VHS Weekend Wrap-Up: February 24, 2020

Varsity Boys Basketball

VHS Varsity Boys Basketball Wrap-Up [February 21st & 22nd]

Doug Cummins takes it to the hoop, VHS Basketball Feb 2020, Photo courtesy of Joe Prax

Friday, February 21st: Valdez 52, Eielson 48
Courtesy of VHS Coaches – The Buccaneers visited fellow Aurora Conference members the Eielson Ravens over the weekend in their last regular-season road trip of the year. In recent years, the games played at Eielson Air Force Base between the Bucs and Ravens have been hard-fought, closely contested, filled with momentum swings, and charged with emotion. This game would ultimately prove to be no different.

The Ravens got the scoring started early by converting a deep 3-pointer :13 seconds into the game. Two interior baskets from Douglas Cummins put Valdez ahead with 5:36 remaining in the quarter; a quarter in which the Ravens would dominate by going on a 15-0 run to establish an 18-4 lead with :26 seconds left in the first quarter. A Jalen Freeman 3-pointer at the buzzer capped the scoring and ended the quarter with the Bucs down by 11.

The Ravens quickly established their lead again in the second quarter, nailing another 3-pointer :17 seconds into the frame to go up by 14. From that point on, the Bucs controlled the quarter. The offense became less stagnant and featured scoring from multiple players. Offensive efficiency, ball security, and defensive stops (3 offensive fouls successfully taken in the quarter) enabled the Bucs to go on a 17-2 run of their own. The scoring was capped by a Payton Gage 3-pointer with :08 seconds left in the half, to establish a 24-23 Valdez lead at intermission.

Between the two teams, there were 5 offensive fouls whistled in the first half. And, while the first half was one of lopsided scoring barrages by each team, the second half would prove to be a back and-forth affair with 9 lead changes.

The Ravens re-established the lead in the third quarter with another early 3 pointer (this time :39 seconds into the frame), and held onto the lead for the majority of the third quarter. A Jalen Freeman 2 point conversion with :04 seconds remaining shrunk the Eielson lead to 38-37.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the game was knotted at 43. With 3:36 remaining in the game, the Ravens held a 3 point advantage (48-45). They would not score again as the Bucs cemented the 52-48 victory by tallying the final 7 points of the game.

The Bucs dominated points in the paint by outscoring the Ravens 24-6 and were led offensively by Jalen Freeman and Douglas Cummins (with 19 and 18 points, respectively). Cummins notched a double-double by corralling 13 rebounds, and Bryce Tucker grabbed 8. The Bucs successfully drew 4 offensive fouls: Jimmy Chavez (3), and Allen Watson (1).

Saturday, February 22nd: Valdez 69, Eielson 58

The Saturday late afternoon game saw the Bucs put together a much better first quarter than the night before. In a bit of foreshadowing of things to come, Jalen Freeman was fouled within the first :13 seconds of the game, converting one of the free throws to get the scoring started. Eielson would go on to commit four additional fouls -including a technical foul, enabling Valdez to establish a 12-9 lead after one quarter of play.

The Bucs continued that momentum into the second quarter. The lead ballooned up to 15 points (32-17) after Freeman made a basket with :03 seconds remaining in the half. However, a shooting foul was called on an Eielson desperation three at the buzzer, enabling the Ravens to enter halftime down by 13.

The foul, and subsequent scoring, before half seemed to provide a spark for the Raven offense. In the third quarter they began to get Valdez into foul trouble and they slowly chipped away at the Bucs lead. The third stanza ended with the Bucs up 11 (52-41).

The final frame of action saw the Ravens get within 8 points (58-49) with around 5:30 remaining in the game, but the Bucs would not allow them any closer throughout the rest of the contest as they salted away a 69-58 Aurora Conference victory.

While the game featured timely shots, defensive stands, and offensive efficiency, it’ll likely be remembered most for the number of fouls (and subsequent free throws) for each team. Eielson committed 22 team fouls, while Valdez committed 17 team fouls. Remarkably, neither team had anybody foul out of the game. The 39 combined fouls also led to 51 free throw attempts in the game. Eielson shot 12-of-18 while the Bucs shot 18-of-33 from the line for the game.

Note: The two game total for the Bucs from the “charity stripe” was 23-of-47 [a Shaq-like 49%]

The Bucs were led offensively by Jalen Freeman, who had 30 points and 9 rebounds. Douglas Cummins scored 11 and grabbed 7 rebounds, while Bryce Tucker chipped in 8 points and registered 9 rebounds. As a team, the Bucs out rebounded the Ravens 37-21. Allen Watson successfully drew an offensive foul.

The Buccaneers next host the Delta Huskies on February 28th and 29th in a critical Aurora Conference showdown.

Varsity Girls Basketball

Valdez Girls Varsity vs. Eielson

Carsyn Hinkle pulls down a rebound, Photo courtesy of Joe Prax

Courtesy of VHS Coaches – The Buccaneers had a great weekend playing at Eielson this past weekend.

On Friday, a long bus ride showed as we had a difficult time hitting shots the first quarter.  However, a stifling defensive effort by the girls also held Eielson to 3 points in the first period. However, a 23 point effort in the second quarter opened the game up and we were able to maintain  a sizable lead for the remainder of the game. The girls won by a score of 50 to 28. Chloe Auble led the scoring with 16 points, while Masen Holmes added 12. Kylie Fletcher-Gilbert had 5 assists.

In the rematch on Saturday, the girls started out on fire, generating 25 points in the first quarter on nearly 70% shooting. What was spectacular, however, was the way the team shared the ball, moving it around until a wide open shot was created. The team had 8 assists in that quarter alone, which is nearly our game average this year. Another solid defensive effort put the Buccaneers on top at halftime with a score of 40 to 9, ultimately winning the game at 55-21. Chloe Auble led the scoring with 20 points, while Reese King had 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting.

The Buccaneers continue region play this week when Delta comes to town.

JV Boys Basketball

Valdez JV Boys vs. Eielson

Courtesy of VHS Coaches – The Junior Varsity Buccaneers traveled to Eielson this weekend. After last weekend’s Elk’s tournament game versus the Raven’s varsity team, our Bucs were looking for some vengeance in a game against Eielson’s JV.  Lead by the strong inside presence of Dennis Mott the Bucs held a steady lead throughout the game and took away their first win since game one of the season.  Saturday’s game started off much of the same. Between Mott’s inside force and great ball movement on the perimeter from the whole group, the Bucs held the lead for the first three quarters. Late in the game, the JV ravens got hot from behind the arc and had our boys deep into foul trouble.  A bad late turnover lead to an Eielson fast break layup that tied the game at 51. With about 12 seconds left the Bucs drove the length of the court made some great passes and finished the game with a buzzer beating drive by Hunter Matthews.  The Junior Varsity plays their final games of the season at home next weekend versus Delta.

VHS Cheerleaders, Photo courtesy of Joe Prax


JV Girls Basketball

Valdez JV Girls vs. Eielson

Courtesy of VHS Coaches – This weekend the JV Lady Buccaneers traveled to Eleison where they played North Pole. We started off great Friday Lily Brown scored 6 points within the first quarter, they adjusted defensively and then struggled moving the ball and finding open shots. Lily Brown led the team with 12 points. The final score of Friday’s game was 34 -22 North Pole. Saturday was a fun and exciting game. The girls were aggressive, and really did a great job defensively. Offensively they ran the offense and worked as a team. Mya Christofferson led the team with 9 points. It came down to a 3 point game at the very end. 45 second left, Valdez ball and down by 3. Coach Comer called a time out to set the girls up for a 3 point play, but North Pole victory. 34-31 North Pole.

The Valdez Girls JV team will travel to Glennallen on Tuesday and play @ 4:00 p.m.