The Sitka Wolves have won the Southeast region 3A basketball tournament.
The Wolves decisively beat the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves Saturday afternoon, 62 to 45.
The game was a rematch between these same two teams from the previous afternoon. In Friday’s contest, Mt. Edgecumbe trailed Sitka by 14 points going into the fourth quarter, but rallied, tied the game with less than a minute to play, and eventually won by 5.
On Saturday, however, Sitka was a different team. Mt. Edgecumbe athletic director Andrew Friske, calling the game on the Juneau-Douglas High School web stream, summed up the Wolves’ play like this:
“Sitka has had a solid game. They’ve had a couple of turnovers, but overall they’ve controlled the tempo of this game, they’ve owned the glass, and had a good game plan coming in here to get the ball inside. Minimal 3-point shots. Pound it inside with AJ (Inman) and Brian (Way). A good game plan by the Sitka Wolves so far.”
Sitka will represent the Southeast region in state tournament action beginning later this week in Anchorage. The challenge for Sitka — and all teams in the 3A classification — will be overcoming Monroe Catholic, a perennial powerhouse which has dominated even some 4A schools in the Anchorage area this season.
The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves defeated Sitka on Friday to capture the regional 3A crown in girls basketball. The score was 49 – 42.
Sitka was the defending Region V champion, and was expected to repeat this season. However a broken wrist kept point guard Sid Riggs sidelined until this tournament.
Daily Sitka Sentinel sports editor Tom Hesse, who covered regional tournament play, says the Sitka girls were starting to show signs of their early promise, but just ran out of time.
“They saw a little bit of Sid Riggs at the end of the regular season, as Sitka was trying to work Sid back into the lineup. And you could tell there was a difference when she did play, and when she was playing well, you could see Mt. Edgecumbe having to adapt to the speed. It’s like borrowing your friend’s BMW and realizing that you get a lot more kick when you step on the accelerator.”
The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves will face either Galena or Valdez when the state tournament kicks off later this week.