THE LEGENDARY 'C' BRACKET
Hoonah Old-Timers will not make it a three-peat in the Legendary C Bracket of the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.
The two-time defending champions fell to Petersburg's Sons of Norway 104-89 in Monday afternoon's first-round losers' bracket game, eliminating Hoonah from the tournament. In the other Legendary C Bracket game, Kake ANB knocked Klukwan from the tournament, 76-66.
Petersburg will advance to play the loser of today's 5:30 p.m. Klawock-Angoon winner's bracket game and Kake will face the loser of the Sitka-Yakutat winners' bracket game, starting today at 8:30 p.m.
Kurt Kernvick and Greg Birchell wasted no time in getting the Sons of Norway out to an early 9-0 lead with some early hot shooting. Hoonah got as close at 29-28, but Petersburg's Jerry Mackie hit one of his four 3-pointers and the Sons of Norway kept their distance.
There was a scary moment at the end of the half when Petersburg's Klas Stolpe hit the floor with a thud while fighting for a rebound. He bumped his head and play was stopped for a short time as EMT's administered to Stolpe. However, Stolpe would return in the second half and finished the game with 10 points.
Hoonah never led in the game, but were never out of it, always keeping Petersburg within 10 points until the very end of the game.
Midway through the second half, Hoonah got on a roll and got as close as 61-58. But Mackie had other plans and scored nine of his 18 points in a one-minute stretch, shooting his imaginary pistols in the air after each shot.
The Hoonah crowd just happened to be in the corner where Mackie made most of his shots and tried all they could to distract his shots, but to little avail.
"I have a lot of friends in the stands from Hoonah and they were getting on me pretty good," Mackie said. "I got some good open looks and my team hit me when I was wide open."
Birchell led Petersburg in scoring with 23 points and Kernvick added 19 while Jim Scholz scored 17 points.
The game was very physical with a lot of players hitting the floor. Stolpe got the worst of it, but nobody spent more time in the horizontal position than Hoonah's Greg Garcia.
Garcia, who had a game-high 27 points, donned elbow pads with medical gauze sticking out of one of them to protect his wounds suffered in Hoonah's heartbreaking loss to Yakutat the night before. And this game was not different for last year's Legendary C most valuable player but he gave no excuses after the game.
"It's part of the game," Garcia said. "We we're the defending champs and even though we didn't have the big guns like we did in the past, we fought like men. We'll be back strong next year. We got a lot of guys with no playing experience. We went in as men and we went out as men."
"We can only get stronger," Hoonah's Stuart Mills added.
Mills had another strong game, scoring 23 points, and Louie White added 11 but fouled out midway throughout the second half.
Petersburg's next game will be played at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Kake 76, Klukwan 66
Kip Howard's hot shooting cooled the Chilkats of Klukwan on Monday, scoring 38 points and leading Kake to a 76-66 victory over the Klukwan to advance in the Legendary C losers' bracket.
Kake will play again at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday against the loser of today's Sitka-Yakutat game.
Behind Howard, Glenn Padgett scored 15 and Sam Jackson added 12 points for Kake, which held a 44-36 halftime lead.
Klukwan's Greg Stigen led his team with 24 points and Jeff Kasler contributed 12 points.
Klukwan became the first team to be eliminated from the Gold Medal Tournament, just hours before Hoonah met the same fate.
Jeff Kasper can be reached at email@example.com.