The Juneau Monstarz knew who they wanted to take their last shot at their championship game this past weekend at the Mt. Edgecumbe Invitational.
Down by one point with under a minute to play against Southeast Thunder on Saturday, Kendri Cesar passed it to Nani Weimer with just a few seconds left on the clock.
“She made a lot of clutch shots for us and was draining 3’s all over for us, so I was hopeful it was going to go in,” Cesar said.
The shot missed the mark, but coming in second place in the 13th annual tournament isn’t too shabby. The invitational is three days shorter than its Juneau counterpart, Gold Medal, but features the same hard-nose competition.
The Monstarz — one four teams in the women’s division — lost to Southeast Thunder 46-45. Mary Berry scored 11 points and Danielle Larson dropped 10 points in the loss. The Monstarz saw several shots miss the target in the closing minutes of the second half, according to Cesar.
Juneau’s Shee Atika, playing in the master’s division, and the Juneau Monstarz went a combined 3-4 over three days of action at the BJ McGillis Fieldhouse at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.
“We were pretty focused on getting our shooters the ball in those last few minutes,” Cesar said.
Christine McGraw led the Southeast Thunder with 12 points while Mariah Simpkins, Crystal Blair and Breanne Erickson scored 10 apiece.
“It was just a tight game throughout,” Cesar said. “We played a really good team, they really wanted it, we really wanted it, but it didn’t quite shake out in our favor.”
Shee Atika, captained by Norm Staton and Ed Mercer, lost back-to-back games to finish the master’s tournament. Shee Atika lost 79-69 to Harry Race on Friday. Sean Joslyn and Ed Mercer scored 15 points each, James Mercer scored 12 points and Doug Drazkowski added 11.
Staton said it’s common for Alaska teams to invite Lower 48 talent to play with them. This year, the masters championship team from Fairbanks featured former Harlem Globe Trotter Warren Rosegreen. Rosegreen, who also played for University of Las Vegas, hasn’t lost his dunking ability, according to Staton.
“I think he averaged about 45 points a game, nobody could stop him,” Staton said.
In all there were 23 teams and a total of 36 games in the tournament.
13th annual Mt. Edgecumbe Invitational Basketball Tournament Results
Men’s Open Champions: Hydaburg
Men’s Open Runner-Up: Metlakatla
Most Valuable Player: Damon Bell-Holter
Men’s 37+ Champions: Wrangell
Men’s 37+ Runner-up: Klukwan Chilkats
Most Valuable Player: Dave Clark
Women’s Champions: Southeast Thunder
Women’s Runner-up: Juneau Monstarz
Most Valuable Player: Christine McGraw
Men’s Masters Champions: Fairbanks
Men’s Masters Runner-up: Klawock Old Totems
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.