The second of the semi-final matchups in the Masters Division at the 2023 All Native Basketball Tournament has been set as Hydaburg AK defeated Skidegate this morning (Feb. 17) 81 – 63.
This morning the team from Alaska came out firing knocking down 15 buckets for 26 points to Skidegate’s 7 in the first quarter.
Skidegate was not finished, however, rebounding to take the second quarter 24 -14 and pull to within nine points at the half.
That was as close as it would get, however, as Hydaburg opened the scoring in the second half then, following one basket from their opponents, went on a 10 – 0 run early on. From there, the hole just got deeper until the very end when Skidegate had an 11-point run of their own too little, too late.
Hydaburg, perennial favourites having held the Masters title for five straight years from 2015 to 2019, got off to a rough start this year losing their opening-round game on Sunday to Gitxsan (Hazelton) by a single point 49-48.
Since then, however, they have easily wound their way through the elimination bracket knocking off Nuxalk (Bella Coola) 92-54, Gitga’at (Hartley Bay) 89 – 66, Massett 80 -67 and second-seeded Gitwinksihlkw 97-71.
A standout for the team has been TJ Young, who has been their top scorer in all but one of their six games racking up 136 points along the way.
Should Hydaburg defeat Prince Rupert in their semi-final this afternoon and go on to win the All Native 2023 title, Young is the odds on favourite to be tournament MVP.
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