It was three days of basketball on the south side of Kachemak Bay last week at a tournament held by Seldovia’s Susan B. English High School.
Teams from Cook Inlet Academy, Nanwalek, Nikolaevsk and Seldovia battled from Thursday through Saturday, with the Nikolaevsk Warriors boys team taking first place in the tournament.
“The tournament went great,” said Mark Hanes, head coach for the Seldovia Sea Otters boys team. “No injuries, no problems, the stands were full and the fans got to see some really close games decided at the last second. It was a great end to the home games this season.”
The all-tournament team included Caleb Lyons of CIA, John Romanoff of Nanwalek, Jaruby Nelson of Nikolaevsk, Aidan Philpot of Seldovia and Tim Smithwick of CIA. In skills competition, CIA’s Lyons was named the three-point champion and Seldovia’s Philpot was the free-throw king.
“The three games between the three top teams were decided by three points in the last seconds in each contest,” said Mark Janes, head coach for the Seldovia Otters. With that kind of close action, he predicted more of the same during Regions, March 5-8. “The regional tournament at Skyview promises to be a very exciting series of games.”
Only two girls teams participated in the tourney: CIA and Seldovia.
“Nanwalek doesn’t have a girls team so it made it difficult to schedule a girls tourney,” said Janes. “Next year.”
They got the tournament off to a start on Feb. 20, with the CIA team winning game against Seldovia. A rematch the following the day brought the same results, with CIA stopping the Otters.
In the boys March 20 competition, Nikolaevsk won their first game against CIA by a narrow three-point margin and a final score of 63-60. Following that game, Seldovia claimed a 20-point victory over Nanwalek, 83-63.
On Friday, a game between Nikolaevsk and Nanwalek saw the Nikolaevsk Warriors claiming a 71 victory to Nanwalek’s 50 points. The action picked up when Seldovia and CIA took to the court, with CIA sliding past the Otters, 46-43.
With the girls sitting out of the competition on Saturday, the boys games saw CIA taking a 65-42 victory over Nanwalek and Nikolaevsk wrapping up the three days of play with a win over Seldovia, 50-47.
With the results of the Seldovia tournament, the CIA, Nikolaevsk and Seldovia teams are coming into Regions closely matched.
“All three of the top teams will have split their series and as I read it, the regular season winner will come down to point spread,” said Janes. “In our series with CIA we both scored 99 points in the two games, so, we are tied for the tie-breaker.”
This week Nikolaevsk played Ninilchik Tuesday, CIA plays Ninilchik today and Seldovia plays Ninilchik on Saturday.
“We all have to win,” said Janes.
While the Nikolaevsk girls team didn’t travel to Seldovia, they played the Bristol Bay girls team at Nikolaevsk on March 20. The girl warriors chalked up a victory with a score of 50-35.
The Nikolaevsk teams traveled to Ninilchik on Tuesday to play the Ninilchik Wolverines boys and girls team. Seldovia’s boys and girls teams play Nikolaevsk at Nikolaevsk on Friday. Those are the last games for the three schools before Region at Skyview, March 5-8.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com.