By JEFF BRADY
Skagways basketball teams returned from their big six-game road trip to Prince of Wales at the end of last month with a lot more wins in their pockets.
For the girls, it was business as usual, taking care of Klawock (50-24, 45-15) and Hydaburg (64-6, 55-14) in easy fashion to remain unbeaten. In three of the four games, the girls had a balanced scoring attack, much to the delight of coach Lara Labesky. And when the first state high school prep polls were released, the Lady Panthers were up high, ranked number two among 1A-2A schools behind perennial state power Ninilchik.
For the boys, they got their first real taste of victory and a couple of bonus wins. The boys lost a double overtime thriller in their first game at Thorne Bay, 51-49, but bounced the next night with a 39-33 win. They were then due to play Klawock, but since the Chieftains had just six players, they opted to forfeit the games.
Riding that streak into Hydaburg would have been impressive had everyone been ready to play. In the Thorne Bay series, starters Garrett Henry and Trevor Cochran were injured and could not play in the next games against the defending state champs. Missing its best ball handler and number two scorer, the Panthers were back to early season form having trouble getting
the ball past midcourt, and fell to the Warriors, 78-24 and 89-14.
Even with those big losses, the Panther boys broke even on the road trip and are 3-5 in league play, right in the middle of the pack, said coach Mark Jennings.
Thomas Knorr continues to dominate, averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Theres no big man in the league that Ive seen that can stop him, Jennings said. Teams are putting two and three guys on him.
Henry is out for this weekends series at Yakutat, addressing some academic issues, and Cochran is good as long as his injured foot holds up. But a couple players have stepped up in practice the last couple of weeks. Hank Burnham was pressed into service as ball handler and his coach said he has overcome early season frustrations and can now handle the rock. And Kyle Mulvihill has hustled into a starting role.
The whole thing is building confidence, Jennings said.
While the Panther boys hope to steal a couple wins at Yakutat this week, the girls just want to maintain their edge. With star guard Savannah Ames continuing to average in the 20s, and getting double figures from two or three others on the squad among Michelle Harris, Tiffanie Potter, Candi Ketterman and Audrey Netizer all of whom had big games on P.O.W. the Panthers shouldnt break down.
Theyre playing pretty well, said Labesky. We had a couple of slow starts but once we got rolling the other teams could not contain us.
Yakutat can be tough at home, and looking down the road to the Tok Invitational, the girls will face No. 1 Ninilchik and No. 3 Tok.
Weve been practicing against the adult women in town, and thats been a good challenge for us, Labesky said, in preparation for Tok.
(6-0 conf., 8-0 overall)
Skagway 50, at Klawock 24: SGY- Ames 18, Potter 10, Harris 8, Can. Ketterman 5, Cry. Ketterman 5, Moore 4; KLA- Ryno 9, Meece 8 (other scoring unavailable).
Skagway 45, at Klawock 15: SGY- Ames 15, Can. Ketterman 14; KLA- Meece 8, Ryno 7 (other scoring unavailable).
Skagway 64, Hydaburg 6: SGY- Ames 37, Potter 10, Harris 6, Can. Ketterman 4, Moore 4, Cry. Ketterman 1; HYD- Tolson 2, Grant 2, Edensha 2.
Skagway 55, Hydaburg 14: SGY- Ames 22, Neitzer 12, Cry. Ketterman 6, Potter 4, Can. Ketterman 4, Moore 4, Harris 3; HYD- Grant 9, Edenshaw 5.
(3-5 conf., 3-7 overall)
At Thorne Bay 51, Skagway 49 2OT: TB- R. Gray 17, D. Gray 17, Carl 7, Grant 6, Howell 2, Steele 2; SGY- Henry 21, Knorr 11, Cochran 8, McCluskey 6, Wischnat 2.
Skagway 39, at Thorne Bay 33: SGY- Knorr 16, Henry 14, McCluskey 6, Wischnat 2, Mulvihill 1; TB- D. Gray 10, R. Gray 8, J. Gray 8, Steele 5, Howell 5.
Skagway def. Klawock (forfeit)
Skagway def. Klawock (forfeit)
At Hydaburg 78, Skagway 24: HYD- Peratrovich 30, Edenshaw 13, Nathan 13, Sanderson 11, Young 10, Washington 4; SGY- Knorr 21, Mulvihill 2, Twitchell 1.
At Hydaburg 89, Skagway 14: HYD- Peratrovich 27, Young 18, Nathan 12, Sanderson 12, Demmert 10, Audele 7, Edenshaw 3; SGY- Knorr 7, Wischnat 4, Mulvihill 2, Twitchell 1.