Kake LAB Masters came back through the loser's bracket to win the Legendary C bracket championship of the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament 83-75 against the same Klukwan Chilkats team it lost to earlier in the week.
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Capitalizing on fast breaks and dribble penetration, Kake went on an 18-3 run late in the first half to take a 41-26 halftime lead.
Klukwan cut Kake's lead to eight midway through the second half, but Kake reacted by scoring nine straight points.
With under two minutes to go, Kake's Rudy Bean penetrated into the lane and hit Lloyd Davis under the basket for an easy two, putting the game out of reach for Klukwan.
"Rudy is a great penetrator who always keeps his cool out there and doesn't make many mistakes," said Klukwan's Brian Elliott.
Bean, who was named the C-Bracket MVP, led all scorers with 28 points. All-Tournament selection Elliott led Klukwan with 23 points in the loss.
Kake came out with a tough 2-3 zone in the second half that frustrated Klukwan's players.
"The zone slowed us down and took us out of what we wanted to do," Elliott said. "It was the first time we'd seen a zone all tournament."
The memory of Thursday's 87-86 loss was fresh in the minds of Kake's players who were determined to win the title.
"The first loss was all it took for us to kind of wake up and smell the coffee," said Kake forward Kip Howard.
Kake also got scoring from All-Tournament selections Lloyd Davis and Wayne Friday, who each had 15 points. Nick Davis had 12, Howard eight, and Jay Peterson five points in the win.
Legendary C awards
Greg Garcia, Huna Totem
Rich Krupa, Sitka
Rich Calkins, Sikta
Ethan Billings, Juneau
Craig Kahklen, Juneau
Steve Fossman, Klukwan
Brian Elliott, Klukwan
Kip Howard, Kake
Trevan Walker, Metlakatla
Lloyd Davis, Kake
Guy Tompkins, Klukwan
Most Valuable Player
Rudy Bean, Kake
Gold Medal trivia
All-Tournament selection Steve Fossman had 18 points, Joe Parnell 14, Frank Tompkins seven, Duane Wilson six, Terry Friske five and Guy Tompkins two for Klukwan.
Winning the C bracket title held special meaning for the Kake players. The team lost friend and teammate Danny Jackson, who died this past year.
"We really miss our guys," Howard said. "First we lost Sam (Jackson) then Danny. I know a lot of guys had Danny on their minds tonight."
Kake players paid him tribute during the team photo with a "For Danny" chant.
In a scene that embodies the camaraderie Gold Medal fosters, both teams formed a singular huddle after the final buzzer to give three cheers for a great effort from each side.
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