Boys Basketball Kings were crowned champions in the 2019 Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic for the third time in the last four seasons. The Kings cruised past Craig 64-29 in the first round. In the semi-finals Kayhi trailed Monroe 61-60 with 11 seconds left, Kayhi freshman Joeban Lorenzo hit two clutch free throws to send the Kings to the championship game. The Kings then defeated West Anchorage 60-58 to claim their second consecutive Clarke Cochrane championship victory.
Days later Monroe got revenge at their tournament and beat Kayhi 84-78, the Kings also fell to Grace Christian 57-52 then beat Valdez 63-54 to finish 3rd in the McKinley Bank Holiday Classic in Fairbanks.
Girls Basketball The Lady Kings finished 2nd in the CCCC. The Lady Kings beat Eagle River 49-34 in the first round and then defeated South Anchorage 43-37 in the semi-finals to head to the championship. The Lady Kings fell to Esperanza (CA) in the championship game 54-32.
The Lady Kings finished 2nd in the McKinley Bank Holiday Classic in Fairbanks. They dropped their first game of the tournament to Monroe 44-39. They then beat Grace Christian 43-22 the second night and beat Valdez the third night 50-40. CCCC All-Tournament Team James Nordlund Chris Lee (CCCC Free Throw Champion) Kristian Pihl (CCCC 3-Point Champion) Madison Rose Nadire Zhuta Jenae Rhoads
McKinley Bank Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team Kristian Pihl Chris Lee Jenae Rhoads Nadire Zhuta
Twenty-three Kayhi wrestlers will compete in the state tournament starting Friday and finishing Saturday night.
Junior Andy Collins is a 3-time state qualifier and a 2-time region champion and has his eyes on a trip to the Finals this year.
“My weight class is tough,” said Collins. “ I can’t just go out there cold, I need to be warm and ready to bang heads.”
Wrestling often has its upsets, which will give several Kings the opportunity to advance.
“Technically everyone has a shot at winning which is the beauty of wrestling, you can be down 12-15 and then put someone on their back and pin them and win, things like that can happen and happen a lot.
Ketchikan will get its first glimpse of the defending state champs and six-time region champs on Saturday at Meet the Kings.
Senior captain Kristian Pihl is reminiscing as his last Meet the Kings approaches.
“A lot of different emotions go through my head, a lot of memories,” said Pihl.
Freshman Lindsay Byron is excited and anxious to play at her first Meet the Kings.
“I’m nervous. Especially being on Varsity as a freshman, it’s a lot of pressure for us three freshman,” said Byron. “I’m very excited though, it’s going to be fun with my girls by my side.”
There will also be a filipino dinner fundraiser for the boys basketball team during Meet the Kings. Tickets are on sale for 15$ and there are limited quantity at the door.
Pihl said that Meet the Kings is one of the teams biggest fundraiser due to the fact that the community is willing to donate so much money to the team.
“Meet the Kings has turned into one of our big fundraisers because of how our community supports us and wants to give us money,” said Pihl. “There’s no other place that has what we have, we are so fortunate.”
Both the boy’s and girl’s Varsity and JV basketball teams will be playing as well as a performance from the K-HighLites, Kayhi Cheer, the SMS Knightlites and Studio Max Dancers.
Saturday December 14th 6:00-6:30 p.m. Lady Kings JV/C 6:30-7:00 p.m. Kings JV/C 7:00-7:45 p.m. Lady Kings Varsity 7:45- 8:30 p.m. Kings Varsity
Freshman Domenica Troina was in third grade the first time she was an angel in the Nutcracker and six years later she’s the lead angel. Troina would have never imagined having the opportunity and said with the higher role as the lead angel comes greater responsibilities.
“As you get older you have to get stronger on point,” said Troina. “I never thought I’d be the lead role, it’s really cool to think that one year you can go from being in a group dance to working hard to have a solo.”
Senior Bella Roberts has been a part of the Nutcracker for nine years and said her competitive drive has landed her some big roles in the Nutcracker.
“Some of my accomplishments have been me getting some of the biggest roles, such as Clara the main character. But also the more technical pieces such as Snow Queen and this year the biggest one is Sugar Plum,” said Roberts.
Roberts said there’s a lot of preparation, time and work that come with being in the show. Numerous amount of hours are spent each day two weeks prior to the show as well as individual conditioning needed to maintain a good amount of stamina.
“Each of us dance six hours after school two weeks leading up to performance day. We try to maintain the stamina needed. The week leading up to the show I try to make sure I’m doing extra stuff like running after rehearsals and cross training.”
Senior Carter Thomas got asked to play the role of a dad by Amanda Dale. It’s Thomas’s first year being a part of the show he said that it’s nothing like the sports he has done before, such as basketball and football.
“It’s a lot different from the sports I’ve been playing like football and basketball, football and basketball you just play and if you make a mistake you can make it up but with dance it’s different because you have to be at an exact location on the stage at an exact time or it’ll mess up your whole performance,” said Thomas.
D Jay O’Brien whose daughter Kelsey is in the Nutcracker said the preparation needed to be a part of the Nutcracker is a big load for kids. O’Brien thinks that juggling school, dance, and any other activities that kids have during this time is a big to take on by kids.
“It’s a big undertake” said O’Brien. “[The Nutcracker] it’s similar to march madness, or any of the other big events for athletes such as Regions. Are kids really able to juggle all the things that they have in that crucible week?”
Dominick Pader has two daughters in the Nutcracker this year, Pader jokingly stated that he has been their “personal unpaid uber driver” throughout their years of being involved in the show.
Largim Zhuta participated in the Nutcracker his senior year of high school which was two years ago (2019). Zhuta was reaching the end of his high school days and said he wanted to take a chance and venture outside of his comfort zone since.
“An opportunity arose where I could take a risk and venture outside my comfort zone and doing ballet. I simply saw that I had never done anything outside my comfort, and when the opportunity arose for me to satisfy that desire I rationally took it. It was more of a “What have I got to lose?” process.”
Zhuta said that what the performers did was no joke and that the crucial amount of hours they spent perfecting their performance during “Hell Week” was a lot. Zhuta had never done this type of dancing before so he struggled he even explained how he had trouble with simple tasks such as warm ups.
“The skill the ballerinas had was quite impressive. I remember doing a warm up routine with the some of the younger dancers and ballerinas, and I remember struggling with it,” said Zhuta. “I do remember dress rehearsals during “Hell Week” being very long. We started right after school and went on till around 7. So actually if you do the math right there. We spent 4 hours a day at the school that week for 4 days. Then we performed two shows, one on friday and one on saturday. So if you add that all up you get a lot
The doors open for the Nutcracker tonight at 7 p.m. the show will start at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show will start at 2 p.m.
Girls basketball tryouts are this week on Wednesday from 3:00-6:00 in the Kayhi gym.
Senior captain Nadire Zhuta says that the key to tryouts is a “Mind Over Matter” mindset.
“The most important thing you need to have to be able to try out for the team is discipline,” said Zhuta. “You have to be able to tell yourself that you can do it and push yourself mentally. It’s all in your mind, if you tell yourself you”ll get through it, you will, but if you doubt yourself and tell yourself, you can’t, then you won’t make it far in tryouts.”
Senior Lianne Guevarra thinks that the best thing to do is to compete regardless of tiredness.
“I would want the kids to know to try their best,” said Guevarra. “Regardless of the people around them. Coaches like kids who try, it’s not all about talent. It’s about kids who fight through the drill no matter what he [the coach] puts in front of you”
Boys Basketball Tryouts
Nadire Zhuta Staff Writer
Boys basketball tryouts are this Wednesday in the Kayhi gym from 6:00-9:00.
Boys team head coach Eric Stockhausen talks about tryouts.
“I’ve already written up the tryout plan but it depends on the number of guys you have, how many returners and where your starting point is,’ said Stockhausen.
Senior Kristian Pihl is is very prepared for his last high school basketball tryouts.
“I am very prepared,” said Pihl. “This is my last rodeo, I feel I have a good idea of what will be thrown at me, and I’ve never been more excited to start this year.”