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Sitka defeats Craig to place 7th

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Sitka High School Wolves took the seventh-place boys bracket game over the Craig High School Panthers behind a 15-5 third quarter.

The Wolves, who never trailed during the game, were led by senior guard Gavin Flores, who set the pace, tone and knocked down threes and layups. Flores scored 12 points, while teammate Joe Harris added 10.

The Panthers were led by senior forwards Timothy Benolken and John McKinley. McKinley finished with 21 points, and Benolken put up 11 points, muscling his way to the basket, dropping several layups and floaters from the paint.

The Wolves got off to a 4-0 start in the first three and a half minutes before Benolken scored. Flores drove coast to coast for a layup, putting the Wolves up 8-2. In response, Benolken muscled his way in for a hop-step layup, got fouled, and completed the three-point play. At the end of the first quarter, the Wolves led 10-5.

To start the second quarter, Craig’s Benolken ran the length of the floor for a layup.

The Sitka Wolves scored the next seven ponts, before a three from McKinley made the score 17-10. The remainder of the quarter was almost shot for shot with McKinley laying up, Flores hitting a three, and a back-to-back layup and floater by Benolken.

The Panthers ran their offense primarily through Benolken and McKinley. In contrast, the Wolves shared the ball more, and seven of their players scored in the second quarter. At halftime the score was 27-19 in favor of the Sitka Wolves.

Sitka’s McKinley started the second half scooping his way into the paint and scoring, bringing the Panthers within six. However, the Wolves went on a 15-3 run to end the third quarter, including a breakaway layup from Makai Saline and a three-pointer from Ryan Bartlett. At the end of the third quarter, the Wolves were up 42-24.

The Craig Panthers outscored the Sitka Wolves 9-8 in the final quarter, but fell short of making a comeback.

The fourth quarter started with a three-point play from McKinley after he got fouled on a layup. Sitka answered with back-to-back threes from Flores and Mason Eubanks.

A steal by Benolken led to a layup, and then McKinley stole the ball and sunk a floater bringing the game to 33-48 with 3:40 left in the game. The Panthers did not score again, and the Sitka Wolves went on to win 50-33.

Scoring Line

Sitka: Gavin Flores 12;  Joe Harris 10; Makai Saline 6; Ryan Bartlett 6; Clay Pearson 5; Mason Eubanks 4; Issa AlBawwab 3; Liam Miller 3.

Craig:  John McKinley 21; Timothy Benolken 11; Rogan Hanson 1.