The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls basketball teams may be up in Anchorage this weekend playing in the Class 4A state tournament. But that doesn't mean the JDHS main gym won't see some intense high school basketball games.
Dozens of players from the smaller schools around Southeast Alaska will converge on Juneau for the Region V-Class 2A tournament this Thursday through Saturday at JDHS. The top two boys teams and top two girls teams will earn spots at the Class 2A state tournament March 27-29 at Anchorage's Service High School.
The Hydaburg boys (20-1 overall, 14-0 region), who are ranked No. 1 in current Class 2A state poll, earned the top seed in the boys bracket and will have a first-round bye on Thursday. The top-seeded Kake girls (16-2 overall, 12-0 region), who are ranked second in the state, will also have a bye.
Thursday's first-round boys matchups pit the Yakutat Eagles (7-13 overall, 6-8 region) vs. the Klawock Chieftains (12-9, 7-7) at 1 p.m., the Skagway Panthers (18-5, 10-4) vs. the Hoonah Braves (9-14, 5-9) at 4:45 p.m. and the Kake Thunderbirds (14-6, 11-3) vs. the Angoon Eagles (3-16, 3-11) at 8:30 p.m. The top-seeded Warriors were originally supposed to play the Thorne Bay Wolverines at 9:30 a.m., but the winless Wolverines (0-17, 0-14) decided not to attend the tournament.
The Skagway-Hoonah and Kake-Angoon losers play a boys consolation game at 1 p.m. on Friday, while Hydaburg plays the Yakutat-Klawock winner at 4:45 p.m. in one semifinal and the Skagway-Hoonah and Kake-Angoon winners play at 8:30 p.m. in the other semifinal. The tournament concludes on Saturday with the fourth-sixth place game at 9:45 a.m., the third-fifth place game at 3:45 p.m. and the boys championship game at 7:30 p.m.
In girls first-round action on Thursday, Skagway (17-7, 7-5) plays Hoonah (8-11, 6-8) at 11:15 a.m., Klawock (13-8, 7-5) plays Hydaburg (4-13, 2-10) at 3 p.m. and Angoon (12-7, 8-4) plays Yakutat (4-13, 0-12) at 6:45 p.m.
On Friday, the Klawock-Hydaburg and Angoon-Yakutat losers play a girls consolation game at 11:15 a.m., with Kake taking on the Skagway-Hoonah winner in a 3 p.m. semifinal while the Klawock-Hydaburg and Angoon-Yakutat winners play at 8:45 p.m. in the other semi. Saturday's action includes the fourth-sixth place game at 8 a.m., the third-fifth place game at 2 p.m. and the girls championship game at 5:45 p.m.
This past week saw several key matchups that decided the final seedings for the region tournament, and the school to take the biggest hit was Skagway, which saw both its No. 3 teams in the state suffer losses. The Panthers had their boys slide from a second seed to third with a pair of losses at Kake, while the Skagway girls slipped from a second seed to fourth place with a pair of losses at Kake and a series split at Angoon.
The Kake boys held on to edge Skagway 51-49 last Tuesday, then won 61-49 on Wednesday. Kake boys coach Arthur Johnson said the wins were critical for his team.
"We needed both wins to go into the region tournament seeded No. 2," Johnson said. "After the win the first night, we had to win the second night."
The Kake girls also swept Skagway, winning 47-26 and 41-24 to drop the Panthers from second to third in the standings. Skagway then went to Angoon, where the Eagles won Friday's first game 42-37 before the Panthers closed out their regular season with a 47-28 victory on Saturday.
Because of two midseason losses to Klawock when leading scorer Savannah Ames was out with an ankle injury, Skagway lost the tie-breaker for the region's third seed. That dropped the Panthers into the dreaded fourth seed, which means the Skagway girls will have to beat Kake in Friday's semifinals in order to qualify for their first state tournament since 1984.
"What really hurt us wasn't this week, but the two losses to Klawock when we didn't have Savannah," Skagway girls coach Jeff Kasler said. "We should have won those. Now there's a big bump in the road. But we're playing our best ball of the year and we're coming off four tough ones (games), so we should be tournament ready. It's not like we just got done playing four easy ones and we weren't tested.
"We play Hoonah in the first round, so it's not even a given we'll get to play Kake. Hoonah's playing tough. To be honest, I think our boys have a better shot (at going to state), but I'm not convinced we can't beat Kake. On a big court, we're harder to contain with our quickness, and in our second game we led by four points at halftime. We're going in thinking we'll go to state."
In last week's other boys games, Skagway swept two games from Angoon, Hydaburg swept a pair of two-game series from Hoonah and Klawock, while Hoonah swept a pair of games from Thorne Bay. In the other girls games, Klawock and Hoonah both swept a two-game series from Hydaburg.
Kake boys sweep Skagway
The Kake boys basketball team led by eight with 1 minute, 29 seconds left, then held on for a 51-49 victory over the Skagway Panthers on Tuesday even though Scott Lesh made things close with a pair of 3-pointers. On Wednesday, Kyle Anderson and Shane Padgett scored 22 points each to lead the Thunderbirds to a 61-49 victory and a sweep of the two-game series in Kake.
In Tuesday's game, Skagway jumped out to a 19-8 lead at the end of the first quarter but Kake closed to within three points at halftime. Kake took the lead on a pair of 3-pointers by Padgett, but Skagway regained it, 36-35, at the end of the third quarter. Kake built up another big lead, only to have Lesh hit a pair of 3-pointers in the game's final minute to close the margin to two points with 7.9 seconds to go. Skagway got a steal off Kake, but turned the ball over with 0.5 seconds left.
Padgett scored 23 points to lead the Thunderbirds, while Anderson had 11 and Josh Jackson scored 10. Jarret Brown led Skagway with 15 points on Tuesday and Lesh, who hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, scored 12 points. In Wednesday's game, Brown scored 28 points to lead the Panthers and Jerod Moore had eight.
Kake girls sweep Skagway
A cold-shooting night and foul trouble for leading scorer Savannah Ames put the Skagway girls out early in Tuesday's 47-26 loss to the Kake Thunderbirds. Kake completed the sweep over the Panthers with a 41-24 victory on Wednesday, pulling away in the fourth quarter even though Skagway led 17-13 at halftime and Kake led just 28-22 in the third quarter.
Danielle Knudsen scored 24 points to lead Kake on Tuesday, with LaKrista Ekis adding eight and RoseAnn Jackson seven. Even though she fouled out midway through the third quarter, Ames led Skagway with seven points.
In Wednesday's game, Knudsen led the T-Birds with 19 points and Stacy Earnest added 10. Ames led Skagway with 20 points.
Angoon, Skagway girls split
Carmen Estrada scored 20 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, as the Angoon Eagles beat the Skagway girls 42-37 on Friday. In Saturday's rematch, Savannah Ames scored 23 points as the Panthers won 47-28 to gain a split of the series in Angoon.
In Friday's game, Rose Williams added nine points and Amber Jamestown scored seven for the Eagles. Ames scored 27 points to lead Skagway and Tiffanie Potter added 10. On Saturday, Potter scored 11 points and Candi Ketterman had eight for Skagway. Jamestown scored 14 points to pace Angoon.
Skagway boys sweep Angoon
Jarret Brown scored 31 points on Friday as the Skagway boys claimed a 92-55 victory over the Angoon Eagles. He was even better in Saturday's rematch, leading the Panthers with 48 points as they claimed a 102-58 victory to earn a sweep of the series in Angoon.
In Friday's game, Kyle Fairbanks had 20 points for Skagway while Aaron Neitzer scored 17 and Jerod Moore added 10. Stephen Johnson led Angoon with 17 points and J.P. Silva had 14. On Saturday, Fairbanks and Moore scored 15 points each for the Panthers and Scott Lesh added 10. Stuart Jack led the Eagles with 23 points, while Johnson had 17 and Loren Sands scored 10.
Hydaburg boys sweep Klawock
Darren Edenshaw scored 28 points on Saturday as the Hydaburg boys completed a perfect Region V-Class 2A season with a 79-51 victory over the Klawock Chieftains in Klawock. On Friday in Hydaburg, Edenshaw scored 25 points as the Warriors edged Klawock 80-74 in overtime.
George Peratrovich scored 18 points and Vinny Edenshaw added 15 for Hydaburg on Saturday, while Shawn Kato-Yates led Klawock with 15 points, David Ryno had 11 and Bradley Kato scored 10. On Friday, Peratrovich scored 23 points and Vinny Edenshaw added 12 for the Warriors. Kato-Yates led the Chieftains with 25 points, while James Williams scored 17 points with five 3-pointers, Ryno scored 16 and Kato added 12.
Klawock girls sweep Hydaburg
The Klawock girls held the Hydaburg Warriors scoreless in the first quarter as they cruised to a 61-15 victory on Friday in Hydaburg. On Saturday, the Chieftains completed the series sweep with a 72-22 victory in Klawock.
Kaleigh Ryno scored 14 points and Sharon Webb added 11 on Friday to lead Klawock, while Maggie Vasquez led the Warriors with six points. On Saturday, Ryno scored 13 points and Webb added 12 for the Chieftains, while Hydaburg was led by Allison Grant's eight points. Hydaburg was missing leading scorer Destiny Bell, who was sidelined last week for disciplinary reasons.
Hoonah boys sweep Thorne Bay
Dustin Bowen scored 25 points on Wednesday to lead the Hoonah boys over the Thorne Bay Wolverines 70-46, then scored 28 points in a 56-43 victory on Thursday as the Braves swept the series in Thorne Bay.
Devin Moritz added 22 points and Sean Kveum scored nine for Hoonah on Wednesday, with Donny Gray leading the Wolverines with 27 points and Matt Howell scoring 11. Kveum added 17 points for the Braves on Thursday, while Howell scored 15 points to lead Thorne Bay, Gray had 13 and Gerald Carle score 11.
Hoonah girls sweep Hydaburg
The Hydaburg girls struggled in their first games without leading scorer Destiny Bell, who was sidelined for four games for disciplinary reasons, losing to the Hoonah Braves 57-5 on Monday and 68-2 on Tuesday in a pair of game in Hydaburg.
Linsey Yandell scored 13 points to lead Hoonah on Monday, with Branda Skaflestad adding 11 points and Cassandra Peters scoring 10. Karmen Edenshaw scored three points to lead the Warriors. In Tuesday's rematch, Amy Wright led the Braves with 15 points, Yandell and Amber Lampe scored 12 each, while Skaflestad and Augustine Hinchman had 10 apiece. Daniella Vasquez made a pair of third-quarter free throws for the only Hydaburg points.
Hydaburg boys sweep Hoonah
The trio of Darren Edenshaw, George Peratrovich and Vinny Edenshaw combined for 69 points on Monday as the Hydaburg boys knocked off the Hoonah Braves 82-58. In Tuesday's rematch, that same trio combined for 92 points as the Warriors won 112-60 to complete the series sweep in Hydaburg.
In Monday's game, Vinny Edenshaw had 25 points, Peratrovich scored 23 and Darren Edenshaw scored 21 to lead the Warriors. Dustin Bowen scored 20 points to lead Hoonah, which also got 13 points from Devin Moritz and 10 from Sean Kveum. On Tuesday, Darren Edenshaw scored 37 points, Peratrovich added 31 and Vinny Edenshaw scored 24 to lead Hydaburg. Bowen scored 23 points to lead Hoonah, which also got 17 points from Steven Montantes and 14 from Brian Mills.
The Juneau Empire's Southeast Hoops Roundup is compiled once a week by the Empire sports staff. Southeast varsity basketball coaches are reminded to get their scoresheets faxed over to the Empire (1-907-586-3028) or to e-mail the leading scorers and game highlights to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Monday so the feature can run in Wednesday's or Thursday's sports sections.