By Van Williams
Classic Media Director
The Ronan Chiefs of Montana ended the game on a 10-0 run to rally for a 56-51 victory over the Metlakatla Chiefs in a consolation game on Day 2 of the Alaska Airlines Classic at West High.
Ronan became the first team from Montana to win a Classic game, and the team from Big Sky country needed a big-time rally to get it done.
Down 23-8 after the first quarter, they slowly worked their way back into the game. Marlo Tonasket Jr. scored seven points in about 90 seconds to get Ronan within 25-15. Later, Josiah Misa scored seven straight points to tie the game at 46.
The fourth quarter is when things got good.
Metlakatla was led by Cameron Gaube’s 18 points. He scored 13 of his team’s first 20 points, then had a flurry of free throws late to give his team a 49-46 lead. Troy Russell’s floater extended the lead to 51-46.
From that point, it was all Ronan. (6-6) Tonasket had a blocked shot – his sixth rejection in two games – that led to a layup from Jordan Gatch that pulled the Chiefs within one. Misa also took two charges.
Kolby Finley scored on a pretty feed from Coffman to give Ronan a 52-51 advantage, the first lead for the Montana team since a 6-4 lead early in the first quarter.
Coffman and Gatch scored the final four points to propel Ronan into Saturday’s fourth-place game.
Misa led Ronan with 17 points and Tonasket added 14 points and five rebounds.
Metlakatla (3-5) got a game-high scoring total from Gaube and 10 more from Harvey Booth. TJ Jackson scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Shayne Anderson added six points and boards.
Metlakatla 23 15 9 4 – 51
Ronan 8 23 15 10 – 56
METLAKATLA – Rolando 0, Buhler 0, B. Booth 0, Russell 5, Jackson 6, Gaube 18, H. Booth 10, Anderson 6, O’Brien 6.
RONAN – Zepeda 0, Lozeau 3, McCrea Jr. 0, Qualtier 2, Pretty On Top 0, Finley 6, Misa 17, Coffman III 8, Gatch 6, Curley 0, Tonasket Jr. 14.