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Championship teams hit the big shots at the right moments, and the Haines Merchants' performance Saturday in the Gold Medal Tournament's Mighty B Bracket title game was certainly a case of that.
Led a timely 3-point barrage mid-way in the second half, Haines won its second straight B Bracket championship with a 107-100 defeat of Kake Tlingit Heat.
The crucial buckets came with Haines leading 60-56, and Kake having just scored six unanswered points. That's when Jesse McGraw hit two 3-pointers and Josh Fannon one to effectively cool off the Heat for good.
Kake, meanwhile, missed little lay-ins and putbacks under the net. Manager Sam Jackson said the misses always seemed to happen at the wrong time.
``Every time we missed a shot it was a shot was during a run,'' said Kake manager Sam Jackson. ``They were run killers.''
``It was just one of those games,'' said Kake's Rudy Bean. ``We just didn't hit our shots tonight.''
Bean, despite some missed easy shots early in the game, scored 21 points to lead Kake. Mike Smith added 19 and Nick Davis 17. Scott Jackson and Lloyd Davis both poured in 11.
Tournament MVP Friske had 24 points, while Fannon led Haines with seven 3-pointers and 26 points. McGraw and Link Fannon each tallied 14 points, while Stuart DeWitt and Danny Pardee each added 11.
Like last year, Haines came through the losers' bracket to win its title. The Merchants scariest moment in that run came against Hydaburg, where Josh Fannon had to sink two free throw with 16 seconds remaining to secure a 102-101 victory.
Last year Haines defeated Hoonah 96-94.
Most of the Haines players - the Fannons, McGraw, Friske, DeWitt and Larry Sweet Jr., Danny Martin and David Bus - grew up and played high school ball together.
McGraw said that might be why the team is able to hit big shots.
``All of us have played together for a long time,'' McGraw said. ``That seems to be a part of our team.''
Saturday's B Bracket championship
David Bus 1 0-0 2, Josh Fannon 7 9-12 26, Daniel Martin 1 0-0 2, Larry Sweet Jr. 1 0-0 3, Jesse McGraw 5 4-6 14, Andrew Friske 11 2-3 24, Dave Wackerman 0 0-0 0, Stuart DeWitt 4 2-2 11, Danny Pardee 5 1-2 11, Link Fannon 2 10-10 14, Frank White 0 0-0 0. Totals: 36 8-35 107
Kip Howard 4 0-2 8, Mike Martin 0 0-0 0, Jay Peterson 1 1-2 3, Wayne Friday 3 0-0 8, Scott Jackson 4 3-4 11, Lloyd Davis 4 3-4 11, Rudy Bean 6 8-9 21, Nick Davis 5 5-6 17, Mike Smith 9 0-2 19, Billy Alsup 0 0-0 0, Robert Jackson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 36 20-29 100.
HAINES49 56 - 107
KAKE42 50 - 100
3-point goals - Haines 7 (J. Fannon 3, Sweet 1, McGraw 2, Dewitt 1), Kake 6 (Friday 2, Bean 1, Davis 2, Smith 1. Fouled out - None. Haines (Pardee). Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Haines 25, Kake 28.
Most Valuable Player - Andrew Friske, Haines
Sportsmanship Award - Nick Davis, Kake
Defensive Player - Danny Pardee, Haines
First Team All-Tournament - Scott Jackson, Kake; Jesse McGraw, Haines; Stuart DeWitt, Haines; Josh Fannon, Haines; Syd Edenshaw, Hydaburg.
Second Team All-Tournament - Mike Smith, Kake; Kip Howard, Kake; Travis Dybdahl, Hoonah; Link Fannon, Haines.