Haine's Sarah Elliot shoots against Craig's Tina Steffen during their 70th annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament championship game Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School. Haines won 54-49.

Haine's Sarah Elliot shoots against Craig's Tina Steffen during their 70th annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament championship game Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School. Haines won 54-49.

Haines women exact revenge

Haines earned some revenge against Craig in the Womens Bracket championship.

After being bounced to the losers bracket by their championship-contending opponents, the women from Haines bested Craig 54-49 in the title game Saturday afternoon at Juneau-Douglas High School.

The game was a streaky, scrappy affair. Both teams failed to score during long periods, and spent a lot of time on the ground fighting for loose balls.

Leading scorer for champion Haines Jaime Stanford said her team benefitted from their second round loss to Craig.

“We finally figured out how to play as a team,” she said. “… We haven’t all played together so once we figured out how we all played together and how we all clicked together, you know, honestly, losing helped us. It helped us learn how to play together and be a team. In the second half of the first game that Craig beat us, we figured out how to beat them, we figured out how to play man (defense).”

Stanford scored 12 points in the win and was elected to the all-tournament team. Haines’ Stoli Lynch followed Stanford with 11 points for her team. Alisa Beske added 10.

Craig’s excellent all-tournament shooter Vanessa James was hurt in the first half, and didn’t look quite herself for the rest of the game. Despite a calf injury, James scored 17 points for Craig, exceeded only by teammate Christy House with 19. Christina Harris chipped in seven in the loss.

House talked about her team’s determination and the impact of James’ injury.

“We battled until the end, tough defense both ways,” House said, adding, “She (Vanessa James) kind of controls the tempo of our game. She plays with a lot of intensity and a lot of us play off that. It hurts when your leader goes off the court.”

Both teams would go on droughts during the game, as Craig failed to score for six minutes at the beginning of the second half, but broke their dry spell to go on an 8 point run. Haines would go on their own dry spell, failing to score for four minutes as Craig dwindled Haines’ 15-point lead down to one.

The tournament MVP was Alisa Beske for Haines.

The Womens Bracket all-tournament team consisted of Jaime Stanford and Stoli Lynch for Haines, Vanessa James and Christie House for Craig and Taryn White for Hoonah. Tina Steffin won the sportsmanship award for Haines.

Haine's Jamie Stanford attempts to steal the ball away from Craig's Tina Steffen during their 70th annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament championship game Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School. Haines won 54-49.

Haine’s Jamie Stanford attempts to steal the ball away from Craig’s Tina Steffen during their 70th annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament championship game Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School. Haines won 54-49.