The Southeast champion Skagway girls basketball team will face a familiar foe in the opening round of the Class 2A girls state tournament later this week in Anchorage.
The Panthers will play Ninilchik at 5:10 p.m. Thursday at Service High School. Ninilchik - the five-time defending state champion - beat Skagway in the state semifinals last year. Earlier this season, Skagway defeated then-top-ranked Ninilchik at a tournament in Tok.
On the opposite side of the bracket, the Southeast runner-up Yakutat girls will have to get up early as they play Point Hope-Tikigaq at 8 a.m. Thursday.
If Skagway wins, it will face the winner of the Galena-Unalakleet game in the semifinals. If Yakutat wins, it will face the winner of the Bristol Bay-Tri-Valley game. The championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Hoonah, winner of the Southeast boys basketball title, will face Bristol Bay at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Class 2A boys state tournament, also at Service High School. Southeast runner-up Kake plays Unalakleet at 11:20 a.m. Thursday.
If Hoonah wins, the Braves will play the winner of the Galena-Point Hope-Tikigaq game in the semifinals. If Kake wins, the Thunderbirds will face the winner of the Cook Inlet Academy-Tok game. The state final is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. Saturday.
The Skagway and Yakutat girls are each making their second straight trip to the state tournament. The Kake boys last made state in 2001, while Hoonah last reached state in 1998.