VHS Varsity Boys Basketball Wrap-Up
Coastal Holiday Shootout, December 19th-21st
Thursday, December 19th: Valdez 70, Kendrick [Idaho] 40
The Buccaneers traveled south to Sitka to participate in the Coastal Holiday Shootout- a 4 team
round robin style tournament which boasted a field of Kendrick [Idaho], Bethel, Valdez, and the
host Sitka Wolves.
With an afternoon game scheduled, the Bucs were able to tour the Alaska Raptor Center
Thursday morning – an event appreciated by most everybody, save those who suffer from
In tournament action, Valdez drew the Kendrick Tigers in the opening round to kick off the 2019-
2020 Buccaneer season. The Bucs sported a roster consisting of 6 new Varsity players.
Despite the relative unfamiliarity of playing with one another, the Bucs held a 15-12 first quarter
lead, followed by a 31-20 advantage at the half. After the intermission, the Valdez offense really
began to gel – posting a 25 point third quarter en route to a 70-40 victory.
In a true team effort, all 11 eligible Buccaneers scored in the game, led offensively by Jalen
Freeman, who turned in an all around performance of 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Storm Rohrer and James Letendre netted 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Douglas
Cummins and Allen Watson each grabbed 7 rebounds. Jimmy Chavez successfully drew an
Friday, December 20th: Valdez 60, Sitka 48
Friday morning the visiting teams were provided with an Allen Marine tour of the surrounding
coastal area. The catamaran-style boat cruised through channels and coves in search of
marine wildlife, busting through chop and rolling waves.
The second night of the tournament saw the Bucs pitted against the hometown Sitka Wolves in
front of a rabid fan base and large school band packed into the gym. The 6 pm time-frame was
a marquee matchup, and the game did not disappoint.
The Bucs used quality man-to-man defense, and solid shooting against the stout Sitka 2-3 zone,
to take a 25-24 lead into halftime. During halftime, concerted efforts were made to reinforce the
need to limit the Wolves to one shot (finish the defensive stand with a rebound) and to reduce
the turnovers. The Bucs responded in the third quarter, committing zero turnovers and
garnering every defensive rebound (7) while outscoring the Wolves 18-8 in the period. The
Bucs thwarted every Sitka comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 60-48 victory.
Despite spending the morning on a boat, Jalen Freeman and Jimmy Chavez found their
shooting stroke and each chipped in 19 points, going a combined 9-for-18 beyond the arc.
Jimmy “Sea Legs” Chavez notched a Valdez High School single game best 6 made three
pointers, shooting 6-for-11. Jalen Freeman recorded a double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds,
while Storm Rohrer chipped in 11 points. Douglas Cummins netted 7, grabbed 9 rebounds, and
successfully drew an offensive foul.
Saturday, December 21st: Valdez 45, Bethel 28
Saturday morning all teams participated in a series of skills competitions, consisting of: Free
Throw contest, Big Dog contest, Hot Shot shooting, and a 3-point shooting contest. The Valdez
boys were well represented in those contests. Jimmy Chavez won the free throw shooting
contest, Jalen Freeman won the 3-point shooting competition, and Hayden Howard finished
2nd in the Big Dog contest. In what will likely be the most memorable portion of the weekend,
Rafael Alfaro went 2-for-2 from half court to demolish the rest of the competition in the Hot Shot
Saturday’s afternoon game featured Valdez vs. Bethel, a game that saw some stagnant offense
and a number of turnovers throughout the first half. The Bucs matched or exceeded the Bethel
scoring tally throughout each quarter, taking a 19-14 lead into half and then increasing that lead
by outscoring the Warriors 18-12 in the third quarter before securing a 45-28 win.
The Bucs were led by Jalen Freeman, who scored 23 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
Rafael Alfaro chipped in 10 points and Allen Watson successfully drew an offensive foul.
By going 3-0 over the weekend, the Bucs were crowned the 2019 Coastal Holiday Shootout
Champions. In addition to the first-place team trophy, Jalen Freeman took home a handful of
individual awards for his play during the tournament. He was the Valdez representative on the
All-Tournament Defensive Team, the All-Tournament Offensive Team, and named the Most
Valuable Player of the Tournament.
The Buccaneers next travel to Fairbanks on January 1, 2020, to participate in the McKinley
Tournament (hosted by Monroe Catholic), where they will square off against Grace Christian,
Ketchikan, and the Monroe Catholic Rams.