State Tourney Blog

Just before midnight Sat. March 20 - This blog is shutting down. It's been a fun ride with a great team. See you back in Skagway on Monday afternoon and watch for our coverage of the tourney in the March 26 issue.

AWARDS: For the second straight year, Skagway won the team academic award with a 3.74 GPA, just ahead of the boys team from Tri-Valley. Jesse Ellis and Kaylie O'Daniel were named to the All-Tourney team. Amanda Jensen and Elise Doland were Skagway's Good Sports. Oh, and we did get that first place trophy, and a state championship net.

Girls are being interviewed on TV right now, and finished off by doing a little dance.

Julene Fairbanks of Skagway named No. 1 fan. Subway players of the game: Brittani Motoyam, Ninilchik; Kaylie O'Daniel, Skagway. Watch here later for all-tournament selections after the boys final between Klawock and Point Hope (won by Point Hope, which defended its 2A title 71-58. This was Klawock's first trip to the 2A state championship game)

Final: Skagway 67, Ninilchik 29

1:08 4th Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Ninilchik time out. All Lady Panthers subs are now in the game: Polly, Avi, Jayce, Elise, and Amanda will finish it out.

2:25 4th Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Rest of starters out.

4:09 4th Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Ninilchik time out. Skagway had another burst and now Amanda, Elise and Kayla are in the game, ahead 65-24. Running clock initiated with 40-point lead in 4th. It will be all over soon.

6:11 4th Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Ninilchik time out. Skagway scored first 8 point of quarter and subs now rotating in. A banner was just held up: Skagway 29-0.

End 3rd Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Skagway leads 51-22. The crowd was kind of quiet the past few minutes, hushed in the presence of domination. Then Anna Korsmo hit a shot at the buzzer and the SHS faithful were loud and on their feet. Skagway still sticking with 4 starters and Emily Herbig at start of 4th Q.

3:52 3rd Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Ninilchik time out. Skagway not letting up. Kaylie opened with a trey, and Rori added another. Now up 45-18.

End 2nd Q v. Ninilchik - live courtside! Skagway leads at half 37-16. Despite being in some foul trouble, the Lady Panthers have built a huge lead, distributing the ball well. Ellis and Leaverton are having huge games, and O'Daniel and Korsmo have scored some big buckets. 16 minutes and counting to the school's first state basketball championship.

1:16 2nd Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! Skagway shooting free throws, up big: 33-14.

4:39 2nd Q v. Ninilchik - live courtside! Skagway time out. Panthers have cooled off and turned the ball over on fast breaks. Still a big lead: 23-11.

End 1st Q v. Ninilchik - live courtside! Lady Panthers have commanding 19-7 lead. Stifling defense is forcing lots of bad Wolverine shots. And Panthers getting easy looks. Kaylie drove uncontested down the right side of the N defense for a lay-up.

3:56 1st Q v. Ninilchik -- live courtside! media time out. Skagway leads 12-4. Ninilchik did not get on the board until the 5:18 mark. Panthers have ball underneath.

5:56 1st Q v. Ninilchik - live courtside! Ninilchik time out. Skagway leads 6-0 on two buckets by Anna "Googie" Korsmo, the latest courtesy of a beautiful tip pass from Jesse Ellis.

State Championship Start 1st Q v. Ninilchik - live courtside! Skagway and Ninilchik players being introduced. Crowd of over 100 here cheering for Skagway. Wolverines have a big crowd here too who have drove up from down the Kenai peninsula. Big stage. TV cameras. Time for tip!

Skagway to face Ninilchik in State Championship Game. Ninilchik held off Northway 42-39 to advance to play the Lady Panthers. Northway was down by 10 early in the fourth quarter but battled back, much like they did against Yakutat, but the Wolverines found some offense late and are back in the state championship game. Ninilchik, the Peninsula Conf. runner-up to CIA, has been a perennial presence here for years, at one point winning five straight state titles until Yakutat began its three-year run. Skagway will not take the Wolverines lightly, despite beating them soundly at the St. Elias Tourney in Yakutat early this season. These are the state championships and every team brings their A game.

FINAL: Skagway 46, Cook Inlet Academy 40. Panthers advance to second straight state championship game! Skagway's defense held their ground, even after Kaitlyn picked up her 5th foul late. She was named the player of the game for the Lady Panthers. Jesse sealed the win at the line with 4 seconds to go. Skagway will face the winner of Ninilchik vs. Northway, which are playing next. Championship game will be at 6 p.m. Saturday.

17.2 4th Q v. CIA - live courtside! CIA time out. Skagway up 45-40. CIA got within 3 but Rori hit a big runner with 45 secs. left. CIA has ball.

2:42 4th Q v. CIA - live courtside! CIA time out. Skagway up 43-37. CIA is not going away, Skagway trying to be patient with shot selections.

6:38 4th Q v. CIA - live courtside! CIA time out. Skagway up 39-33, CIA scored quick but Jesse stopped them twice with 2 inside steals.

End 3rd Q v. CIA - live courtside! Skagway leads 39-31 after CIA cut the lead on a trey with 4 seconds left in the quarter. Jesse sat out the last 2 minutes after picking up her third foul, but Anna, who has 4 fouls stayed in and scored a jumper.

1:57 3rd Q v. CIA - live courtside! Skagway time out. Skagway up 37-25, setting up for inbounds play.

3:48 3rd Q v. CIA - live courtside! Media time out. Skagway now leads by 10 on some great inside play. Kaitlyn and Anna battling the boards. Up 35-25.

7:19 3rd Q v. CIA - live courtside! CIA time out. Skagway open up with a great no-look pass from Rori to Kaitlin, and Skagway got a steal and a bucket from Kaylie. Lead 29-22.

End 2nd Q v. CIA - live courtside! Skagway ended half on a 14-0 run to come back to take a 25-22 lead. The treys finally started to fall: Rori, Kaitlyn and Kaylie hit big ones, and then Kaylie drove for three the old fashioned way. Eagles looked winded at the end of the half, missing shots they were making earlier. Skagway's defense stepped up and was a big factor.

3:25 2nd Q v. CIA - live courtside! CIA time out. Skagway cut the lead to 22-16 on a pair of free throws by Kaitlyn.

5:50 2nd Q v. CIA - live courtside! Skagway time out. Down 20-11 after CIA scored on a trey and a couple of steals for fast break points.

End 1st Q v. CIA - live courtside! CIA leads 13-9. Skagway having trouble converting shots, but defense strong, limiting CIA shots. This is going to be a battle!

3:50 1st Q v. CIA - live courtside! Skagway now down 8-7. CIA took 2-0 lead, then Skagway came back with 5 straight by Rori and were up 7-2. Now CIA on a run, utilizing size.

5:28 1st Q v. CIA - live courtside! - Skagway leads 9-4

Semifinals vs. Cook Inlet Academy - 3:15 pm start time - courtside now! National Anthem and player intros. Yakutat just beat Noorvik to advance in conso. round. Panthers are facing the 29-4 Eagles, champs of the Peninsula conf.

Next Game Friday at 3:15 p.m. vs. Cook Inlet Academy - CIA will be a tough foe. They are tall and have decent ball pressure, but really had to scrap to hold off Point Hope by 8. Point Hope was Skagway's semifinal opponent last year.

Final: Skagway 47, Chevak 34

Players of the Game: - Chevak - Misty Olson; Skagway - Jesse Ellis.

1:42 Q4 v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Skagway holding on. Kayla Henricksen just hit a shot from the left bank for a trey. Skagway leading 45-32.

End Q3 v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Rori hit a big trey, and the Jesse Ellis had a couple big blocks. Panther subs being shuttled in. Skagway leads 36-14.

3:54 Q3 v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Skagway has cooled off some, but quick hands keep forcing turnovers. Panthers lead 32-12.

End 2nd Q v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Kaitlyn Surdyk has been a beast underneath for Skagway. Three times she wrestled offensive rebounds away from the Comets, and scored the last five points of the quarter for the Lady Panthers. Skagway has commanding haltime lead: 29-6

3:59 v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Skagway got their fast break going at the start of second quarter, now up 22-6.

End 1st Q v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Skagway was hot at the beginning of the quarter with Kaylie O'D sinking three treys. Both teams had trouble making shots in the last 2 minutes. Skagway Leads 14-4.

3:53 1st Q v. Chevak - Live Courtside - Skagway opened with a trey by Kaylie O'Daniel, now leads 11-3. Defense forcing turnovers.

Thurs. 11:20 am - Live Courtside - Panthers are warming up, fans are gathering. I'll be posting updates as we go.

Thurs. 10 am - Millenium hotel - Team HQ - Arrived last night and met many Skagway people in the breakfast room this morning. Heading over to the Sullivan Arena soon. So far Anchorage has been kind to SE teams. The Haines boys, Juneau girls, and Edgecumbe girls all won state titles last night in 3A-4A. Now it's time for the small schools from the region to carry the banner. Klawock boys just beat Chevak, so now it is our turn. Game will be webcast, just follow the links on the March Madness Alaska site below.

Watch for our nightly blog here during March Madness Alaska in Anchorage starting March 18th.