Michelle Harris gets in position for a rebound against Tok. JB
More Photos on Don Hather Tourney page
Panther boys notch first victory
By JEFF BRADY
The Skagway Panther boys earned their first real win in two years with a 47-35 victory over Anderson in the Don Hather Tourney last weekend.
It was a long time coming. The coed Panthers were able to knock off a coed alumni team back on Dec. 30, but the boys on the team had not seen a regular season victory on the court since the 2004 season. Last year they had four wins all on paper as forfeits by other teams.
They knew they had a good shot at beating Anderson, a team that they had lost to by just five points last year. Coach Mark Jennings called it a must win situation,and Skagway came out firing to go up 11-3 in the first quarter, and never trailed. Sophomore shooter Jake Henricksen hit five 3-pointers in the game, including two back-breakers in the third quarter after Anderson cut the lead to three. Seniors Trevor Cochran and Tiffanie Potter iced the win down the stretch with perfect free throw shooting.
It felt really good, said coach Mark Jennings. It really meant a lot to Trevor (Cochran) for sure. Im really proud of my seniors.
Cochran earned all-tourney honors, along with fellow seniors Potter and Michelle Harris, who are starting on the boys team due to there being no girls squad this year. Harris could run a clinic on blocking out for rebounds.
They are leading by example, Jennings said, showing the younger kids that theres more to the game than shooting the ball. You have to play defense and dive for loose balls.
Josh Cotton has certainly picked up the tempo, as has Sierra Moran off the bench, and he hopes others on the team will step up.
The Panthers played five games in five days, looking respectable against defending region champ and state runner-up Hoonah Jan. 3-4.
Skagway was down by just two points to the Braves at halftime both nights, but slipped up in the third quarter, allowing Hoonah to run. Skagway fell 48-34 and 43-28.
In its Hather Tourney opener on Jan. 5 against Whitehorse Vanier, the Panthers stuck with the much taller Crusaders during the first half, but could never get into their offense in the 44-27 loss.
The Panthers dropped into the losers bracket and knocked off Anderson, earning them a spot in the game for fifth place against a tough Tok team that had fallen in a tight game with eventual champion Porter Creek.
After the Anderson win, Jennings thought the team might be motivated to surprise Tok, but Skagway got into a 20-8 hole early in the second quarter against a talented team.
I was disappointed that we came out flat against Tok, he said. We were tired. We looked good at times in the other games.
The Panthers did have a good third quarter in that game, outscoring the Wolverines 11-9, and got some very productive minutes from its bench in the final quarter. With Moran running the offense, Makeah Twitchell hit two buckets, Lachlan Dennis knocked down a 3-pointer, and Larry Martinez got his first points of the season. The young Panthers made the score closer, 50-36.
Up next for Skagway this weekend will be a trip to Yakutat, then they are home to Angoon on Jan. 20-21. This will be the last homestand of the season, as the Panthers head to a Haines Tourney Jan 26-28 and have road games in February leading up to region tourney in early March.
(0-4 conf., 1-6 overall)
Dec. 30 (exhibition) - Skagway 51, Alumni 41: SGY- Henricksen 24, Cochran 11, Littlefield 6, Harris 4, Potter 4, Cotton 2; ALU- Frizzell 18, ODaniel 8, Holmes 7, Cochran 5, Ames 2, Brown 1.
Jan. 3- Hoonah 48, at Skagway 34: HNH- Koenig 16, Carteeti 10, Norris 9, Lindstrom 7, Byers 4, Skaflestad 2; SGY-Cochran 12, Henricksen 12, Potter 6, Cotton 4.
Jan. 4- Hoonah 43, Skagway 28: HNH- Koenig 18, Lindstrom 17, Norris 3, Carteeti 2, Skaflestad 2, Byers 1; SGY- Cochran 14, Henricksen 7, Potter 3, Harris 2, Littlefield 2.
Jan. 5 - Vanier 44, Skagway 27: VAN- Pedersen 12, Wiebe 12, Gray 6, A. McKenzie 5, J. Hougen 4, Harms 2, T. McKenzie 2, C. Hougen 1; SGY- Cochran 13, Henricksen 6, Twitchell 3, Cotton 2, Littlefield 2, Harris 1.
Jan. 6- Skagway 47, Anderson 35: SGY- Henricksen 19, Cochran 12, Potter 12, Harris 2, Littlefield 2; AND- H. Berry 10, D. Berry 9, Miller 5, Irmen 4.
Jan. 7- Tok 50, Skagway 36: TOK- McManus 16, Hanson 12, Lachart 9, Geneau 5,Christman 4, Webb 2; SGY- Cochran 11, Henricksen 7, Harris 5, Twitchell 4, Dennis 3, Cotton 2, Littlefield 2, Martinez 2.
The Skagway cheerleaders perform during a break in the action.
SPORTS CORRECTION: Third time for Skagway coed team
In the Dec. 21 basketball season preview, we stated that this years coed squad is the second at Skagway High. Actually it is the third.
Kevin Worley wrote, Actually, Lois Bingham played for the Panthers in the mid-1970s, I think Bob Mahle or someone around his age could tell you that or a viewing of the annuals from school. I dont know how much she played, but she was in a varsity picture I recall when we moved to town in 1976, so it was before that. So make that three times.
The News also misidentified a Panther in the Dec. 21 basketball photo. It was Jake Henricksen making a slick move to the basket, not Trevor Cochran.
The New regrets the errors.