Metlakatla jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 35-26 victory over Kake on Thursday in the middle school bracket of the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School.
The victory puts Metlakatla into this morning's inaugural middle school championship game.
The Chiefs will play the winner of this morning's losers' bracket final between Kake and HoopTime of Juneau. HoopTime eliminated Dzantik'i Heeni 22-16 in Thursday's losers' bracket game.
Darrick Gaube scored 10 points to lead Metlakatla, which led 17-10 at halftime. Donald Tompkins and Layte Hudson both scored seven points for the Chiefs, while Clifton Guthrie added five and Butchie Gray scored four points. Metlakatla is coached by Rodney Campbell, who played for JDHS from 1987-91.
Xavier Friday led Kake with nine points, while Lumpy Jackson added seven points and Frank Johnson scored four for the Thunderbirds.
In Thursday's other game, Carlo Ebron scored seven points to lead HoopTime, which is a new program for young basketball players in Juneau. Daryl Lew and Nico Saldivar added four points each for HoopTime and Faifo Levale scored three.
Pedro Majica led Dzantik'i Heeni with seven points, while Kevin Lee added five points and Michael Jerue scored four. Dzantik'i Heeni led 11-8 at halftime, but HoopTime went on a 6-0 run in the third quarter to lead 14-11 entering the final period.