After a year and a half of losses, the Skagway High boys secured two wins against Angoon last weekend.
The team walked away with a bittersweet 58-14 victory Friday night, after Angoon co-captain Clinton Howard, fell to the floor from a groin injury with just 4:37 left in the second quarter. That left the Eagles with just four players to finish the game. Skagway held onto the lead from the beginning, finishing the second quarter 23 points ahead.
Two of Skagway’s players scored the majority of the team’s points, with junior exchange student Kota Shindo coming up big with 34 points and Alex Ackerman sinking 12. Freshman Danny Brady was also strong at the net, bringing in eight, while junior Colton Belisle secured another four points.
Due to Angoon’s injury, the Eagles had to forfeit their Saturday game, bringing in two wins for the Panthers. Despite the loss of a starter, Angoon held together and stuck it out to the end, with Howard returning to the court after being assessed at the clinic to support the Lady Eagles.
Coach Scott Lesh said the team owes their success to their defensive intensity and hustle, but said they need to work on communication.
“It seems like they’re learning, and it seems like they’re receptive,” he said.
The teams attempted a scrimmage on Sunday afternoon, and Lesh said the Panthers showed up ready to play, but the game lasted only 30 minutes before Angoon’s coach called it.
Though the wins were tainted with an injury, it was a definite improvement from last year, when Angoon beat Skagway 99-17, Lesh said.
And though improvements have been made, there is still work to be done. Lesh said he hopes to improve on defensive positions, blocking, zone breaking and communication.
“You can’t get complacent,” he said. “You have to realize that you’re playing against the game. There’s always room to improve.”
The Panther teams played the alumni Tuesday after this issue went to press and have a week of home games starting Jan. 5 culminating with the Don Hather Tournament.