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Juneau Filcom’s Alex Heumann is known as a scoring machine but he built up his defensive prowess in the C Bracket Championship Game, Saturday, March 25, during the Juneau Lions Club’s 74th annual tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé.
Heumann collected a game-high 29 points in a 73-49 win over the Klukwan Chilkats and had the task of guarding Klukwan scoring threat Stuart Dewitt.
“I have been waiting my whole life for one of these,” Heumann said of the championship as emotion overcame him. “I get to win one with my brothers… I had a couple family members watching this one from above… John Martin senior…”
Emotions ran high for both teams as Filcom began the game with steals for baskets by Larry Cooper and Adam Brown and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Heumann for a 7-0 lead.
Klukwan followed with an 11-0 run with back-to-back-to back shots past the arch by Dewitt and a follow up shot by Brian Friske for an 11-9 lead.
Filcom’s Cooper drove for a score and Heumann notched a deep shot, a short jumper and then a running floater that kissed the net as the buzzer blew for a 16-11 first quarter advantage that would never be relinquished.
Filcom built their lead to 10 points, 32-22, midway through the second quarter as Klukwan struggled to connect from the field while Heumann and Cooper benefited from the board work of Adam Brown, Jason Haskell, Tom Gisler, Andrew Malacas and Charlie Herrington through the first half.
Filcom ended the second quarter on a 6-1 run for a 38-23 advantage at the half.
“I just love to be here,” Adam Brown said after the game. “I love to play basketball. I love the opportunity to get out here in the Gold Medal. I am just really honored with this privilege.”
Filcom went on a 12-2 run in the first three minutes of the third quarter and led 50-25. They finished the third quarter with a floater by Heumann, back-to-back shots by Herrington inside and two more baskets from Heumann to put 63 points on their side of the score clock.
Klukwan finished the third quarter with a shot by Paul Carrington, a shot by Dewitt and a deep shot by Jesse McGraw off the glass to put 33 on their side.
“Terrible,” Klukwan’s Dewitt said after the game. “It was fun to play on Saturday, for sure that’s a good thing, but we were a little tired. Our defense was poor. They were good. Their pick-and-roll stuff they ran really well and they are just tough. Alex (Heumann) played great defense on me. He was like on me all night. He was working just as hard on defense as he was on offense. That was impressive for him to have the offensive output like that when he is working his butt off on defense. Hats off to him, to all of them, they played great team basketball.”
Filcom and Klukwan would exchange baskets and flirt with keeping a running clock via the 30-point advantage in the final stanza.
“Oh man, this is big town for us,” Filcom’s Cooper said after the game. “Just an honor to be here to play in this tournament. I’m very grateful for that and very thankful to be able to play with my brother Alex Heumann. To come out to battle with him is a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful thing. We appreciate it.”
Heumann said the duo of he and Cooper have been together always. With Cooper the point guard at Juneau-Douglas High School in 2004-05 and Heumann the shooter and “our brother Junior Cumlat representing the Filipino community.”
Heumann was awarded the most valuable player trophy after the game.
“I feel like these guys made me look good all tournament,” Heumann said. “I’ve been playing with Coop (Larry Cooper) my whole life. It means the world to me to win one with my brother, but the rest of the guys on this team we came together over the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t appreciate them more. This was a team effort from the jump.”
Heumann led Filcom with 29 points, including a fourth quarter where he did not score but facilitated the offense. Haskell added 12 points for Filcom, Cooper and Herrington 11 apiece, Ray Zimmer and Adam Brown four apiece, and Gisler two.
Filcom hit 6-9 at the free throw line, Klukwan 4-7.
Dewitt and Friske scored 17 points apiece, McGraw seven, Kent Larson and Jeffrey Klanot three apiece, and Carrington two. Andrew Friske, who was inducted in the Gold Medal Hall of Fame this year, was unavailable for the game.
The C Bracket All-Tournament team included Larry Cooper (Filcom), Brian Friske (Klukwan), John Crossman Jr. (Angoon), Braxton Booze (Hoonah), Jesse McGraw (Klukwan), Lucas Johnson (Hoonah), Stuart Dewitt (Klukwan) and special awards to go with their all-tourney nods went to Thomas Hughes (Hoonah) for Sportsmanship and Alex Hermann (Filcom) as the Most Valuable Player.
This is Juneau’s 34th Gold Medal Championship, they last won the C Bracket in 2003, the B Bracket in 2004, the A Bracket in 2005, the Women’s Bracket in 2007 and the Masters Bracket in 2009.
Klukwan (8 titles) last won the C Bracket in 2018, the Masters Bracket in 2014, and the A Bracket in 1967.