VHS Weekend Wrap-Up: January 6, 2020

Courtesy of VHS Coaches

Varsity Girls Basketball

Grace 34-29
Monroe 52-43
Ketchikan 50-40

Reese King takes a shot against Monroe
 Photo courtesy of Joe Prax

Courtesy of VHS Coaches  – The Bucs competed at the McKinley tournament hosted by Monroe Catholic School this past weekend. Our first game (4th of the season) on Thursday was against the Grace Christian Grizzlies. Both teams began slow, having a difficult time finding the bottom of the basket. The score at half was 11-8 in favor of the Buccaneers. After a much improved second half, the Bucs defeated the Grizzlies by a score of 34-39. Jillian Fleming led the Bucs with 13 points with three 3 pointers, followed by Reece King with 12 points. Jade Holmes gathered 7 rebounds, and Kylie Fletcher-Gilbert took a charge.

The Friday night game against Monroe was a tense, high pressure game as it always is in their
gym. Several quick buckets by Monroe generated by their full court press put them up 21-6 at
the end of the first quarter. Slowly, the Bucs clawed their way back in to the game in the second
quarter, trailing by 10 at the half. It stayed that way until the final 4 minutes. Then, increased
pressure defense and a few fast break buckets brought them within 3 points in the final minute.
However, a couple of good looks at the basket rimmed out and a couple of foul shots missed
the mark. Having to gamble on defense then, Monroe hit a couple final shots to increase the
lead in the final moments. The game ended with Monroe defeating Valdez by a score of 52-43.
The girls showed a tremendous amount of heart and grit, coming back to give one of the top 3A
teams in the state a scare. Chloe Auble led the Bucs with 20 points, followed by Reece King
with 17. Kylie Gilbert-Fletcher had 4 steals.

Kylie Fletcher-Gilbert drives to the basket
Photo courtesy of Joe Prax

On Saturday’s 12:00 game against Ketchikan, the Bucs again came out sluggish to begin the
first quarter, and quickly fell behind by 10. Recovering, The Bucs battled hard and closed the
score to a 2 point game, but then again struggled with the full court pressure. Several fouls on
the Bucs made it difficult to get a sustained defensive effort. To their credit, however, the girls
fought to the end. The Ketchikan Kings defeated the Buccaneers by a score of 50-40.
Reece King and Kylie Fletcher-Gilbert were awarded all-tournament team honors.
The Bucs are now 2 wins, 4 losses on the season. However, the front end of the season has
been loaded with great competition from top teams around the state, and our young team has
scrapped and competed very well. They are working hard to learn new concepts and how to
work together with a new mix of teammates, and are optimistic for their season the rest of this
year. This week will be a bye week, followed by a tournament in Palmer beginning the 16th.

Reese King and Kylie Fletcher-Gilbert were named to All-Tournament Team.


Varsity Boys Basketball

Storm Rohrer
Photo courtesy of Justin Prax

VHS Varsity Boys Basketball Wrap-Up [Mt. McKinley Classic Tournament, January 2-4]

Courtesy of VHS Coaches

Thursday, January 2nd: Valdez 41, Grace Christian 53

Fresh off the Holidays, the Buccaneers traveled north to Fairbanks to participate in the 11th
annual Mt. McKinley Bank Classic; a 4-team round-robin style tournament. The impressive field
included Valdez, Grace Christian, Ketchikan, and the host, Monroe. In all, the four teams
combined for an 86-31 record during the 2018-2019 season, culminating with the 4A State
Champions (Ketchikan Kings), 3A State Runner-Ups (your Valdez Buccaneers), as well as the
3rd and 4th place 3A State finishers (Grace Christian Grizzlies and Monroe Catholic Rams,

Thursday’s matchup between Valdez and Grace Christian marked a rematch from the semi-final
matchup from State the year before. As was the case then, both teams played disciplined and
physical basketball from the onset, resulting in a 17-14 first quarter lead for the Grizzlies, which
they extended to a 35-24 halftime advantage. In the 3rd quarter, Grace took advantage of a
handful of Buccaneer defensive lapses and offensive miscues, outscoring the Bucs 11-4 during
the frame, and extending their lead to 46-28 going into the 4th quarter. The Grizzlies ultimately
prevailed by a tally of 53-41.

The Bucs were led by Jalen Freeman (19 points, 5 rebounds) and Jimmy Chavez (11 points, 5

Jalen Freeman
Photo courtesy of Justin Prax

Friday, January 3rd: Valdez 60, Monroe Catholic 81

The second night of the tournament saw the Bucs pitted against the hometown, and Aurora
Conference rival, Monroe Rams; a rematch of the first game during the State tournament last
year. The 7:45 pm time-frame was a marquee matchup in front of a packed house at Boileau
Hall, with a predictably partisan home crowd rabid and vocal at the start of the game. The
decibel levels fell drastically throughout the first half, as the Bucs matched the Rams firepower
(shooting 6-14 from behind the arc) and took a 38-37 lead into the intermission.

The third quarter saw the Bucs outside shooting diminish, but they were able to go 7-for-11 from
inside the arc to keep pace with the Rams, who held a narrow 57-56 lead entering the fourth
stanza. However, the fourth quarter was a different story. A stagnant Bucs offense and multiple
missed defensive assignments allowed the crowd to get energized again. The Rams responded
with lights out shooting, netting 5 three-pointers in the quarter, as they outscored the Bucs 24-4
enroute to an 81-60 win that was much closer for most of the game than what the final score
would suggest.

Jalen Freeman paced the Bucs offense with 25 points and 9 assists, while JImmy Chavez
added 16 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Storm Rohrer chipped in 13 points while Rafael
Alfaro provided a spark with his on-court intensity, and also by taking a charge.

Saturday, January 4th: Valdez 54, Ketchikan 63

Saturday’s midday contest saw Valdez take on the reigning 4A State Champions Ketchikan
Kings. Whether it be due to a short rest or a food hangover from a late-night Denny’s run, the
Bucs began the game lethargic, sloppy, and disinterested – allowing the Kings to jump out to a
19-9 first quarter lead and a 46-21 advantage at the half.

After a spirited halftime discussion, the Bucs showed renewed interest and energy during the
second half, in which they outplayed the Kings in every aspect of the game (outscoring them 33-

Seven Bucs scored throughout the contest. Storm Rohrer led the way with 13, followed by
Jalen Freeman, Rafael Alfaro, Jimm Chavez, and Bryce Tucker (12,10, 8, and 7, respectively).

Jalen Freeman and Storm Rohrer were named to the All-Tournament Team for the 11th annual
Mt. McKinley Bank Classic.
The Bucs next travel to Palmer for the tournament they host January 16th, 17th, and 18th.


VHS Cheerleader Anna Agcaoili
Photo courtesy of Joe Prax

JV Girls Basketball

JV Girls Vs. North Pole, Hutchison, & Lathrop

Courtesy of VHS Coaches – The JV Bucs had a fun start to the season with three games this weekend in Fairbanks, AK facing North Pole, Hutchison, and Lathrop. Our girls worked hard and secured our first win of the season Friday night against Hutchison 36 – 14. We ended the weekend with 1 win, and 2 losses. They are a young, energetic, great group of girls. As a team we did some really great things on the court this weekend and we are excited to keep working towards our season goals!


JV Boys Basketball

VHS Boys Cheering
Photo courtesy of Justin Prax

JV Boys Vs. North Pole, Hutchison & Lathrop

The JV Boys traveled up to Fairbanks this past weekend to open their season.   They played games at North Pole, Hutchison, and Lathrop.  The JV Bucs got a victory over North Pole on Thursday, but fell to Hutchison and Lathrop the following two nights.

The Bucs held the lead all game against North Pole, getting meaningful contributions from all. The next two matchups saw greater defensive pressure which caused problems.  The Bucs suffered to many turnovers which lead to too many easy transition baskets for the other teams.

Leading the way consistently for the JV Bucs for the weekend were Dillon Fowler and Dennis Mott.  We’re looking forward to a couple weeks of practice to improve in some areas and prepare for our next trip to Palmer in two weeks.