VOLLEYBALL CLINCHERS

Clockwise from top, Candi Ketterman places a hit over the net in action against Klawock, Audrey Neitzer makes a perfect set during a match, and Sierra Moran serves against Hoonah. Photos by Jeff Brady

Hoonah comes back to defeat Panthers

Skagway spikers earn second place, bid to State

By JEFF BRADY

The Skagway High volleyball team advanced to State Tourney for the second straight year with a second place finish at the Southeast 2A regionals last weekend.
Despite improved games against rival Hoonah, the Panther girls could not knock off the Braves, who extended their long string of Southeast titles.
“The girls played excellent, really well together,” siad Skagway coach Becky Jensen. “The thing that killed us was our serves... just too much power. When we set up and got hits, we did really well.”
Skagway played the same competition it faced at home earlier in the week (see results and tourney photos on page 9). In the opener against third seed Klawock, it took the Panthers five games to knock off the Chieftains.
Then they faced the Braves in the semifinals, and won the first two games of the match, said coach Becky Jensen. But Skagway then lost the next three and fell into the loser’s bracket.
Against Klawock a second time in the double elimination format, the Panthers had no problem dispatching the Chieftains in three straight games.
This gave Skagway another shot at Hoonah, but with the championship on the line on their home court, the Braves took the Panthers in three straight.
Seniors Candi Ketterman and Audrey Neitzer made the All-Conference team, and were joined on the All-Academic team by fellow senior Tiffanie Potter. Tess Korsmo and C.C. Hahn were named to the regional Good Sports team.
Skagway opened the State Tourney in Anchorage Thursday afternoon against Kenny Lake.
“We hope to get another crack at Hoonah,” Jensen said.

Skagway Seeding Tourney • Nov. 28-30
Hoonah def. Skagway: 25-14, 25-21, 25-20.
Hoonah def. Skagway: 25-14, 25-21, 25-20.
Hoonah def. Skagway: 25-19, 22-25, 25-3, 25-21.
Skagway def. Klawock: 25-16, 25-23, 25-14.
Skagway def. Klawock: 25-18, 21-25, 19-25, 25-14, 15-14.
Klawock def. Skagway: 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 28-26.

Michelle Harris (left) tries to take down a Kake opponent. Klas Stolpe, Petersburg Pilot

Wrestlers wrap up season

Skagway wrestlers faced some tough draws at the outset of last weekend’s Southeast region 1A-2A-3A tourney in Petersburg, said coach Josh Coughran, and no Panthers advanced to State this year.
In her first match, senior Michelle Harris drew Gusty Wassily of Mt. Edgecumbe, who would go on to win the 145-pound division. She then went the distance against Ike McMurren of Petersburg – who had pinned her in previous meetings – but fell 9-5.
“Unfortunately after four years of hard work, Michelle was unable to advance to State, but she still had a good season,” Cochran said.
Underclassmen Josh Cotton and Tom Littlefield had similar draws in their divisions, facing the top two seeds, including one who won State last year. They each were eliminated in two matches.
Tyler Forester, at 103 lbs., fared a little better in his matches: “He lost two but did much better against the same opponents he faced this year,” Coughran said. “He learned a bit about the sport.”
Harris was named to the region All-Academic team, and Forester and Cotton were on the All-Sport team.

Varsity basketball almost here, girls team unlikely

J-high hoops finish season in Whitehorse

The SHS varsity basketball season arrives before Christmas break this year, but at press time there was serious doubt as to whether the two-time Southeast 2A girls champs would be able to defend their title.
Only four girls had signed up for the team, and they may have to join the boys team if other players do not step forward for a girls squad. Skagway’s team status must be declared prior to its first scheduled games versus Kake here on Dec. 16-17.
The News will have more details on this development in the basketball season preview in the next edition.
In the meantime, the Skagway junior high teams are in Whitehorse to face Yukon competition this weekend. The boys and girls teams finished in second place in their respective divisions at the Paul Potter Memorial Tourney in Haines over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Harlem Ambassadors will try to show stop local team

A big-time basketball show will hit the Skagway court next Wednesday night, Nov. 14.
In the minds of many in the public, the Harlem Ambassadors are positioned number two behind another, better-known “Harlem” basketball team. But when it comes to entertaining those men and women who serve our country in the United States military, the Ambassadors are second to none, according to a press release.
“We are extremely proud that we are the largest provider of entertainment to the United States military worldwide,” said Ambassadors president Dale Moss. In the last seven years the team has performed over 300 military shows at over 120 different bases in all branches of the military service.
And for the past five seasons, the team has held its intensive pre-season training camp at a military base. This season, 20 Harlem performers trained at Buckley Air Force Base outside of Denver in preparation for a schedule that includes over 200 games, including next week’s game in Skagway.
The Harlem Ambassadors show appeals to all ages, all races, and both genders represented in a military base community, in addition to towns all over the world.
“Very few forms of entertainment have such diverse appeal,” said Moss. The Ambassadors’ show features high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball handling tricks, and hilarious comedy routines uniquely led by a woman player, K. B. Buckner.
This season K.B. is in her third season as the “show-player” for the Harlem Ambassadors “Stars & Stripes” squad. But don’t let the title fool you; this woman can play ball. K.B. polished her basketball chops at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Tex. leading the Cowgirls to the NCAA Tournament. Her slick ball-handling skills and relentless defense earned her All-American honors.
An Ambassadors show features a variety of skits and interactive games that involve players on the opposing team and members of the audience. Because the Ambassadors play against local teams every night, there is an element of improvisation that gives the show its unpredictable flavor. K.B. is chiefly responsible for bringing it all together. And she does it all with charming Texas twang.
“ I’ve got to make sure the rest of the guys on the team remember their lines and are in the right places at the right times,” K.B. said.
K.B. and the Ambassadors often dominate the opposing teams. While her teammates like guard Ketrick “Jazz” Copeland punish the rims with their high-flying dunks and frustrate the home team with multitudes of blocked shots, K.B. adds a lethal jumper to the mix and is quick to steal the ball from opponents. But in the name of true sportsmanship, the Ambassadors have never been opposed to spotting the home team a couple of points here or there.
Skagway will be throwing everything it has at the Ambassadors. At press time, team members included Chris Wassman, Josh Coughran, Gary Trozzo, Jeremy Trozzo, John O’Daniel, Cindy O’Daniel, Dawn Brown, Shanna Vetter, Mark Jennings, Lara Labesky, Gary Eagan, Michael Catsi, Chris Ellis, Nan Saldi, Teresa Wilson, Scott Worley, Tim Bourcy, Ryan Ackerman, and Thomas Cochran.
The basketball show begins at 7 p.m. See White Pass ad for advance ticket information. Don’t wait: tickets cost extra at the door.