It’s tourney time!
J-High hoops, girl’s regional volleyball here;
Panthers excited about chances, need big crowd

By JEFF BRADY
Balls will be bouncing steadily in the school gym for the next five days as Skagway hosts two tournaments, the Boyd Worley Junior High Basketball Tournament and the Region V 2A Volleyball Tournament.
The excitement begins today with an after-school scrimmage between the volleyball team and the wrestlers at 4 p.m. The volleyball game is a fund-raiser, and coaches hope to see a great turnout as the girls warm up for next week’s region tourney.
Junior high squads from Juneau and Haines will arrive this evening on the ferry and begin play in the Boyd Worley J-High Tourney at 8 a.m. Saturday. Games run through about 10 p.m. that night, with a noon lunch break for the 3-point and free throw contests. The round-robin tournament will conclude Sunday morning.
Activities director Barry Beckett said Juneau Christian and Haines are bringing three teams, and Skagway will have three as well, two boys and a girls team. Games will be fast, 20 minute halves with the clock running.
Beckett needs scorers and timekeepers for both tournaments, and ticket takers for the volleyball tourney. Call him at 983-2960 or stop by the school to see if you can help.
Skagway’s volleyball team will be the lead act when the Region V 2A Tourney gets underway on Monday morning. Although she is not thrilled with playing the first game in the morning, coach Becky Jensen said the team is “very excited” about its position in the bracket.
The Panthers were forced to forfeit games in Thorne Bay when they could not show up for a tourney there at the end of October. It put Skagway in last place with a 1-7 record. Hoonah, the best team in the region at any class, opted to attend a Ketchikan tournament instead, which it won, but the Braves had to forfeit games in Thorne Bay as a result. This moved Klawock
into first place, Jensen said.
Skagway, the fifth seed, will face fourth seed Thorne Bay at 9:30 a.m. Monday, with the winner going up against Klawock at 1:30 p.m. Second seed Hoonah and third seed Kake will play at 11 a.m.
The winners advance to a 4:30 p.m. game for the right to advance to Tuesday’s championship game. It’s a double elimination tournament, so losers can still advance back through the bracket to the finals, which will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday. If necessary, a second match would follow at 1:30 p.m. The top two teams advance to the state tourney.
Jensen likes her team’s chances. Although Skagway hasn’t played much in the last few weeks, it swept Thorne Bay early in the season, and had some good games against Klawock.
Candi Ketterman, who sustained stitches above her eye after a freak accident while setting up an intramural basket a couple weeks ago, is “back in business” and the rest of the team is healthy, Jensen said.
“We just have to get a good night’s sleep and keep our minds on it,” Jensen said.
One of the big keys could be the home town crowd, which will have to come out in force for a Monday morning game.
“Come out and support our team,” she said. “The more cheering, the better our girls play.”

For up-to-date volleyball tourney coverage from Skagway, see the Nov. 18-19 issues of www.juneauempire.com and click on "local sports."

Wrestlers pick up first wins

The Skagway wrestling team is back from meets in Hoonah and Sitka, where every member of the team tasted victory.
In his first meet of the season at Hoonah, Thomas Knorr was 5-1 against opponents from Hoonah, Juneau and Mt. Edgecumbe in the 189-215 pound divisions. Ryan Forester went 4-2 and Kevin Wang was 3-3, winning for the first time.
“We had three kids win their first matches ever,” said Skagway coach Josh Coughran. “It was a good tournament for us.”
Michelle Harris also was 3-3, with all of her wins by pins.
Crystal Ketterman was sick and could not make the trip, but she was ready for the huge Sitka tournament Nov. 7-8. “Crystal absolutely destroyed a girl from Edgecumbe, pinning her in the first round,” Coughran said, and Wang earned his first pin of the season.
Harris had the misfortune of drawing defending state champ Jim Smith of Petersburg in the first round but wrestled him hard for a period, her coach said. And Forester and Knorr were in tough matches against kids from 4A schools.
The team goes to Juneau Nov. 21-22, its last tune-up before regionals in Wrangell at the beginning of December.
“Overall, we’re getting where we want to be,” Coughran said. – JB

Little Panthers Hoop It Up

Polly Brown takes a shot in a crowd for the Supersonics. Left to right are Jade Cook, Dan Moore, Tom Silva, Riley Westfall, Brown, and Kaylie O’Daniel.

Another successful intramural season
The intramural basketball season concluded at the end of October. According to the Wheedle, the weekly intramural newsletter produced by Boyd Worley, it was another rousing season. In the grades 2-5 division, the Supersonics went undefeated with an 8-0 record, averaging 19 points a game. They were followed by the Panthers 3-5, and Cougars 1-7. In the grades 6-8 division, the Jaguars and Krushers finished with 8-2 records, with the Jags averaging close to 27 points per game, about three more than the Krush kids. The Roughnecks finished 4-6, and the Tornadoes 0-10. MVPs were Brent Beckner and Sierra Moran, and most improved were Aaron Kilburn and Ali Doland. All stars selected were Beckner, Moran, Kilburn, Paige Hahn, Lachlan Dennis, Nathan Herbig, Jake Henricksen, and Erica Harris. No awards were given this year in the lower division.

Photos by Hillery Lesh

Left, Silva celebrates a shot, and right, Jag Brian Beckner is defended by Tornado Mickey Wilson. In the background are Brent Beckner and Kristen Moore.

Referees Sierra Moran and C.C. Hahn show who’s boss.