The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from both Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe High Schools are competing in the regional tournament in Juneau this week. Last year, the tournament was here in Sitka. This year all that noise and energy has been transported north. In case you’re missing it, Jo Zaczkowski of the Mt. Edgecumbe High School Radio Club, and fellow student Chance Kammeyer, sent us this audio postcard:
See the complete tournament schedule, or view the tournament live stream from JDHS.
The Mt. Edgecumbe boys posted a big win over 3A rivals Petersburg, in round 1 of the regional tournament in Juneau.
The Braves downed the Vikings 51-29.
Daily Sitka Sentinel sports editor Tom Hesse is covering the games. He spoke with KCAW’s Robert Woolsey about the Braves’ tactics against the bigger Petersburg team.
KCAW – How were they able to close down Petersburg’s big men?
Hesse – They played an interesting defensive set. It was still the 2-3 zone, but a lot more player movement. The zones shifted around the floor a little bit, they followed their players out farther than you normally would in a 2-3 zone, and cut off the three-point shooting, which Petersburg usually stretches the floor a little bit with. But they still had the zone quality that let them collapse down on the big men. Another thing that changed the game was foul trouble. Colby Bell, who is one of Petersburg’s 6’-6” big men — very tall, great room protector — fouled out in this game. He had three fouls by halftime. It kept him on the bench most of the game, which kind of opened things up a bit for Mt. Edgecumbe at the other end of the floor.
The Mt. Edgecumbe Braves will take on the Sitka Wolves at 1:15 PM Thursday. The Wolves received a first-round bye.
Hesse believes Sitka’s early-season wins over the Braves reveal absolutely nothing about this next matchup.
“This is a team that’s built to peak at the regional tournament. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that these kids haven’t played together all through middle school, the way the Sitka kids have. Because it’s the state-run boarding school, Archie Young only gets so much time with them. And it takes time for a basketball team to learn things you don’t necessarily think about: Where to get the ball, and in what position, what shooter likes to be where. And now that they’re hammering those things out, this team is really coming on.”
The regional tournament is double-elimination. The Petersburg boys will play the loser of tomorrow’s Mt. Edgecumbe-Sitka contest. The championship game of this three-team tournament will be held at 5 PM on Friday.
On the girls’ side, the Sitka Lady Wolves lost a close contest to Petersburg, 34 – 38.
The Sitka girls now move into the loser’s bracket. But — like the Petersburg boys — Hesse says they can claw their way back to a championship.
“Which is a tall order, but something that can certainly happen. This is a team that is still trying to find itself, now that it’s got its creator back in Sid Riggs. Because the offense was always designed around Megan Reid as low post scorer, and Sid Riggs as creator, with a bunch of shooters around them. So they’re still trying to work that back in.”
With Sid Riggs out most of the season with a broken wrist, the Lady Wolves’ center, Megan Reid, has anchored the Sitka offense. Hesse says Petersburg double- and sometimes triple-teamed Reid to keep her off the ball.
Beating Mt. Edgecumbe — for either team — will be a challenge. Hesse says the Lady Braves dominated the regular season, beating Petersburg three times. The Lady Braves received a first-round bye. They’ll take on the Lady Vikings in second round action 11:30 AM Thursday.
Daily Sitka Sentinel sports editor Tom Hesse is calling the regional tournament games live over KIFW-AM 1230 in Sitka.