Panther teams open tourney against Hoonah

The Skagway High School basktball teams will play their opening round games of the Region V 2A Tourney against the Hoonah Braves.

The girls play at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 20. The boys play at 4:45 p.m. The tourney is being held this year at the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Click here to see 2A tourney brackets

The Skagway girls will be the fourth seed, although they tied for third place with Klawock with a 7-5 league record. Klawock defeated Skagway last month when the Panthers were short-handed due to an injury to star guard Savannah Ames, and got the better seed. Skagway defeated Hoonah, the fifth seed, at Hoonah early in the season. If the girls win, they will advance to play top-seed Kake, which drew a first round bye. Kake defeated the Panthers last week, but Skagway coach Jeff Kasler and the team feel they can knock them off. If Skagway advances to play Kake, the semifinal game will be at 3 p.m. Friday.

The Skagway boys will be the third seed in the tourney and will play sixth seed Hoonah, setting up a rematch between former Brave, now Panther, Jarrett Brown and his old team. Skagway won at Hoonah earlier this season but the team is not looking past the Braves. If Skagway wins, the team would advance to play the winner of Kake vs. Angoon. The semifinal game would be played at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

Winners of the semifinal games will get an automatic berth to State Tourney in Anchorage next week. Region championship games will be at 5:45 p.m. (girls) and 7:30 p.m. (boys) on Saturday night. All Skagway games can be heard on KHNS. To keep up with the tourney, go to this weekend and click on the local sports link. The Skagway News will post an update on this site next Monday after our return from Juneau.

Final Regular Season Standings

Region Overall
W L Pct. W L Pct.
x-Hydaburg 14 0 1.000 20 1 .952
Kake 11 3 .786 14 6 .700
Skagway 10 4 .714 18 5 .783
Klawock 7 7 .500 12 9 .571
Yakutat 6 8 .429 7 13 .350
Hoonah 5 9 .357 9 14 .391
Angoon 3 11 .214 3 16 .158
Thorne Bay 0 14 .000 0 17 .000
(dropped out of tourney)
x-Clinched regular-season region title and tourney bye)

Region Overall
W L Pct. W L Pct.
x-Kake 12 0 1.000 16 2 .889
Angoon 8 4 .667 12 7 .632
Klawock 7 5 .583 13 8 .619
Skagway 7 5 .583 17 7 .708
Hoonah 6 6 .500 8 11 .421
Hydaburg 2 10 .167 4 13 .235
Yakutat 0 12 .000 4 13 .235

x-Clinched regular-season region title and tourney bye)

Standings courtesy of Juneau Empire Sports

From our March 14th edition...

Panthers get wake-up call in Kake, bounce back vs. Angoon

2A tourney next week in Juneau: boys seeded third, girls likely fourth

The Skagway High basketball teams knew Kake would be a tough place to play this week, but going in, they hoped for at least a split. It didn’t happen. Both Panther teams, which were ranked third in their respective state 2A polls, suffered from cold shooting performances. However, they were able to rebound with key wins against Angoon (because this paper was late getting to the printer, we were able to get scores in below).
The boys sprinted out to decent-size leads in both Kake games, only to cool off in the middle quarters and let Kake take command of both games behind the hot shooting of Shane Padgett and Kyle Anderson. The Panthers never gave up. Down eight with less than a minute to go in the first game, Panther freshman Scott Lesh nailed two three-pointers to get the team within two with 7.9 seconds left. Skagway got a steal, but a turnover kept them from getting off a final shot.
In the second game on Wednesday, Kake built a 13-point lead with five minutes to go, but Skagway’s Jarrett Brown scored 11 huge points to bring the Panthers within three with 1:47 left. However, Kake was able to take advantage of some missed Skagway opportunities and reeled off 12 points themselves in the final minute.
The Skagway girls had a tough first game against the highly rated T-Bird girls, falling behind early and losing star guard Savannah Ames to fouls midway through the third quarter. Her teammates stepped up and made it closer but Skagway still fell by 21.
The Panthers played much better in the second game, taking a 17-13 lead at the half as Ames got hot. But Kake started feeding the ball to star Danielle Knudsen and regained the lead late in the third period. Skagway managed just four points in the final 10 minutes.
Over the radio, coach Jeff Kasler said fatigue played a factor, but he was proud of his team, which had just six players healthy on the road trip. Fatigue also hindered the boys as a couple players were battling bad colds, he said.
Both teams dropped to third in the league, and needed wins at Angoon to hold those spots for tourney seeding. They got all but one.

Varsity Boys: March 11 - at Kake 51, (No. 3) Skagway 49: KAK- Padgett 23, Anderson 11, J. Jackson 10, L. Jackson 3, Knudsen 2, Demmert 2; SGY- Brown 15, Lesh 12, Moore 9, Fairbanks 5, Neitzer 4, Knorr 4. March 12 - at Kake 61, (No. 3) Skagway 49: (scoring leaders) KAK- Anderson 22, Padgett 22, J. Jackson 7; SGY- Brown 28, Moore 8. March 14 - Skagway 92 ,at Angoon 55; March 15- Skagway 102, at Angoon 58 (scoring unavailable).

Varsity Girls: March 11 - at (No. 2) Kake 47, (No. 3) Skagway 26:
KAK- Knudsen 24, Ekis 8, R. Jackson 7, Earnest 4, Gregory 2, Morris 2; SGY- Ames 7, Ca. Ketterman 5, Potter 5, Co. Ketterman 3, Cr. Ketterman 3, Harris 3. March 12 - at (No. 2) Kake 41, (No. 3) Skagway 24: KAK- Knudsen 19, Earnest 10, Morris 6, Shaquanie 2, Ekis 2, Gregory 2; SGY- Ames 20, Potter 2, Harris 1, Co. Ketterman 1. March 14 - at Angoon 42, Skagway 37; March 15 - Skagway 47, at Angoon 28 (scoring unavailable).

Tourney Time: March 20-22: Region V 2A, Juneau (watch for tourney schedule here on Tuesday); March 27-29: State, Anchorage (if 1st or 2nd in Region).

Senior night stories
Eight seniors were recognized between the final Panther home basketball games Feb. 25 with the usual accolades, presentation of roses to parents/guardians, and a not-so-clean travel story.
Cheerleading advisor Linda Calver started off recognizing Brandie Schneider and Kortney Downen, saying it was great to have a cheering squad back on the court after many years, but sad because the two leading members were leaving.
Calver said Downen, the squad captain, was “good at directing people,” and that Schneider was “full of enthusiasm.” Calver also thanked her daughter, Becky Jensen, for working with the squad.
Boys basketball coach Lee Hartson had no problem picking a starting five for the final game - he went with his five seniors.
Lucas Heger started his first game of the season. “He sure has grown up,” Hartson said, welcoming Heger back to the team after the senior spent his junior year in France. “He has done a heck of a job and improved a lot since his freshman year.”
Next up was Jarret Brown, the senior transfer from Hoonah. “Usually it’s kids leaving Skagway, they don’t usually come here to play,” Hartson said.
“And we got one of the better ones.”

Boys coach Lee Hartson talks about his seniors (from left), Lucas Heger, Jarrett Brown, Aaron Neitzer, Jerod Moore, and Kyle Fairbanks. - JB

Hartson thanked Don and Betty Hather for taking in Brown, the son of a former Hather-coached player in Hoonah. “He’s a great kid and he fit in well with the boys team.”
Hartson also thanked the parents of Aaron Neitzer for allowing their son to play ball starting his junior year. “Aaron is one of the keys to our team, when he plays well, the team plays well,” Hartson said.
Finally, Hartson introduced “the two amigos,” Jerod Moore and Kyle Fairbanks. “I’ve had these two kids since their freshman year,” Hartson said. They’ve improved every year and are now the “cornerstone of the team, good students, a class act, and I will really miss them,” the coach added.
Girls coach Jeff Kasler, coaching his final year in Skagway, reflected on his first year, when he had three Calver girls on the team, and his final year, with three Ketterman girls - all daughters of a Calver.

Girls coach Jeff Kasler gets a laugh from his senior, Colleen Ketterman, as he explains the Tok “Plunge.” - JB

The oldest, Colleen is his only senior on the team. Ketterman started her final home game, and made some nice moves to the bucket.
“She has been a great asset to the team and a role model, and has developed into a good post player,” Kasler said.
Always one with a story, Kasler told about their recent trip to Tok, which involved a quirky motel septic system. The coach related how he had to take a plunger to the problem in his room repeatedly, finally eradicating the problem, so he thought, with a “super plunge.”
Feeling confident, Kasler said he strode off to breakfast, where he found Ketterman and the girls complaining about their room, two doors down.
Apparently, the result of the coach’s feat sent the problem up through the plumbing in their room.
“Colleen and I bonded after that,” Kasler said. “Colleen and her girls, because of my super plunge, got moved to the best room.” – JEFF BRADY

College players complete seasons
Snyder ties school record for treys; Mason gets more P.T.
Two former Skagway High School basketball stars, Mitch Snyder and Courtney Mason, recently completed their sophomore college hoop seasons and saw significantly more playing time this year.
Snyder, a 2001 SHS graduate, was a starting guard for the Peninsula College Pirates in Port Angeles, Wash. He averaged in double figures, improving his game as the season progressed.
Snyder said the team spent most of the season adjusting to a new coach.
“In our last six games, we were 3-3,” Snyder said by phone from Port Angeles. “Before that we had no wins. It took us a while to figure out what he wanted.”
In those three wins, Snyder averaged 20 points a game. In the team’s finale, an impressive 104-90 victory at Shoreline on March 1, he scored 30, including seven three-pointers to tie a school record.
This was Snyder’s last year at Peninsula, a two-year community college, but he hopes to play college ball next year while continuing his education.
“I’m looking at a couple of schools,” he said. “My coach has a lot of connections. Right now we are figuring out what I want to do, I’m looking at my education more than anything, since I won’t be going to the NBA.”
Snyder wants to move on to a college with a good sports medicine program, in hopes of becoming a personal trainer.
Mason, who played her freshman year in Skagway before moving to Juneau, is a reserve guard on the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks.
The Nanooks completed their season last weekend on a road trip to Seattle University and Western Washington University in Bellingham. Her grandparents, Les and Judy Fairbanks and Tom and Sheila Mason of Skagway, got to see her play. Mason scored two points and made one steal in nine minutes in a 73-69 loss to Seattle. She played 15 minutes in an 85-57 loss at Western, and although she did not score, she made two assists and grabbed six rebounds. Her season-high was seven points, she said.
Reached in Fairbanks by phone early this week, Mason said that although the team finished last in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (8-19 overall, 3-15 conference), it was the best team “people-wise” she has ever been on.
“It wasn’t as disappointing as the record would show,” Mason said. “We were in a lot of close games.”
Mason said she made progress this year.
“It was a better year for me,” she said. “I got to travel on all but one trip and got a lot more playing time.”
She plans to play for the Nanooks next year, hoping to move up in the roster as a junior.