 points in a loss to Hydaburg, this time 93-88 in B Bracket action.
Devin and Vinny Edenshaw hit seven of 10 free throws down the stretch for Hydaburg, and they were able to hold off Hayward and the rest of the Metlakatla offense, who were not able to hit their shots in the final three minutes.
Metlakatla, down by three points, blew a chance in transition to cut into the lead with a lay-up as the pass to a cutting Lyman Hayward bounced off the forward's hands and out of bounds with three minutes remaining. Hydaburg responded by finding Darren Edenshaw open inside for a lay-up to push the lead to five points, 88-83.
Willie Hayward came back and hit another 3-pointer in transition, his third, and Bryan Hayward followed two made free throws by Hydaburg's Vinny Edenshaw with a lay-up in transition to make the score 90-88, but that's as close as Metlakatla got as they were unable to score again while Devin Edenshaw iced the game from the line.
"They just seemed more hungry," said Hydaburg's Darren Edenshaw of Metlakatla's approach to the game. "They just came out hitting and we got off to kind of a slow start, but then we turned it on a little bit."
The game was played at a very fast pace and featured several runs by both teams during a 10-minute stretch in the second half.
After halftime, Metlakatla, trailing by three points, went on a 21-6 tear to grab a 12-point lead at 63-51, forcing Hydaburg to call timeout. Willie Hayward accounted for nine points during the stretch and just continued to score. Out of his 37 points, 29 came in the second half.
"We called a timeout when (Metlakatla's run) happened, and our coach told us we needed to turn it on right there or we're going home," Darren Edenshaw said. "It's hard (keeping the pace up) with only six players - no bench really - but we have a big game tomorrow."
After the Hydaburg timeout, George Peratrovich hit a 3-pointer and followed it up with a lay-up, plus the foul. He made his free throw to cut the Metlakatla lead to six.
Peratrovich didn't stop there as he finished a lob to the rim with a lay-up on the left side to cut into the lead even further. Devin Edenshaw then got into the lane for a lay-up to continue a 10-0 Hydaburg run after the timeout.
From that point on, the game went back and forth with the lead exchanging hands five times in the final 10 minutes. Hydaburg had the biggest lead during the stretch at six points.
Peratrovich led Hydaburg with 30 points, and Devin Edenshaw had another good game as the second-leading scorer with 20. Vinny Edenshaw followed closely behind with 19 points, and Darren Edenshaw and George LeCornu added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Willie Hayward's 37 points led all scorers for Metlakatla, and Bryan Hayward was a major contributor with 26 points. Shane Martinez hit several big 3-pointers on his way to 12 points.
Angoon outscraps Haines
Angoon looked like the best B-Bracket team in the Gold Medal Tournament during its 97-78 beating of a scrappy Haines team.
After Haines pulled within 10 points with just more than five minutes remaining, Angoon went on an 18-9 run to finish the game and earn a spot in Saturday's championship game.
With the loss, Haines earned a Friday matchup with Hydaburg.
Haines had no answer for Angoon's speed, in particular that of point guard Jordan Jamestown, who finished with 23 points.
Though undersized, Angoon was able to keep Haines big man Ben Egolf off-balance, and whenever the defense collapsed on Jamestown, he found the open man on the perimeter. Angoon hit 10 3-pointers on the night.
Late in the game, Haines could not string together enough stops to give themselves a chance as they found themselves playing the up-tempo style Angoon prefers.
Curtis Lane and Stephen Johnson were the other Angoon players in double figures with 18 and 12 points, respectively. The two combined for six 3-pointers, with Lane hitting four of them.
Fossman led the way for Haines with 26, and guard Jason Shull was the only other player in double figures with 15.