The Metlakatla boys and Petersburg girls are the teams to beat heading into this year's Region V-Class 3A basketball tournament, which starts today at Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka.
The Chiefs and Vikings hold top spots in their respective brackets, but they have first-round byes until Thursday. Today's competition will feature lower-seeded teams battling to advance to face the top seeds.
Southeast's six Class 3A teams are divided into three-team North and South Divisions. Placement in those divisions determines tournament seeding.
In the Class 3A boys' bracket, North No. 2 Petersburg will play a familiar foe - South No. 3 Wrangell - at 5:30 p.m. today. North No. 3 Haines will face South No. 2 Craig at 9 p.m. tonight.
The Petersburg-Wrangell winner will advance to play South No. 1 Metlakatla at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, while the Haines-Craig winner will face North No. 1 Mount Edgecumbe at 9 p.m. Thursday.
Consolation matches will be held early Friday, and the championship game will be held at 5:15 p.m. Friday.
In the Class 3A girls' bracket, North No. 2 Mount Edgecumbe will play South No. 3 Wrangell at 3:45 p.m. today, while North No. 3 Haines will face South No. 2 Craig at 7:15 p.m. tonight.
The Mount Edgecumbe-Wrangell winner will play South No. 1 Metlakatla at noon Thursday, while the Haines-Craig winner will play North No. 1 Petersburg at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
Consolation matches will be held early Friday, and the championship game will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
The top two Class 3A boys and and top two Class 3A girls teams - those that make Friday's championship games - earn state tournament berths. The Craig boys and Petersburg girls are the defending region champions. The Petersburg boys and Mount Edgecumbe girls also reached the state tourney last year. The Craig boys are defending Class 3A state champions.
Class 4A competition begins on Thursday as the Sitka and Ketchikan girls and boys face each other at 3:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., respectively. The winners advance to play the Juneau on Friday at 7:15 p.m. (girls) and 9 p.m. (boys). The winners of those games will make state.
More details on Juneau and the Class 4A tourney will run in Thursday's Juneau Empire.
On Saturday, the region tourney concludes with the traditional Class 3A-4A crossover Southeast championship games, played for pride but with no bearing on the state tournament.
Girls play at 5:15 p.m. and boys play at 7 p.m. on Saturday, with consolation games earlier in the afternoon.
Last year in Ketchikan, the Juneau girls beat Petersburg to win the Southeast crown, while Craig rolled over the Juneau boys to claim the title.
Pep bands, cheer squads and dance teams will also be performing at the region tournament. Look for tournament coverage throughout the week in the Juneau Empire.
The Juneau Empire sports desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.