The 1A Region Tournament will tip off Wednesday, March 4 in the Kayhi main gym. Both the girls and boys tournaments will consist of eight teams spanding from as far north as Skagway to as far south as Hydaburg.
Thorne Bay looking to repeat
In the boys tournament Thorne Bay (16-0) is the No. 1 seed. Thorne Bay won the tournament last year, it was their first region title since 1990. They have beaten all their opponents by 20 or more points except for a six point win against Klawock. Thorne Bay coach Mark Gunkle said the key to winning is playing hard every minute.
“We can’t have anyone slack on defense,” said Gunkle. “We gotta get the rebounds and move fast on offense.”
Thorne Bay was the No. 3 seed at the state tournament last season. They lost in the quarter finals and finished 4th overall with a 66-50 win over Noatak. Gunkle said that their goal this year is to go far.
“I’d like to see the team place top 3,” said Gunkle. “The overall goal though is to go the distance and win the championship in the end.”
Grunkle also said that Lumen Christy (18-3) who last won a state title in 2004 will be their competition at the state tournament.
Hydaburg also qualified for the state tournament last year. They went 0-2 and took 8th place overall.
Top 4 seeds:
Thorne Bay (16-0)
Klawock girls seek 21st Region title
The Klawock Chieftains (16-4, 12-0) are the No. 1 seed in the girls bracket. None of their losses were to teams in their division. Last year Klawock won the tournament, it was their 17th region championship (in 1A) and 20th overall since 1984. They were 2A from 1998-2012. Klawocks head coach is Mary Edenshaw, who won 4 consecutive region titles and 3 consecutive state titles as a player for the Chieftains. Edenshaw said that the team is more than ready to play.
“We’ve been practicing for this all year,” said Edenshaw. “We’re ready to play and I’m excited to see us succeed.”
Junior Kenai Holien leads the Lady Chieftans. She averages just under 18 points per-game. Edenshaw said she’s one of the best players she’s ever coached.
“She plays hard, puts up a lot of points, and plays great defense,” Edenshaw said. “She’s ready to go I’m expecting her to have a great tournament.”
Last year Klawock was seeded No. 2 and took 3rd overall at the state tournament. They lost 54-34 to Tri-Valley in the semi finals and beat St. Mary’s 50-37 to take 3rd in the tournament. Holien was all-tourney. Edenshaw said their goals are just like most teams.
“I plan on winning the tournament this year,” Edenshaw said. “Placing top 3 would be great, but really we’re just aiming for the title.”
Kake also qualified for the state tournament last year and took 6th overall going 1-2.
Top 4 seeds: