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SITKA (KDN) — As it turned out, Metlakatla High School needed every one of its 64 points on Friday.
After jumping out to a 14-5 lead in the Region V 2A championship game against Petersburg High School, and carrying a 30-19 lead at the half, the Chiefs struggled to outscore the Vikings after the break.
Metlakatla allowed a combined 44 points in the final two quarters, including a 31-point showing from the Vikings in the final frame.
But at the final buzzer, Chiefs were still ahead. And Metlakatla won the regional title game at Mt. Edgecumbe High School 64-63.
Petersburg began playing a chess match in the second half, strategically fouling the Chiefs early in the final frame. That stopped the clock and gave the Vikings more possessions.
But Metlakatla took advantage of its opportunities from the free throw line, and sunk 14-of-16 in the fourth quarter.
As a team, the Chiefs shot 86 percent from the line. And with every point tallied, Metlakatla stayed just out of Petersburg's reach.
The Chiefs advance to their second-straight state tournament, which will be played in Anchorage later this month.
Metlakatla: Desmond King, 25; Conrad Hudson Jr., 16; Aidan Rolando, 11; Coleton Hayward, 9; Jason Williams, 3.
Petersburg: Thomas Darkin, 19; Louden Sandhofer, 13; Gunnar Payne, 10; Rylan Wallace, 10; Brayden Larson, 6; Brennan Skeek, 3; Zephrie Whitehorn, 2.