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.
Kake and Sitka played a Masters Bracket elimination game Wednesday evening in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé gymnasium on the fourth day of this year’s Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.
While the game got off to a slow start and remained close in the first quarter, Sitka started to pull ahead by the second and managed to build up over a 20-point lead by halftime. It’s a lead that would only continue to increase as Sitka finished off Kake 67-43.
Sitka’s Norm Staton said while the taste of victory is sweet, the real prize is getting everyone back together for this time- honored tradition. Staton is a longtime Gold Medal participant and said he’s been playing in the tournament that gathers athletes from throughout Southeast Alaska since 1977.
“There’s a number of other good teams in the tournament,” Staton said. “Klukwan, Juneau and Hoonah, so we’ll go play them next; it’s going to be tough games, but it’s always lots of fun. I’m 72, I think I’m the oldest guy in the tournament, but I love it. I just look forward to this every year, just a great time. All the old players you’ve seen over the years and then you come back and play with, unfortunately a lot of them are gone now, but I still remember them, especially coming here and getting back on the court.”
Patrick Miller led Sitka in scoring with 23 points while Steve Edenshaw and Ray Kitka tied for 10. For Kake’s team, Rich Austin led in scoring for a total of 11 points.
Sitka now advances to play against Hoonah at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
A title for this team would be Sitka’s first time atop the Masters Bracket, and the town’s 16th title overall.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.