Varsity Boys Basketball
VHS Varsity Boys Basketball Wrap-Up [March 6th & 7th]
The Buccaneers finished their 2019-2020 regular season by hosting a pair of games against Aurora Conference opponents Galena Hawks. The games carried increased significance due to the immediate impact on seeding entering the Aurora Conference Regional Tournament, as well as Senior Night.
Friday, March 6th: Valdez 62, Galena 67
The Friday night game followed a 2-day hiatus for the Bucs due to Mother Nature. They initially appeared rested and ready to get back on the court, as they ran out to an early 11-3 lead in the first four minutes of the game. They would close the first quarter up 13-9.
That lead was extended to 27-19 with 4:17 seconds to play in the second quarter. However, the Bucs would not score again and entered intermission trailing 32-27 after Galena closed the half on a 13-0 run.
The third quarter featured much of the same. Galena shot 8-of-16 (50%) from the floor, while the Bucs went a miserable 1-for-17 (6 %) in the stanza. At the end of the third quarter, the Galena Hawks led 53-32 and were in the midst of a 34-5 run.
The Bucs were challenged between quarters to play with heart and more intensity, and to concentrate on putting together one quality quarter of Buccaneer basketball. They responded with renewed energy in the fourth. Aggressiveness on both ends of the court led to forced turnovers, easy baskets, and a rally that saw them creep within 7 [61-54] with 2:00 remaining. They would not get any closer until a Jalen Freeman 3-pointer at the buzzer trimmed the Galena victory to 67-62.
Many statistical categories, such as rebounds, assists, turnovers, points in the paint, and second chance points were remarkably similar for the two teams. The one area that stood out was the poor shooting for the Bucs throughout the game. Despite attempting 13 more shots from the field than the Hawks, each team made the same number – with the Hawks holding a one point advantage due to making one more three pointer than the Bucs. The shooting woes carried to the free throw line as well. Each team attempted 15 free throws, but the Bucs would only make 7 while the Hawks sank 11.
Jalen Freeman [18 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists] and Jimmy Chavez [18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from deep] led the Bucs offensively. Storm Rohrer netted 10 while Douglas Cummins chipped in 9 points. Bryce Tucker contributed 7 while grabbing a team-high 7 rebounds.
Jimmy Chavez successfully drew an offensive foul.
Saturday, March 7th: Valdez 67, Galena 43
Saturday was Senior Night – a night set aside to recognize each Senior for their contributions to their respective programs. All seven of the Buccaneer Seniors were introduced and received the spotlight treatment. A previous random selection process determined the quintet of Seniors that were named as starters for the game. It was a starting lineup that hadn’t been used before – but one that proved effective.
The Seniors jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after 12 seconds of play. It was a lead they would never relinquish as Valdez was in control throughout the game. The Bucs lead 17-6 after one quarter of play and carried a 36-27 lead into halftime. While the third quarter was brutal for the Bucs in Friday’s game, they dominated Saturday’s third stanza 20-9 and entered the fourth quarter with a 56-36. They would win that quarter as well, capping the regular season with a 67-43 victory.
There were a number of statistical categories which the Bucs dominated: the Buccaneer defense held the Hawks to single-digit scoring in the first, third, and fourth quarters; the Bucs had 30 points in the paint while the Hawks had 10; the Bucs attempted 17 free throws (making 8) while the Hawks attempted only 5 (making 1).
Perhaps the most impressive statistic is the dominance the Bucs exhibited on the glass. They outrebounded the Galena Hawks 47-23, including corralling 20 offensive rebounds.
The seven Seniors were the only Buccaneers to play the game until 2:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, at which point they were removed from the game to a rousing applause of appreciation. While all 13 Buccaneers entered the game and contributed to a statistical category, the Seniors accounted for 65 of the 67 points scored.
They, and their contributions for Saturday are as follows:
- Jalen Freeman [15 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists]
- Storm Rohrer [13 points, 9 rebounds]
- Douglas Cummins [10 points, 11 rebounds]
- Rafael Alfaro [10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 charge taken]
- Jimmy Chavez [9 points, 1 rebound]
- James Letendre [6 points, 1 rebound]
- Moe Morgan [2 points, 7 rebounds]
The split with Galena secured the Buccaneers as the 3rd seed for the Aurora Conference Regional Tournament, to be hosted by Galena – but held at North Pole High School- March 12th-14th. The Buccaneers are slated to take the court against the 6th seeded Eielson Ravens at 10:30 am on Thursday, March 12th.
Varsity Girls Basketball
Valdez vs. Galena Girls
Missing the two practices immediately prior to playing the #2 team in the state at the 3A division initially did not seem like a plan for success. However, the Buccaneers came out and shocked the Galena Hawks while showing our potential as a team on Friday night. Previous to Friday, Galena had only lost once this season to the defending 2019 1A Champions from King Cove.
The Buccaneers hopped out to an early lead and never relinquished control, defeating the Hawks with a score of 66 – 51. Lone senior Jade Holmes provided steady leadership while posting 8 points and 11 rebounds. Jades sister Masen Holmes had a monster night, with 23 points and 20 rebounds. A unified team effort and intensity on defense, however, held the high-scoring Hawks to their lowest offensive output of the season.
It can be tough to rebound from an emotional high of a big win, and Saturday was a struggle to match Galena’s intensity and physicality. Unfortunately, the game ended with the Hawks defeating the Buccaneers 72-51. Chloe Auble contributed 16 points, Reese King had 14, while Jade Holmes chipped in 10 for her final home game of her career.
The Buccaneers are currently ranked 3rd in Aurora Conference, behind Galena and Monroe. On Thursday, we will play Delta at 1:00 and upon winning that game will play Monroe later that night. With both Galena and Monroe ranked in the top 4, it will be a difficult weekend, but we are certainly peaking at the right time. Hopefully we will meet our season goal of making it back to the State tournament.