Sometimes older basketball players take a while to warm up; when they get their legs under them, however, there is no substitute for experience.
In the opening game of the M Bracket, Kake’s 42-and-up Gold Medal basketball team beat Yakutat 78-66, though the game was never as close. Kake shot the lights out for much of the match and led by as many as 30 points. Kip Howard held down the boards for Kake, keeping Yakutat from scoring the second-chance buckets they needed to stage a serious comeback. Jay Peterson hit six 3-pointers on the way to a game-leading 28 points.
“We’ve been in the gym working out every day on shooting drills with my younger teammates. It’s like riding a bike again, we’ve been playing together for a good 20 years plus, and have won some championships together. We’ve got some good chemistry,” Peterson said, referring to a 2006-2012 period where Kake won the C bracket championship every year. Following Peterson’s 28 points was Nick Davis with 20, Willis Cavenaugh with 12 and Kip Howard with nine.Frank Jack and Gary Klushkan led Yakutat in scoring with 17 points each. Bob Rockwood added 14 while Sam Demmert contributed nine.
Gary Klushkan said his team exhibited the ill effects of father time.
“Our team? A little tired, feeling our age. They (Kake) are always tough. They don’t miss their shots too often, and we couldn’t contain them. Too winded, not a big enough bench. We have to get a little tougher on defense and not leave our guys too wide open. It’s tough to do when you’re playing a zone,” Klushkan said.
Kake looks forward to a 6 p.m. Thursday matchup between the winner of a Hoonah-Klukwan game.