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Bethel basketball teams come in 2nd and 3rd at regionals; cheer team wins title

Bethel’s Warriors and Lady Warriors played hard at the 3A Western Conference Championships in Utqiaġvik over the weekend.

The Lady Warriors came in second in the conference after beating the Nome-Beltz Lady Nanooks 52-22 on Saturday, March 9. The Lady Warriors will advance to the 3A Basketball State Championship in Anchorage, which will be held March 20 through March 23.

In addition to punching a ticket to state, the Lady Warriors received the tournament All-Academic recognition for the highest team GPA. Senior Isabel Lieb earned All-Tournament honors.

Only the first and second-place teams in the tournament advance to state. And while the Warriors had a strong game against the Barrow Whalers on March 9, they couldn’t catch up and lost to the Whalers 50-58. That marks the end of the season for the Warrior boys.

The Warriors ended the tournament with the All-Academic Award and Sportsmanship Award. Greg Turner made the boys’ All-Tournament team.

The Bethel Regional High School Cheer Team also competed in their regional competition in Utqiaġvik over the weekend, coming in first place and winning the Academic Award for highest GPA.

Basketball tournament summary

Earlier in the regional tournament, both the Warriors and Lady Warriors experienced wins and losses.

The Warrior boys lost their first game on Thursday, March 7 against the Nome-Beltz Nanooks, but came back with an overtime win in a thrilling game against the Kotzebue Huskies the next day. They beat the Huskies 79-78, which secured the Warriors a place in the second-place match. While the boys did their best, they couldn’t match the Barrow Whalers in that second-place match.

On March 7, the Lady Warriors won their first game against the Nome-Beltz Lady Nanooks to advance to the championship game, but lost to the Barrow Lady Whalers 47-84 on March 8. They moved on to the game for second place, which they won, ensuring their place at the state championships.

From March 13 to March 16, 1A and 2A basketball teams from around the state head to Anchorage for their state championships, including Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta teams the Kipnuk Falcons, Napaskiak Lady Hawks, Aniak Halfbreeds, Akiak Lady Thunderbolts, Scammon Bay Eagles and Lady Eagles, Emmonak Huskies, St. Mary’s Lady Eagles, and the Hooper Bay Warriors and Lady Warriors.

The following weekend, Bethel's Lady Warriors will join other 3A and 4A teams from around Alaska for the second weekend of state basketball championship games in Anchorage.

Sage Smiley is KYUK's news director.