Varsity Girls Basketball (Coach Joe Robison):
The Lady Buccaneer Basketball team competed in the Barrow Invitational this weekend, facing off against teams from Barrow, ACS, and Mt. Edgecumbe.
Thursday, January 24th:
The Bucs lost a close game to the home team Barrow Whalers on Thursday, 47 – 52. After starting fast, the Lady Bucs fought to get back within just a couple points of the Whalers, but fell just short in the end. The Buccaneers were led in scoring by Reese King with 17 points, while Ally Seiber and Jillian Fleming both added 11 points.
Friday, January 25th:
The Lady Bucs took on a very tough ACS team on Friday. resulting in a 29 – 76 loss. After a slow start, the Bucs played much better over the final 3 quarters. An important takeaway was the team continued to battle, despite the score. Valdez was led in scoring by Reese King with 11 points .
Saturday, January 26th:
Valdez ended the weekend Saturday afternoon with a 60 – 59 victory over a very physical Mt. Edgecumbe team. The Lady Bucs over came a 7 point halftime deficit and used a late score from Jade Watts to get the win. Free throw shooting was the key to the game, as the Bucs were 9 for 13 in the fourth quarter. Jade Watts led the way with 19 points, while Reese King chipped in 12 points and Ally Seiber added 11.
Reese King and Jade Watts were named to the All-Tournament team, while Jade Holmes was the tournament Free Throw contest for the girls division.
Coaches Comments: “We played 3 physical game against really physical teams. This was a trip that will serve us well as we head into conference play. We also go quality minutes of the bench from Jade Holmes and Macy Hansen, which was critical for us all weekend. The girls had a great trip and represented Valdez very well.”
Varsity Boys Basketball (Coach Bart Hinkle):
VHS Varsity Boys Basketball Wrap-Up [Barrow Invitational Tournament, Jan. 24th-26th]
Thursday, January 24th: Valdez 42, ACS 59
The Buccaneers traveled north to Utqiagvik to participate in the Barrow Invitational Tournament – a 4 team round robin style tournament which boasted a field of Mt. Edgecumbe, ACS, Valdez, and the host Barrow Whalers.
Valdez drew ACS in the opening round – a rematch of the Jan. 5th championship game at the ACS Tournament. Similar to that game, Valdez was within a handful of points at halftime but ACS was able to pull away in the second half – resulting in a 59-42 ACS victory.
Bennett Hinkle scored 13 points with 5 steals, Logan Heckathorn scored 12 points with 7 rebounds, and Jalen Freeman scored 11 points while shooting 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Bennett Hinkle successfully drew an offensive foul.
Friday, January 15th: Valdez 44, Barrow 40
The second night of the tournament saw the Bucs pitted against the hometown Whalers – for the 3rd time thus far this season. The Bucs have emerged victorious in the previous two outings, but playing Barrow in Barrow is an experience unlike any other in high school basketball. The crowd is typically at maximum capacity and consists of everyone from toddlers to elders, and all of them are well-versed in the organized cheers (or jeers). The 6 pm time-frame was a marquee matchup, and neither the game or the crowd disappointed.
From the onset the crowd was raucous and involved in the game, spurring Barrow out to an early 12-6 first quarter lead, and an eventual 25-17 halftime advantage. As is customary for teams that have played each other so recently, the scoring was hard to come by for both sides. This was exacerbated by the Bucs shooting 1-10 from the 3-pt line in the first half.
The second half continued along the same vein, with Valdez slightly edging Barrow in the 3rd quarter scoring at 13-10. The Bucs entered the final stanza behind by a count of 35-30. The game remained in Barrow’s favor until Valdez was able to edge ahead with about 2:00 remaining in the game. From there they never relinquished the lead – sealing a 44-40 Buccaneer win when Logan Heckathorn made 2 free throws with 2.2 seconds left on the clock.
Despite the low score, the game was exceptionally well-played. There were a total of 7 free throws shot the entire game [Valdez was 3-for-6, Barrow 0-for-1]. The two teams combined for only 16 fouls and 23 turnovers.
The Bucs featured a balanced scoring attack: Kyler LaBonte led with 10 points and 6 rebounds; Logan Heckathorn chipped in 9 points and made all 3 Valdez free throws; Jalen Freeman also scored 9 points while grabbing 5 rebounds; Ike Watson continued his effective interior play against Barrow as he chipped in 8 points and grabbed 14 rebounds; Bennett Hinkle contributed 8 points and registered 6 assists. Kyler LaBonte successfully drew a critical offensive foul during Barrow’s final half-court possession, with Valdez leading 42-40.
Saturday, January 26th: Valdez 79, Mt. Edgecumbe 40
Saturday’s afternoon game featured Valdez vs. Mt. Edgecumbe – a rematch from the final game for each team at last year’s State Championship tournament. It also featured one of the few times this year that the Bucs have played against a zone defense. Perhaps it was a different look, or a confidence-inspiring win from the night before, but the Bucs offense started – and ended- the game firing on all cylinders.
The Bucs jumped out to an early 13-0 lead and ended the first quarter leading by a score of 19-12. They extended that lead and entered halftime with a 35-25 advantage. After intermission, the Bucs exerted their will on Mt. Edgecumbe – dominating in their ¾ court trapping press and effectively running their zone offense. The Bucs outscored Mt. Edgecumbe 44-15 in the second half en route to a convincing 79-40 win.
Valdez shot 58% [32-for-55] from the field, including 8-for-16 from the 3-point line. The long-range efficiency was led by Kyler LaBonte (3 for 4) and Jimmy Chavez (3 for 5). Kyler LaBonte led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Bennett Hinkle scored 17 points while going 7-7 from the field, and Logan Heckathorn poured in 15 points and 5 rebounds. In addition to his 9 points, Jimmy Chavez also grabbed 5 rebounds.
In a true team effort, all Bucs registered playing time and the 32 converted field goals in the game were a result of 23 assists [Bennett Hinkle had 7, Logan Heckathorn 6, and Jalen Freeman 5]. Ike Watson successfully drew an offensive foul and Julius Bauss capped his VHS career with 2 points, sinking both of his free throw attempts.
Bennett Hinkle was named to the All-Tournament Team for the Barrow Invitational Tournament, and Julius Bauss won the free-throw shooting contest.
The Buccaneers next face Aurora Conference rivals Monroe Catholic on Friday and Saturday in their last regular season home games of the year (excluding the Elk’s Tournament).
Friday, February 1st is slated to be Black Out day. All VHS fans are encouraged to attend in black attire.
Saturday, February 2nd is Senior Night. The boys basketball program will be recognizing the following Seniors: Ike Watson, Logan Heckathorn, Kyler LaBonte, Bennett Hinkle, and Justin Prax.
This Week In Sports:
Basketball Games vs Monroe (Blackout Game – Everyone Wear Buccaneer Black!)
Friday, February 1:
5:30 JV Boys
7:00 Varsity Girls
8:30 Varsity Boys
Saturday, February 2:
4:30 JV Boys
6:00 Varsity Girls
Senior Recognition (Between Games)
7:30 Varsity Boys