The Skagway girls face Tri-Valley and the Hydaburg boys play Tok on Thursday to open the Class 2A state basketball tourney at Service High School in Anchorage.
The Region V-Class 2A girls champion Panthers (16-3) - making their first state appearance in 20 years - play Tri-Valley at 6:50 p.m., while the region boys title-winners and defending state champion Warriors play Tok at 9:40 a.m.
Skagway is 16-3 overall and was ranked third in last week's state poll, while Tri-Valley (19-6) was ranked second. The third-ranked Hydaburg boys are 16-3 overall this season, while unranked Tok is 16-10.
The state tournament runs through Saturday. The Class 1A state tournament also is being held in Anchorage this week - at East Anchorage High School - but there are no 1A teams in Southeast.
In Thursday's other Class 2A first-round games involving Southeast teams, the Yakutat girls - 17-5 overall and ranked fourth in the state - will play fifth-ranked Galena (17-5) at 1 p.m.
The unranked Angoon boys (14-8) will face a tough challenge from second-ranked Galena (22-1) at 3:30 p.m.
In the boys tournament, Friday's semifinals will feature the Hydaburg-Tok winner against the Selawik-Bristol Bay winner at 3:30 p.m., and the Angoon-Galena winner against the Lumen Christi-Point Hope winner at 5:10 p.m.
In the girls tournament semifinals, the Galena-Yakutat winner will play the Bristol Bay-Unalakleet winner at 6:50 p.m. Friday, and the Skagway-Tri-Valley winner will face the Point Hope-Ninilchik winner at 8:30 p.m.
The Ninilchik girls - four-time defending champions, with a 22-1 season record - suffered their first loss of the season last weekend, to Bristol Bay, but recovered to earn a state berth.
Semifinal winners will play in Saturday night's championship games, at 7:30 p.m. for girls and 9:15 p.m. for boys. Consolation-bracket games will be held early Friday and Saturday.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.