Angoon holds off Haines rally for B Bracket championship

Angoon wins first B Bracket title in 32 years

Posted: Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's been 32 years, but Angoon is once again the B Bracket champion of the Gold Medal Tournament after holding on for a 104-96 victory in Saturday's finale over Haines at Juneau-Douglas High School.

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Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Down 27 points with 10 minutes remaining in the game, Haines made a big-time comeback attempt as it cut the lead to six, 96-90, behind nine 3-pointers down the stretch.

Angoon, comfortable with a big lead, relaxed defensively and let the Merchants back in the game.

After a quick timeout, Angoon regained its composure and calmly hit free throws to seal the game and the championship.

After waiting for 32 years, nothing could keep the proud Angoon crowd quiet.

"We had to stay calm and continue to do what we had been doing the whole game. We tend to get a little lazy when we open up a lead and the defense started lacking," leading scorer Ozelle Jamestown said. "Those guys were hitting everything they put up, but the shots were open and we weren't communicating on defense.

"That left a lot of their shooters open, and those guys hit their shots."

Jamestown also said this was a huge moment for the entire Angoon community.

"It means a lot. Being from the village, it means a lot to our family and everybody from the community," he said. "Me and my brother really wanted to do it for the loved ones that have been lost in the last 10-15 years since we've been living there.

"A lot of the people that helped us out with basketball, they came to the community to help us develop a love for the game, including my dad," he continued. "So that's a big reason why we wanted to come back and play for our family, our grandparents - especially Eli and Lillian Jamestown."

Jamestown was a beast all night on the boards - again - and despite being undersized next to Haines' Ben Egolf, he controlled the paint and the glass. He created numerous second-chance points for Angoon while limiting any chances for Haines to capitalize on the offensive boards.

Despite the late surge from Haines, Angoon controlled the game from start to finish, just as it had done all week.

And once again, tournament MVP Jordan Jamestown was relentless.

Up one point in the early going, Jordan Jamestown split the Haines defense and got to the bucket for a lay-up. After another Haines score made it 7-6 in favor of Angoon, Jordan Jamestown found Curtis Lane and Guy Hunter on consecutive 3-pointers, then followed them up with another lay-up of his own, quickly pushing the lead to nine, 15-6.

Angoon was able to maintain that lead through the end of the half, going into the break up 46-34, but the best from Haines was yet to come.

Mid-way through the second half, Kyle Fossman went on a run that brought the Haines crowd to a frenzy and left Angoon supporters stunned.

Down 74-47, Fossman scored 26 of Haines' next 28 points during a crazy 43-22 run over a period of about eight minutes. Down only six with 90 seconds to go, Haines was unable to take the ball from Angoon, and had to resort to fouling. Angoon did what so many teams struggle to do - hit clutch free throws.

Tournament MVP Jordan Jamestown led Angoon in scoring with 33 points on the evening, while Curtis Lane pitched in 25 Saturday night.

John Croasmum contributed 15 points, while Ozelle Jamestown pitched in 11. But his value was not seen in the scoring department. While there are no official statistics for rebounding, Ozelle Jamestown was clearly a force down low.

Fossman led the way for Haines with 36 points, while Andrew Friske was the second-leading scorer with 16. Stuart DeWitt had 14, and Kyle Rush scored 11 points for runner-up Haines.

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