Wrangell understood Hoonah was deadly from 3-point range, so trailing 10 points late in Saturday’s B Bracket semifinal, they tested their opponents’ accuracy from a closer distance with intentional fouls.
Hoonah made 12 of 18 free throws in the final four minutes of the game though, going on to win 85-77 over Wrangell.
Hoonah joins its Masters and Womens teams on championship Saturday of the Gold Medal Tournament. The B Bracket team takes on Haines at 8 p.m. for the championship, the final of 40 tournament games held this week at Juneau-Douglas High School.
Haines defeated Hoonah 77-63 Thursday night and is the only undefeated team left in the B Bracket.
“Tonight we came in like we never even lost and we wanted to get to [the championship] again,” Hoonah’s Brian Koenig said. “It’s been years since we’ve been there, and it’s about time we get back.”
It was Koenig’s marksmanship from 3-point range that set up the foul-game late.
Koenig went 3-for-4 from three during a decisive 17-4 Hoonah run midway through the second half. Hoonah led by 19 by the time the run was up with eight minutes left in the game. The closest Wrangell got the rest of the way was eight points.
“I owe it all to my teammates,” Koenig said of getting open looks. “I play with them pretty much every single day over in Hoonah and they know I like to run, they know I like to run fast every single play.”
“So I knew that if I did that this game, I’d get open shots, and I did. I threw them up, and I made them.”
Koenig finished with 18 points, just ahead of teammates DJ Lindstrom and Jaylin Prince’s 17 respective points.
Wrangell’s Andrew Versteeg and Ryan Howell scored 20 points each, but didn’t get quite enough help from the bench.
•Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.