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The third try was the charm for the Skagway girls in their efforts to beat perennial power Ninilchik.
After losing to five-time defending state champion Ninilchik twice last season - including in the state semifinals - Skagway finally beat the top-ranked Wolverines at last weekend's Tok Round Robin Tournament.
The Panthers, ranked third in the state among Class 2A girls teams, defeated the Wolverines 51-36 on Friday, and finished with a 3-0 tourney record after edging Galena 43-41 on Thursday and beating Wainwright-Alak 73-40 on Saturday.
"They're thrilled," Skagway coach Lara Labesky said of her team after the tournament, and the Ninilchik win in particular. "It was such a team effort. Everyone was involved."
Skagway (17-1 overall) took a halftime lead over Ninilchik (17-3 overall), and the Panthers made late free throws to stay ahead as the Wolverines were forced to foul. Savannah Ames scored a game-high 17 points for Skagway, while Tiffanie Potter and Michelle Harris added 10 apiece for the Panthers.
On Thursday, Skagway trailed Galena - ranked fourth in the state - by eight points with less than one minute to play, and by five points with less than 30 seconds. As Galena (14-3 overall) went cold from the free-throw line, Skagway - and Harris in particular - got hot.
"We kept on driving (to the basket) so they would foul us," Labesky said. "We kept stopping the clock and getting foul shots."
Skagway's Audrey Neitzer made the winning basket with 11 seconds left. Harris finished with 11 points and Candi Ketterman added 10 for Skagway.
Ames poured in 28 points in Saturday's win over Wainwright-Alak (12-4 overall). Harris added 15 points for Skagway in the easy win.
Skagway has traveled to the Tok tourney for several years, and Labesky said the experience pays off in the postseason.
"The Tok tournament is so good for us," she said. "To get up there and get that competition is invaluable. If we didn't have that, I don't know how we'd do going up to state. ... To see them adjust so well (to new teams and situations), it's just so promising."
Sitka girls sweep Barrow
Natalia Potrzuski's outside shooting helped lead the Class 4A Sitka girls to a home sweep of Class 3A Barrow last weekend.
Potrzuski scored 13 points - including three 3-pointers - as Sitka rallied to beat Barrow 65-59 on Friday, and she scored 21 points - with a pair of 3-pointers - on Saturday as the Wolves defeated the Whalers 58-44.
Friday's game was tied 24-all at halftime, and Barrow led 43-38 after three quarters. Potrzuski scored five points in the final period - while K.J. Lorenzo hit two of her four 3-pointers - as Sitka ended the game on a 27-16 run.
Lorenzo added 12 points and Helen Kennedy had 11 on Friday for Sitka (12-4 overall). Princess Eduarte scored a game-high 23 points for Barrow, including four 3-pointers.
On Saturday, Sitka led by just two at halftime - 29-27 - before going on a 14-7 run in the third quarter. Joy Ribao added eight points, and Lorenzo and Tawny Hoyt each scored six for the Wolves. Whitney Congdon scored 12 points, and Eduarte and Trinna Pili added nine apiece for the Whalers (10-9 overall).
Sitka will travel to Juneau on Friday and Saturday for a pair of Southeast Conference-Class 4A games.
Mount Edgecumbe girls sweep Petersburg, beat Barrow
Kim Rychnovsky and Jennifer Evan scored 12 points apiece on Friday as the Mount Edgecumbe girls beat visiting Petersburg 51-40.
On Saturday, Carlotta Evan and Skeeter Atoruk scored 13 points apiece as the conference-leading Braves beat the Vikings 55-47 to complete a sweep of their Southeast-Class 3A series.
Mount Edgecumbe (17-1 overall, 11-1 SE) used an 18-9 third-quarter run to pull away on Friday, and overcome a 16-point effort by Gillian Severson for Petersburg (11-5 overall, 7-3 SE).
Rychnovsky added 12 points on Saturday for the Braves, who trailed 22-18 at halftime. Callie Bell scored 12 points, Severson chipped in 11 and Lynsey Richards scored 10 for the Vikings.
On Thursday, Mount Edgecumbe hosted Barrow and beat the visiting Whalers 69-48. Rychnovsky scored 16 points - including four 3-pointers - as the Braves took a 38-22 halftime lead. Atoruk added 13 points and Jolene Jackinsky had 11 for Mount Edgecumbe. Whitney Congdon scored 11 points to lead Barrow.
Wrangell girls sweep Metlakatla
Laurie Brown scored 17 points and Tessa Appleman added 14 on Saturday as the Wrangell girls beat host Metlakatla 42-39 to complete a sweep of their Southeast-Class 3A series.
Appleman poured in 21 points on Friday as the Wolves beat the MissChiefs 40-33.
Wrangell (7-7 overall and SE) trailed 23-21 at halftime Saturday before going on a 11-4 run in the third quarter. Courtney McCay added six points for the Wolves. Hannah Henderson scored nine points and three players - Susan Thompson, Brandi Hayward and Lindsay Schwehm - scored six apiece for Metlakatla (3-14 overall, 1-9 SE).
On Friday, Brown added nine points for the Wolves, who led by just two points 26-24 - entering the final period. Kristy Didrickson scored eight points to lead the MissChiefs.
Klawock girls sweep Hoonah
Sharon Webb scored 15 points on Saturday to lead the Klawock girls to a 33-20 win over visiting Hoonah and a sweep of their Southeast-Class 2A series.
On Friday, Kaleigh Ryno scored 13 points as the Chieftains beat the Braves 34-24.
Ryno had 10 points in Saturday's victory, as Klawock (7-7 overall, 6-6 SE) led just 9-6 at halftime but broke away with an 11-6 run in the third quarter. Jessica Skaflestad and Kristi Skaflestad scored 10 points apiece to provide all the scoring for Hoonah (12-6 overall, 6-6 SE).
On Friday, the Chieftains built a 19-9 halftime edge as Webb chipped in nine points. Brooke Lampe scored eight points and Jessica Skaflestad added seven for the Braves.
Kake, Angoon girls split
Raeanne Mills scored 15 points - 12 in the fourth quarter - as the Kake girls rallied to beat host Angoon 54-50 on Friday. On Saturday, Angoon won 57-43 for a split of the Southeast-Class 2A series.
Kake (6-7 overall, 4-6 SE) trailed 40-34 entering the fourth quarter on Friday before completing the comeback. Megan Gregory added 12 points for the Thunderbirds. Chenera Kookesh scored 16 points to lead Angoon (5-9 overall, 3-9 SE), while Samantha Williams added 13 and Sunnie Duncan scored 10.
Saturday's game was tied at halftime, but Angoon powered ahead with a 24-7 edge in the third quarter. Jessica Williams scored 19 points and Samantha Williams added 13 for Angoon. Kake scoring information was not available.
Hoonah girls sweep Hydaburg
Kristi Skaflestad scored 27 points on Feb. 23 as the Hoonah girls beat host Hydaburg 43-29 to complete a sweep of their Southeast-Class 2A series. She scored 12 points and Jessica Skaflestad added 13 as the Braves beat the Warriors 39-26 on Feb. 22.
Stasha Guthrie scored 18 points on Feb. 23 for Hydaburg (2-13 overall, 1-11 SE), while Mary Cline led the Warriors with 10 points on Feb. 22.
The Juneau Empire's weekly Southeast Hoops Roundup feature is compiled by Andrew Krueger from results sent to the Empire by school athletic directors and team coaches, along with regional media reports. Scoresheets and/or game highlights should be faxed to 1-907-586-3028 (attention sports) or e-mailed to email@example.com by noon on Monday so this feature and region standings can be compiled. For more information, call the Empire sports desk at 1-907-586-3740.