(1-4-15) – The VHS varsity basketball team travelled up to Anchorage this past weekend for the annual Lime Solar/Pepsi Invitational at ACS. The invite this year was held on December 31st thru January 2nd and ACS was host to seven teams from around the state of Alaska. Both Valdez teams had strong performances over the weekend with this tournament being the first test for the teams.
The girl’s team went 2-1 for the weekend which gave them a 3rd place finish. On the first day of competition the Lady Bucs won easily against Tikigaq and advanced to the next round where they would go on to face the Barrow Whalers. This proved to be a tough matchup for Valdez. During the game sophomore Mackenzi Mott scored 28 points to keep the Lady Bucs alive. In the final minutes of the game Valdez struggled at the freethrow line and Barrow won the game 59-53. In the final game of the weekend, Valdez faced off against Bethel and won 53-38 behind the scoring bursts of Mackenzi Mott with 16 points and Katy Merioles with 12 points. At the conclusion of the tournament Mackenzi Mott and Maddy Fleming of Valdez were selected to the girls All-Tournament team.
The boys team played hard during the tournament, finishing in 4th place with a record of 1-2. The boy’s first game was an easy victory over Kotzebue 50-31. The boys were led by senior Seth Auble who scored 21 points during the game. The next day the young buccaneer team had a challenging game against the defending state champions, the Barrow Whalers. The Whalers proved to be too experienced for the Buccaneers beating them 69-32 led by their nationally ranked player, Kamaka Hepa who scored 17 for the game. On the final day of competition, Valdez was in a close knit game against the Bethel Warriors. Valdez went 2-10 from the line during the game and Bethel shot 19-32 from the line which gave Bethel the 46-40 victory. During the game, Seth Auble led Valdez scoring nine points. Auble was selected to the boys All-Tournament team.