Whitehorse stands tall over competition in Hotch tournament
John S. Hagen
Joe Parnell of Haines defends Whitehorse player Brian White during the championship game of the Dick Hotch Memorial Tournament.
A massive Whitehorse team avenged two earlier losses to a Juneau squad to take the title at the Dick Hotch Memorial Basketball Tournament on Sunday.
Whitehorse used its height advantage to edge Lonnie Anderson’s team, the defending champions, 73-70.
The tournament drew eight adult teams from Haines, Juneau, Klukwan, Skagway and Whitehorse. The Chilkat Warriors of Juneau placed third.
First-team all-tournament performers included Chad Curlew and Rob Larose of Whitehorse, Alex Heumann and Adam Nelson of the runner-up Juneau team, and Jacob Hotch of the Chilkat Warriors.
Larose was named “Most Inspirational,” and Hotch earned $150 for draining the most three-pointers during the four-day competition.
A second $150 donation from Ed Warren went to Nelson as the top free-throw shooter at the event, and Nelson gave the money back to the tournament.
“It’s things like that that make this job so easy,” said organizer Larry Sweet. “People ask me, ‘Why do you do this every year?’ and it’s for reasons like this.”
Sweet and Anderson were inducted into the tournament’s Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony in Karl Ward Gymnasium.
Second-team all-tournament performers were Cody Hotch, Chilkat Thunder; Adrian Nash, Haines Merchants; Jason Shull, Klukwan Chilkats; Tom Ward Jr ., Harbor Heat; and Logan Weber, Skagway.
Bo Graham of the Haines Merchants received the sportsmanship award, elder Joe Hotch was honored as “Best Fan,” and Colin LaForme of Whitehorse was named most valuable player. LaForme competed at the Division I level for Youngstown State University in Ohio, which listed him at 6’10.’’
The event also featured three-point and free-throw contests Sunday morning. Christopher Hotch and Ashley Williamson won in the 10-11 age division, and Marty Fowler won the 12-13 division.
Three-point winners were Steve Fossman and Sam Clay. Fossman’s 23 treys in a minute again were just under world-record pace.