Nordic Ski (Coach Timi Miner – High School / Coach Cole Beck- Gilson Middle School):
Skiing is a sport that should never be underestimated- there are so many variables that must be considered and so much effort put into learning various techniques. First, a skier must learn to have good coordination and balance. Second, they are given a set of skis and poles and asked to learn an entirely new and very different way of moving. They develop skills that allow them to glide gracefully and ski with rhythm. Third, we introduce them into ever-changing temperatures and weather patterns. Maybe they learn how to ski on compact, fast snow during a warm day but are then turned around and thrown into the freezing cold while having to struggle uphill over what feels like gliding on sandpaper. This is exactly the battle our Cross Country Ski Team experienced this weekend.
This was our first race of the season in Palmer with temperatures ranging from -1 F to -3 F. The snow was slow and the skiers faced a challenging 5 kilometer skate course. For the boys, Blake Morrison came in at a time of 36:47 and Aiden Stefanec at 42:34. As for the girls, Samantha Benda at came in at 44:29 and Anastasia Blake at 48:30. Blake Morrison was the only skier to compete in the 5 kilometer classic race and came in at a time of 39:09. They faced many challenges during the trip but we are all very proud of them pushing through and coming out a stronger skier as the result.
-Coach Timi Miner
The Gilson Middle School Ski Team had their first race this weekend, 13 skiers traveled to Palmer for a 3 kilometer skate fro at the Government Peak Recreation Center. The Skiers came up against a lot of difficulties due to cold temperatures and difficult snow. I am very proud of them for rising to the challenge and never giving up! We had a great learning experience and enjoyed the excitement of being at a race with teams from all over Alaska. Great job skiers!
-Coach Cole Beck
We would also like to thank our ski manager William Benes for coming. And shout out to all the volunteers we have had this season: Michelle Cullen, Sergei Wegner, Ryan Good, Riley Norris, Karen Cline, Denise O’Brien, and Betsy Caruthers.
Results from our community 4 kilometer ski races are: Ben Stolen: 11:57 Riley Norris: 13:41 Sam Shirk: 18:41 Karen Cline: 38 Thank you to all those who have come out and supported us! Our next scheduled town race is Saturday January 26, 2019.
Girls Varsity Basketball (Coach Joe Robison):
Varsity Girls Basketball – West Valley Invite
Thursday, Jan. 10
The VHS Lad Bucs played Anchorage Christian in the first round of the West Valley Ice Jam last Thursday. Despite the 65 – 25 loss, the Lady Bucs played hard and played better than the score indicated against the reigning State Champions. The Bucs were led by Ally Sieber with 15 points, and Reese King with 6 points.
Friday, Jan. 11
The Lady Bucs met East Anchorage in the 2nd round of the Ice Jam Tournament. Valdez erased an early deficit, and was within 5 points to start the 4th quarter. Despite cutting the lead to 1 points with 4 minutes to go, the Lady Bucs just couldn’t finish the job and lost 46 – 37. The Lady Bucs were led by Ashley Ramoth and Reese King, who both scored 11 points.
Saturday, Jan. 12
The Lady Bucs defeated Eagle River 42 – 24 in their final game at the West Valley Tournament. The Bucs played really well, and handled Eagle River’s size with a great effort on the defensive end. The Bucs were led by Ally Sieber with 12 points and Reese King with 10.
“I am very proud of the girls this weekend. As a group, we know the importance of taking steps forward. We want every practice and every game to be another step forward, and I really felt we took 3 steps forward this weekend. We played extremely well on the defensive end and really forced people to work for what they got. The girls continued to battle each game, and that is a testament to how they really love to play for each other.”
Girls JV Basketball (Coach Jodi Arnold):
Valdez v Hutchinson 30-12
Valdez v Lathrop 29-32
Valdez v West Valley 38-46
Kylie Fletcher Gilbert takes it to the hole against Hutchinson
Coaches’ Comments: We had a great weekend of basketball in Fairbanks. Our main goal this weekend was to get better with each game. This goal was accomplished! We played all our games this weekend with 6 players. I am very proud of how hard our girls played throughout all of the games.
Highlights: Our game with Lathrop was our most exciting match-up. At the end of the third quarter we were down by 10 points. The Lady Bucs battled back and outscored Lathrop 10-0 in the fourth quarter which put us into our first overtime. We tied again at the end of the first overtime. Though our girls fought hard to gain back ground, we came up a little short at the end of the second overtime.
Boys Varsity Basketball (Coach Bart Hinkle):
VHS Varsity Boys Basketball Wrap-Up [Alaska Prep Shootout, January 10 – 12]
Thursday, January 10th: Valdez 55, Kenai 37
The Buccaneer Boys traveled to Anchorage to participate in the 26th Annual Alaska Prep Shootout, which boasted a field of Kenai, Barrow, Eagle River, Grace Christian, West Valley, Palmer, Valdez, and the host Dimond Lynx. The last time Valdez participated in the tournament was 2004 – when they won it.
Valdez’s opening round matchup was against the Kenai Kardinals – a senior laden team that previously was 4A, but reclassified this year into 3A. The Bucs dominated scoring inside the paint (38-6) and forced Kenai into 26 turnovers – which directly resulted in 24 Buc points. The Bucs broke a close contest open in the 2nd/3rd quarters with a 21-2 run en route to a 55-37 victory.
Bennett Hinkle led the Bucs with 19 points and 9 rebounds, while Ike Watson contributed 13 points and snagged 7 rebounds. Four Buccaneers [Kyler LaBonte, Bennett Hinkle, Ike Watson, and Logan Heckathorn] successfully drew an offensive foul. Bennett Hinkle was announced as player of the game.
Friday, January 11th: Valdez 57, Barrow 35
The first-round victory provided the Bucs with an opportunity to face the Barrow Whalers in the semi-final game for the second consecutive week. Barrow advanced by beating Eagle River in overtime the first round.
After a back-and-forth first half, the Whalers entered intermission with a 23-22 lead. From there the Bucs took over – outscoring Barrow 35-12 in the second half. The Bucs out-matched the physical play Barrow is notorious for, outscoring them 40-14 in the paint. The game was blown open in the second half due in large part to suffocating defense and 16-of-25 shooting from the floor.
The Buccaneers had two players with a double-double (Logan Heckathorn with 19 points, 11 rebounds and Ike Watson with 11 points, 10 rebounds). Bennett Hinkle chipped in 12 points while registering 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Logan Heckathorn was announced as player of the game.
Saturday, January 12th: Valdez 30, Dimond 66
Saturday’s championship game, like the championship game a week prior, pitted the Bucs against the host team. The Dimond Lynx advanced to the championship by stifling the opposition with their full-court press, beating both 4A opponents by an average of 37.5 points. Alas, the Bucs were unable to recreate the magic of 2004, falling to the Lynx by 36 points.
Unlike the previous two teams Dimond faced, the Bucs adequately handled the full-court pressure, with a mere 3 turnovers in the first half. However, the Bucs were a paltry 12-of-39 (30%) shooting from the field for the game. (Conversely, the Lynx shot 25-of-57, including sinking 11 of 22 three-point attempts)
Kyler LaBonte and Ike Watson paced the Bucs with 9 points apiece, while Douglas Cummins grabbed 8 rebounds. Ike Watson, Logan Heckathorn, and Douglas Cummins each drew an offensive foul. Ike Watson was announced as player of the game.
Bennett Hinkle and Ike Watson were voted onto the All-Tournament Team for the Alaska Prep Shootout.
The Buccaneers will host Aurora Conference opponent Eielson Ravens on Friday and Saturday (January 18th and 19th).
Ike Watson, Photo courtesy of Jennifer Watson
VHS Boys Basketball Teams Takes 2nd Place at Dimond Tournament 2019, Photo courtesy of Jennifer Watson
Boys JV Basketball (Coach Lee Chadwick):
This past week the Boys JV team visited Fairbanks for a 3 game run against Hutchison, Lathrop, and West Valley.
Thursday’s game against Hutchison was a close contest the entire game. In the final few seconds and down by two, we converted only one of 2 free throws. However, on the ensuing inbounds play we caused a fumble, giving us the ball on our baseline with 7 seconds left. A bungled play on the inbounds pass ended with us having the ball again on the baseline with only 2 remaining seconds. A second bungled play led to a rushed shot at the buzzer that fell short. The final score was 47-48, won by Hutchison.
The second night we played Lathrop. We quickly fell behind to a deep Lathrop squad, ending the first quarter 6-19. The second and third quarters were played roughly even. In the final two minutes, a re-invigorated defensive effort narrowed the final score but the Bucs fell short at 48-56.
The final night was a contest against West Valley JV. In December we played the same team and narrowly beat them. However, with some squad personnel changes and limited practices over the holidays factoring in, we were out of sync offensively and lacking a defensive focus. The second quarter was particularly disasterous as we were on the short end of a 14-2 run by the Wolfpack. The final score was 28-43 with a 3rd Buc loss on the weekend.
Up Coming Sports Events:
Friday, January 18: Home Basketball Games vs Eielson in High School Gym
4:00 JV Boys
5:30 JV Girls
7:00 Varsity Boys
8:30 Varsity Girls
Saturday, January 19: Home Basketball Games vs Eielson in High School Gym
3:00 JV Girls
4:30 JV Boys
6:00 Varsity Girls
7:30 Varsity Boys