Panthers Trevor Cochran, Tyler Forester, and Tiffanie Potter can be seen huddling around coaches Mark Jennings and Lara Labesky at the 2A Tourney. - Photo courtesy of Tom Cochran

Panthers end season with another close battle against Klawock

By JEFF BRADY
The Skagway varsity basketball team landed its three senior starters on all-conference teams at the Southeast Region 2A Tourney, but came up short on getting them a win in their Panther finale.
After falling hard to the Yakutat boys 81-18 in the opening round, the Skagway coed team rebounded with another close game against the Klawock boys, but lost 43-39.
“They played really well in the second game,” said Skagway co-coach Mark Jennings.
With junior forward Tom Littlefield knocking down three shots and seniors Trevor Cochran and Michelle Harris getting it done at the free throw line, the Panthers stayed within three points of Klawock in the first half.
Cochran and sophomore Lachlan Dennis hit a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter, and Tiffanie Potter added a big bucket to stay within 26-23 going into the final period.
Cochran had a dislocated finger but didn’t tell his coaches and played on until he fouled out early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers could have folded, but didn’t. Potter and Littlefield converted, and Dennis hit a monster trey with 18 seconds left to tie the game.
Skagway had been successful fouling to get back in it, but a costly foul after that big bucket gave Klawock’s Ryan Armour another chance. He converted two free throws for the lead, and a Skagway turnover and another foul put him back on the line one more time to seal a four point win.
It was a frustrating loss for Skagway team which watched a Klawock player foul out in the final minute and rip his jersey off with no repercussions. Skagway should have had two additional free throws and the ball.
“The refs should have called a technical,” said co-coach Mark Jennings. “Lara (Labesky, co-coach) was livid. The tournament director asked me later if we wanted to protest the game, but I said no.”
The three seniors landed on the All-Conference team. Cochran and Potter made it for the second straight year, and Harris made it during her final year. The two girls were rewarded for their hard play in the boys division, Jennings said, adding that many coaches at the tourney told him that they were the two best female players in 2A this year. Potter also finished in a tie for the most three-pointers but lost the contest in a shoot-off.
Without a Skagway girls team to contend with this year, top-ranked Yakutat marched to the title, easily defeating Hoonah 55-27 in the championship. In a wild back-and-forth boys championship game, Kake defeated Yakutat 61-60.
Jennings said he watched the championship game with his players, and one of the boys said, “I want to cut down those nets.” His coach told him to keep working hard on his game.
“They’ve got a lot to look forward to next year if they work this summer,” Jennings said. “The season didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but I think this is the end of the (losing) cycle.”

NET RESULTS
(from SE 2A Tourney in Sitka)

Yakutat 81, Skagway 18: YAK- Dierick 15, Vale 14, Adams 10, Jackson 9, Klushkan 8, Ivers 8, Sin 5, Bogren 5, Ross 4, Ferguson 3; SGY- Cochran 11, Harris 4, Littlefield 2, Cotton 1.

Klawock 43, Skagway 39: KLA- Armour 21, Hall 10, Cebora 4, Sanderson 3, Meece 3, Ramers 2, Assacs 1; SGY- Cochran 12, Littlefield 11, Potter 6, Dennis 6, Harris 4.

Final record: 1-13 conf., 2-18 overall

All-Conference: Trevor Cochran (boys); Tiffanie Potter and Michelle Harris (girls).
All-Sports Team: Teslyn Korsmo and Tylor Forester.
Senior All-Academic Team: Trevor Cochran, Tiffanie Potter, Michelle Harris (basketball); and Candi Ketterman (cheerleading).