Skagway kids line up for the start of the midget races at the Marsh Lake event. Skagway Ski Club, Denise Caposey

Skagway ‘rabbits’ rule the Marsh
Seven kids from the Skagway Ski Club Jackrabbits won ribbons with top three finishes in their divisions at the Marsh Lake Loppet in the Yukon on Feb. 14.
Skagway swept the top four positions for the midget girls with Emily Herbig taking first, Tess Korsmo second, Paige Hahn third, and Elise Doland fourth. In the midget boys division, Skagway’s Aaron Kilburn took second and Cody Burnham third.
Mini-midget boy Mickey Wilson took first place in his division, and Kaitlyn Surdyk was third in the girls division. Wilson was also the first Skagway skier to cross the 2.5 K finish line, just ahead of Kilburn.
Ski Club coordinator Denise Caposey said all returning Skagway competitors shaved a few minutes off last year’s times.
The club kids have been taking lessons from Yukon skier Kate Moylan at Log Cabin and in Whitehorse. She was at the start of the Marsh Lake race to cheer on the local rabbits, as were Skagway coaches Jeremy Simmons and Julene Fairbanks (who skied the 10 K along with Jeremy and Wendy Anderson). Deano Anderson, Tim Fairbanks, and many more adult leaders from the Club were also on hand to cheer the kids on.
In all, 21 Jackrabbits and 18 adults went up to the Loppet, and a good time was had by all, Caposey said.
Ski Club meets at 11 a.m. every Saturday at the school for the ride up the hill to Log Cabin. Kids are now in training for next month’s Buckwheat Ski Classic on March 27.

Lady Panthers lose first game in OT at Yakutat

Boys take full squad to Tok; March homestands begin next week

A split on the road in any other season might be deemed a victory of sorts, but for the previously unbeaten Skagway Lady Panthers, an overtime loss at Yakutat stung a bit.
In their first game, Skagway was able to hold off a late charge by the Eagles, as Savannah Ames drained a three-pointer to break a 36-36 tie, and the Panthers held on for a 42-36 win.
However, the story line was different in the second game. Despite a poor shooting night, the Panthers led going into the final quarter, but then lost Tiffany Potter and Michelle Harris to fouls. Giving up a couple of bad fouls and a three-point-play in the final minute allowed the Eagles to tie the game and send it into overtime. With two starters on the bench, the Lady Panthers weren’t able to keep pace in the extra period and lost their first
game, 35-32.
“It was a little bit of a wake-up call,” said Skagway coach Lara Labesky. “It’s a shame we had to lose ... but they realize they are not unbeatable and have to continue to work hard. Everything will not come easily.”
The Panthers and Eagles each have just one loss in region play and are atop the region standings. Skagway dropped from second to third in the state 2A rankings, and has been preparing for the Tok Invitational, which started this Thursday.
On the girls side, the Tok event is being viewed as a State Tourney preview, featuring the top four teams in the 2A poll: No. 1 Ninilchik, No. 2 Galena, No. 3 Skagway, and No. 4 Tok.
Labesky knows it will be a tough tourney.
“I’m not concerned about winning,” she said. “I just want to see how we play against these teams. We need to get in a competitive mind-set for regionals.”
The Tok tourney also will be a big challenge for the Panther boys. The shorthanded Skagway boys lost to Yakutat by large margins, 58-37 and 68-32, but there were some bright spots. German exchange student Florian Wischnat scored eight points the first night, mostly on put-backs after snaring offensive rebounds. And Tyler Cochran boosted his scoring to take some of
the pressure off center Thomas Knorr.
Getting point guard Garrett Henry back has been the key to making the offense click, said coach Mark Jennings. And with everyone eligible for the next couple weeks, he expects the Panthers to make some noise in Tok and at home against Angoon and Kake in the next two weeks.
The team has been holding its own against a community team in practice the past week, he said, and working their inside-outside game.
“We’ve been running against presses to handle Angoon,” Jennings added. “Once get the ball up the floor to half court, we know what to do. Run plays and set up shots. Garrett can hit his jumper and that will get them to lay off Thomas more.”
Jennings also has been stressing free throws – the Panthers made just nine for 23 in Yakutat – and more aggressive play.
“We need to pick up the intensity, no easy buckets,” he added. “No one has fouled out yet, and that concerns me. It’s okay to have four, but not five.”
With everyone eligible the past week, he’s seen the confidence level of the team rise, and hopes to start the momentum in Tok.
“I think we will surprise some people down the stretch,” Jennings said.
The upcoming homestands versus Angoon March 1-2 and Kake March 10-11 will be the regular season finales for the Panther teams. Region tourney is March 18-20 in Ketchikan.

(7-1 conf., 9-1 overall)
Feb. 11 - Skagway 42, at Yakutat 36: SGY- Ames 25, Can. Ketterman 7, Potter 4, Cry. Ketterman 3, Harris 3; YAK- Esbenshade 17, Schumacher 11, J. James 4, M James 4.
Feb. 12 - at Yakutat 35, Skagway 32 OT: YAK- J. James 12, Porter 10, Esbenshade 9, Schumacher 4; SGY- Ames 20, Potter 8, Can. Ketterman 4.

(3-7 conf., 3-9 overall)
Feb. 11 - at Yakutat 58, Skagway 37: YAK- Dierick 23, Klushkan 14, Ferguson 9, Dunbar 6, Karsunky 2, Vale 2; SGY- Knorr 22, Wischnat 8, Cochran 7.
Feb. 12- at Yakutat 68, Skagway 32: YAK- Dunbar 25, Dierick 20, Klushkan 8, Sin 6, Johnson 3, Karsunky 2, Vale 2; SGY- Knorr 14, Cochran 11, Wischnat 3, Mulvihill 2, Burnham 2.

Feb. 26-28: At Tok Invitational
March 1-2: Angoon at home.
March 10-11: Kake at home.