Half of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region’s six competing high school basketball teams are advancing to the semifinals in the Alaska School Activities Association’s March Madness. Two are girls teams and one is a boys team.
The first team to secure a place on the semifinal court were the Chevak girls. The Comets overcame a rocky start to defeat the Tok Wolverines on Thursday, April 1 with a score of 59 to 34. With one win behind them, coaches Priscillia Matchian and Mary Ulroan are developing a different strategy for the semifinal match.
“Yes we do. And we’re saving it till the next game," the coaches said, laughing. "It’s going to be a different game.”
The Comets face off against the Susitna Rams at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 2.
The April 1 opening games brought good news for the Hooper Bay Warriors. Both the girls and boys teams secured a place in the semifinals. The Warrior girls’ victory was tough. The Warriors 43-point win was only one point more than the Tikigaq Harpooners’ final score of 42. The Warrior girls take the court Friday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. against the Glenallen Panthers.
The Warrior boys won their match against the Susitna Valley Rams, but by a much bigger margin. The Hooper Bay boys’ final score was 70 to Susitna Valley’s 47. The Warrior boys will play the Tok Wolverines Friday night.
The winners of the semifinal games go on to play for the championship on Saturday, April 3.
Those teams that did not make it to the semifinals get more time on the court on April 2, playing in a consolation tournament. Among them are three teams from the region: the Alakanuk Braves girls team and two boys teams: the Scammon Bay Eagles and the Pilot Station King Salmon.
KYUK is broadcasting games from the Alaska Basketball State Championship tournament.