The Juneau Empire’s expanded coverage of the Juneau Lions Club 74th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament is made possible by Sealaska Corp. Thanks to this sponsorship, this article —and all of this year’s Gold Medal coverage — is available online without a subscription to the Empire.
No undefeated teams were harmed in the writing of this story, but one will move on to Saturday’s B Bracket championship game at the Juneau Lions Club 74th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé gymnasium, and the other heads toward an elimination game.
Juneau’s Kaleb Tompkins scored 20 points to lead the home-town team over Hydaburg 86-70 in an athletic and physical contest that saw Tompkins lose a tooth on defense.
“My first Gold Medal loss of a tooth,” Tompkins said. “But it feels good though…”
Juneau opened the game on a 11-3 run that featured Tompkins finding range inside and outside the arch and Stewart Conn and Chase Saviers driving to the key. Hydaburg’s Jaren Carle hit the lone bucket from distance.
Hydaburg would close the score to 11-9 as Darren Edenshaw hit back-to-back shots past the arch, but Juneau put a burst of shots in on a 10-0 run.
A couple shots by Hydaburg’s Vinnie Edenshaw were answered by another Juneau run and they finished the first quarter up 29-13.
“Just keeping up the intensity,” Tompkins said. “Not all the shots are going to fall so playing defense, you know, rebounding and all that stuff… they don’t give up, that’s part of Gold Medal. We have just got to bring it every game.”
Hydaburg outscored Juneau 15-14 in the second quarter to trail 43-28 as George Peratrovich and Darren Edenshaw connected from distance and their defense slowed Juneau’s break. Juneau’s Riley Olsen, Terrence Wheat and Mahina Toutaiolepo all notched two baskets in the stanza.
“They are tough,” Juneau’s Saviers said. “They missed some shots and then they hit some really tough ones. It was just a good game all the way around, we just happened to hit a couple more and come out with the win. We just have to play with pace and clean up our turnovers.”
Hydaburg would work the score to within 10 points, 56-46, with under a minute to go in the third quarter on a Carle shot past the arch.
Juneau’s Olsen hit a shot from distance for a 59-46 lead and Hydaburg’s V. Edenshaw answered with another long bomb and teammate D. Edenshaw scored to cut the deficit to 59-51.
Juneau’s Saviers set up in the corner for a long shot that pushed the lead to 11, 62-51, as the quarter ended.
The team’s exchanged baskets until Klukwan earned another nine point deficit, 67-58, on a deep shot by TJ Young but Juneau answered with an 8-3 run by Seymour, Olsen and Wheat for a 75-61 lead with four minutes left to play.
Juneau’s Tompkins and Saviers went on a nine point binge to counter three charity stripe shots by Hydaburg’s Vinnie Edenshaw and Darren Edenshaw.
Juneau controlled the ball down the stretch despite Hydaburg’s full court pressure to close out the win.
Tompkins led Juneau with 20 points, Saviers added 16, Olsen 15, Seymour 12, Conn nine, Toutailepo eight and Wheat six.
Juneau hit 7-8 from the free throw line, Hydaburg 10-13.
Darren Edenshaw led Hydaburg with 24 points, Vinnie Edenshaw added 22, Carle 14, and Peratrovich and Young five apiece.
“I think coming out of our last game we had, the second quarter of the Haines game, we had our best basketball that we play,” Hydaburg’s Claude Young said. “Tonight we never really got there. We never really got to that level where we finished our last game. It could be from two days off, it could be from just needing to relax more coming out, but definitely not Hydaburg basketball. That was our worst game of the tournament. We deserve to lose it when we play like that. Now we got an extra game, we got past Angoon once and that game was our worst game up until tonight so we can’t really get any worse than where we were tonight… I think our boys will respond in the right way like we always do and we’ll come back… it should be a good one tomorrow with Angoon and then maybe get another crack at these guys Saturday night.”
Juneau will play in the 8 p.m. championship game on Saturday against the winner of Friday’s 8 p.m. elimination game between Hydaburg and Angoon.
Juneau (33 titles) last won the top-tier championship in 2005 when it was the A Bracket. The town’s last title was the Masters bracket in 2009.