Girls JV Basketball (Coach Jodi Arnold):
Friday, January 18th: Valdez 31, Eielson 5
Saturday, January 19th: Valdez 36, Eielson 32
This weekend we played our first JV home games of the season. Throughout both games our girls played great defense and moved the ball well on offense. Saturday was a different game with Eielson adding a player that did not play Friday. I was very proud of how our team handled the additional pressure they put on us.
High scorers for Friday were Ambrosia Woodgate with 11, Lilly Alfaro with 10, and Marianne Prax with 8.
High scorer for Saturday was Rylie King with 11. The rest of our points were fairly evenly distributed throughout the rest of the team with all players scoring.
Girls Varsity Basketball (Coach Joe Robison):
Friday: Lady Bucs 53, Eielson 17
The Lady Bucs pulled away from Eielson early using their pressure to build a 25 – 1 first quarter lead. The Bucs were led by Jade Watts with 15 points an Ally Seiber with 13. Everyone was able to get valuable playing time.
Saturday: Lady Bucs 55, Eielson 10
Once again, the Lady Bucs pulled away early and built a significant lead. The Bucs were led by Ally Seiber’s 17 points. Jillian Fleming added 11 points and Jade Holmes chipped in 10 points.
“I was very proud of our girls for starting fast and working on the things that we wanted to. Eielson is down this year, but they are doing things the right way and working to get better. This was an opportunity for us to work on some details that we need to clean up, and get everyone valuable minutes as we get into the meat of our season.”
Boys JV Basketball (Coach Lee Chadwick):
This past weekend the JV boys played the Eielson Ravens at home. It was good to be back in front of the home crowd, and fun to see it well attended.
On the first night, the boys fell quickly behind to the Ravens ending the first quarter down 7-20. However, with a renewed energy and focus on defense, we narrowed deficit to 2 by halftime. We won the third quarter 14-5, but then allowed a finishing run by the Ravens to bring the game to a tense end. Ultimately, our defense held off the final attempts to send the game to overtime, and we won by a score of 50-47. Storm Rohrer led the scoring with 10, while Moe Morgan contributed 7 rebounds.
Saturday, we met the Raven’s intensity from the beginning, successfully adjusting to their full court press and changing defenses. In the second period we began to pull away and never looked back. The final score was 68-43. Austin Crawford lead all scorers with 18, while Dennis Mott had 8 rebounds.
Boys Varsity Basketball (Coach Bart Hinkle):
Friday, January 18th: Valdez 56, Eielson 40
The Bucs took the home court for the first time in 2019 and faced off against Aurora Conference rival Eielson Ravens. In what can only be described as an abysmal start to the game, the Bucs dug themselves an early hole by committing unforced turnovers, excessive fouls, and sporting an anemic offense (resulting in an early 12-2 Eielson lead). Fortunately, upper-class maturity helped to right the ship and the boys took a 19-17 halftime lead into the locker room – thanks to a renewed interest in intense man-to-man defense and a ¾ court trapping press. That trend continued throughout the third quarter, as the Bucs took control of the game by dominating that stanza 21-8 enroute to a 56-40 win.
The Bucs defense forced the Ravens into 27 turnovers, but also committed 20 of their own. However, the Bucs were able to turn those turnovers into 28 points, while Eielson only recorded 16 points off of turnovers. The Bucs also outscored the Ravens 24-18 in the paint.
Ike Watson recorded a double-double as he poured in 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Bennett Hinkle also scored 16, while snatching 7 steals. Kyler LaBonte contributed 14 points and 5 steals. Owen Chadwick chipped in 6 points, and 5 rebounds, with zero turnovers while harassing the Eielson ballhanders on the defensive end. All ten Bucs that were suited up for the game registered playing time.
Saturday, January 19th: Valdez 61, Eielson 51
As is typical for tough Aurora Conference weekends, the second consecutive night of games saw the road team come out more refreshed and sharper in their execution than the prior night. The contest remained close in the first half, with neither team able to build a lead larger than 4 points. The Bucs entered intermission with a 30-29 lead, as Logan Heckathorn led the way with 14 first half points.
As was the case Friday, the Bucs used the 3rd quarter to establish (and build upon) a lead, outscoring the Ravens 21-13. The pace slowed in the 4th, as the Bucs wound the clock down and forced the Ravens to foul – leading to 11 FT attempts for the Bucs in the 4th. Only 6 of those attempts were converted, but was enough to secure a 61-51 Buccaneer victory.
Logan Heckathorn led the Bucs in scoring with 23 points, while also dishing out 3 assists. Bennett Hinkle scored 13 and led the Bucs with 8 rebounds. Owen Chadwick chipped in 11 and snagged 3 rebounds. Ike Watson had 9 points, 7 rebounds and Kyler LaBonte scored 5 points while grabbing 6 rebounds.
On Wednesday (Jan. 22nd), the Bucs travel to Utqiagvik [formerly known as Barrow] for the Barrow Invitational Tournament. The format is a 4-team round robin; the Bucs will be playing three strong 3A programs in Mt. Edgecumbe, Anchorage Christian School, and Barrow. In addition to the on-court action, the Buccaneers will also be present to witness the first sunrise (at 1:04 pm on January 24th) that Utqiagvik has seen since November 18, 2018.
This Week in Sports:
Basketball: Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball will travel to Barrow for a 4 Team Round Robin Tournament. (Streaming does not sound like it will be available.)
Nordic Ski: Traveling to Fairbanks for Ski Meet at Birch Hill on Saturday 11:00 am.