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Hooper Bay Warriors take second at state, while other Y-K teams play hard in consolation games

Elyssa Loughlin

Dozens of teams representing small schools across the state descended on the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage from March 13 to March 16 for the finale of their busy seasons in the 1A/2A ASAA State Championships.

Among teams from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the Hooper Bay Warriors fought valiantly on the 2A boys side, but ultimately lost the championship to the Petersburg Vikings 33-41.

For 1A boys, the Scammon Bay Eagles gave teams a run for their money, beating the Koliganek Huskies in the opening round, 81-58. They also prevailed over the Shishmaref Northern Lights 75-63 in the quarterfinals, but then lost to the King Cove T-Jacks 58-71 in the semifinals, ultimately taking fifth place.

While Aniak fans had high hopes for their hometown team, the Halfbreeds ultimately lost out in the opening round of the tournament to the King Cove T-Jacks 40-80. But in consolation games, Aniak went on to handily beat out the Nunamiut Amaguq (61-50) and Kipnuk Falcons (64-33).

While the Kipnuk Falcons were trounced by the Shishmaref Northern Lights in the opening round of the tournament 61-29, they came out on top in a nail-biter against the Koliganek Huskies 51-50 in consolation play.

In the end, the King Cove T-Jacks came out on top for the 1A boys, beating out the defending state champs, the Kake Thunderbirds, 39-31. In 2023, the Thunderbirds generated significant buzz in high school hoops by going undefeated during the regular season. But 2024 was not their year.

On the 1A girls side, the Fort Yukon Lady Eagles took home the championship, beating the Newhalen Lady Malamutes 62-51.

While Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta fans were watching the Napaskiak Lady Hawks closely at state, the team ultimately took a heavy loss to Fort Yukon in the opening round, 38-78. The Lady Hawks did, however, beat the Lumen Christi Archangels in their consolation game, 49-44.

The St. Mary's Lady Eagles saw a similar outcome, losing to the Newhalen Lady Malamutes in the opening round of the tournament 28-69, but then besting the Birch Christian Warriors in a consolation match, 32-27.

Another local team, the Akiak Lady Thunderbolts had a rough go in the tournament, losing to the Shaktoolik Wolverines in the opening round 28-78, and then taking a 9-56 loss against the Skagway Lady Panthers in consolation play.

For 2A girls, the Metlakatla Lady Chiefs prevailed over the Tikigaq Harpooners 51-42 to take state.

Updated: March 18, 2024 at 4:29 PM AKDT
This article has an updated headline and story arrangement.
Evan Erickson is a reporter at KYUK who has previously worked as a copy editor, audio engineer and freelance journalist.
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