By Jeff Brady
The Skagway High School basketball teams ended their season in Ketchikan short of their goal of a top-two region finish and a trip to state tournament.
The third seed girls had the best shot and opened strong with a big win over Thorne Bay on March 4 (see scores below), but they were knocked off in the semifinal round March 5 by a surging Kake team that eventually won the region title. The Lady Panthers then fell in a heartbreaking one-point loss to Hoonah in the consolation round on March 6.
Coach Nate Jennings said the loss will sting for a while.
“The tournament was not the ending we had in mind,” he said. “The last game against Hoonah was intense and came down to the wire. We picked the wrong time for our shots to go cold. Eight points at the half was mind blowing to me, because this team is so good offensively. Ended up losing by one after a hectic and controversial final three minutes of the game.”
The fifth seed Skagway men’s team dropped its opening game against Kake, but rallied with two easy wins in the consolation round over Hoonah and Gustavus on March 5. They appeared to be in good shape going up next against Klawock, a team they had beaten on the road this season, but the Chieftains were able to dominate Skagway at the tourney.
Men’s coach Ross Barrett praised his young team and will have everyone back next season.
“Overall, I’m happy with how much the team has improved over the course of the season,” Barrett said. “The outcome of the tournament didn’t happen the way we wanted it to but I am very proud of everything we accomplished this year and I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Both teams had to sit on the sidelines and watch the finals Friday night and consolation final for second place on Saturday, but they were not done.
Skagway racked up three of the four individual awards in the skills contests Saturday. Gavin Goebel won the 3-point shooting contest and Silas Myers won the free throw contest for the men, while Jessica Whitehead won the women’s free throw contest.
Making the all-conference teams for Skagway were seniors Eliza Myers and Jessica Whitehead and junior Silas Myers.
Jennings had special praise for his two seniors.
“The hardest part was realizing I had just coached my last game with Eliza and Jessica being seniors,” Jennings said. “The two of them taught me so much as a coach and were great role models for the younger ones on the team. Next year is already on my mind. The six players we have returning are going to be tough to beat. I know all six of them are dedicating next year to Jessica and Eliza.”
FINAL NET RESULTS
SHS WOMEN (7-5 league, 1-2 tourney, 13-11 overall)
Feb. 22-23 – Kake 47, at Skagway 41: KAK-W. Jackson 19, C. James 16, Copsey 4, D. Jackson 4, Travica 4; SGY- Sager 13, J. Whitehead 12, E. Myers 5, A. Myers 6, Z. Whitehead 5. Kake 52, Skagway 36: KAK- W. Jackson 17, C. James 14, Beer 10, Copsey 4, D. Jackson 3, Crookes 2, Travica 2; SGY- Sager 17, E. Myers 7, Hisman 5, Rodig 4, A. Myers 3.
March 4-6 Region V 1A Tourney at Ketchikan – Skagway 47, Thorne Bay 26: SGY- E. Myers 13, A. Myers 11, T. Sager 9, J. Whitehead 6, Hisman 4, Rodig 4; TB- Schwab 11, Hills 6, Huestis 5, Scamahorn 2, Gunkel 2. Semifinal- Kake 56, Skagway 27 (scoring unavailable). Hoonah 26, Skagway 25: HNH- Michel 9, Morrison 9, Wilson 3, Howland 3, Moss 2; SGY- T. Sager 9, Hisman 8, E. Myers 6, A. Myers 2.
SHS MEN (9-7 league, 2-2 tourney, 11-16 overall)
Feb. 22-23- Kake 70, Skagway 24: KAK- Knudsen 42, Kadake 11, Ross 8, Crookes 7, del Fierro 2; SGY- S. Myers 8, Bricker 6, J. Sager 5, Goebel 3, Ozuzun 3, Lawrence 1. Kake 58, Skagway 38: KAK- Knudsen 21, Kadake 10, Ward 8, Ross 7, Crookes 7, del Fierro 5; SGY- Goebel 15, S. Myers 11, Bricker 6, Ozuzun 3, J. Sager 1.
March 4-6 Region V 1A Tourney at Ketchikan – Kake 41, Skagway 34 (Skagway led 11-10 after Q1, scoring unavailable); Skagway 59, Hoonah 25: SGY- Goebel 34, S. Myers 8, Ozuzun 7, Bricker 6, J. Sager 4; HNH- Austin 6, Ruerup 6, Cromner 5, Ross 4, Jack 4. Skagway 52, Gustavus 40: SGY- S. Myers 20, Goebel 17, Bricker 7, Ozuzun 3, J. Sager 3, Burnham 2; GUS- Wagner 15, Patrick 12, Shatswell 10, Glenn 3. Klawock 68, Skagway 30: KLA- K. Isaacs 21, Yockey 19, Yates 6, Sanchez 4, J. Isaacs 4, Sanderson 3, Dilts 3, Fairbanks 3, Guthrie 3, Hoppe 2; SGY- Goebel 15, S. Myers 12, Bricker 3.