The Angoon boys basketball team claimed its first Class 2A state championship in team history Saturday at Service High School, knocking off Region V-Class 2A rival Kake 37-27 to get it.
The Eagles, who'd never even made the state championship game before, survived a glacially paced game as Kake tried to control the tempo by slowing things down. That strategy worked in Thursday's opening round, when the Thunderbirds upset top-ranked Seldovia, and appeared to be working again Saturday as Kake led 18-17 entering the fourth quarter.
But Angoon picked up the pace in the final period, outscoring the T-Birds 20-9 to clinch the title.
Lester Pitka scored 18 points to lead Angoon, which beat Kake 68-49 for the region title just one week earlier in Juneau. Walter Kookesh scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Eagles, while Mike Pitka had five points and seven assists.
Anthony Dolan scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Kake, while point guard Ben Kondro added five points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Kake was making its first appearance in a state tournament in six years, but the Thunderbirds won state titles in 1984 and 1987.
In Saturday's other Class 2A state boys action, the Tri-Valley Viking Warriors claimed a 62-47 victory over the Tanana Wolves in the third-fifth place game, while the Bristol Bay Angels beat the Minto Lakers 68-54 in the fourth-sixth place game.
The Yakutat girls basketball team won its final game of the 1999-2000 campaign, beating the Kake T-Birds 58-45 in Saturday's fourth-sixth place game in the girls Class 2A state tournament.
Yakutat jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way. Jasmine James scored 11 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Eagles. Sheena Nelson added 11 points and Stephanie Johnson tossed in 10 points.
Robin Knudsen scored 18 points to lead Kake, while her sister Danielle scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Thunderbirds.
In Saturday's other Class 2A girls state tournament games, the Ninilchik Wolverines claimed their third state title in five years with a 55-31 victory over the Seldovia Sea Otters, and the Unalakleet-Degnan Wolf Pack edged the Minto Lakers 60-59 in the thirdfifth place game.
In Saturday's Class 1A championship games, the Noorvik Bears swept both titles to return the Northwest Arctic School District to the top of the division. Teams from the NWAB were shut out of the titles last year, but with Saturday's two victories they have now won 16 of the possible 32 Class 1A boys and girls championships since the state's high school teams were divided into size classifications in 1984.
The Noorvik girls beat the Wainwright-Alak Huskies 62-39 on Saturday, while the Noorvik boys knocked off the defending champion Sand Point Eagles 59-40.
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