It was a tight championship game in the boys’ division of the Ravn Invitational Basketball Tournament this weekend. Unalaska led most of the match but Bethel caught up in the fourth quarter, eventually falling back in overtime, ending the game only three points behind. Bethel Regional High School junior Hunter Carter was in the bleachers and has this report.
Unalaska led in the game’s first half. Throughout those first quarters, Unalaska easily stole or intercepted the ball from Bethel, and Bethel missed basket after basket as Unalaska continued to gain ground.
In the third quarter, things started to turn around for the Warriors. It became a working quarter for the Bethel team as they started cleaning up their offense and strengthening their defense. Bethel senior and team captain Clevon Constantine guarded the opposing team’s star player, locking him down and preventing him from scoring, allowing the Warriors to pull ahead.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors changed the competition. The Bethel team started gaining points and for the first time, the Warriors caught up to Unalaska. Soon, the teams began going back and forth for the lead.
With three minutes left in the game, the Warriors were down by 10 points. Bethel started playing fast, rushing the basket, battling their way ahead, making up for earlier missed shots. The crowd was going wild. With every basket Bethel made, the crowd erupted. When Unalaska grabbed the ball, the Y-K crowd screamed, “DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE!”
Bethel kept gaining.
Both coaches were on their feet, calling time outs, dragging the three minutes to 10; the crowd’s hearts were pounding. With 30 seconds left on the clock, Bethel had caught up. The score was 48 to 48. The teams leaned into their defense, turning the rest of the game into a stand-off.
The buzzer sounded with the scores tied, pushing the game into overtime.
The first half of overtime started as a battle, but halfway through Unalaska took the lead, holding the front through the end and winning the game 54 to 51. The Bethel Warriors ended up a close second.
At the end of the tournament, coaches voted on the five best players from the weekend tournament in the boys division. Two Bethel Warriors made the All Tournament List: Bethel senior and team captain Clevon Constantine, and Bethel senior John Fredricks. Fredricks sees the tournament as a growing experience for the Warriors team.
“It taught us that we really need to work hard," Fredricks said, "and that we need to push ourselves more and more, so that way when State and Regions comes around we can really play our hearts out and be a really good team.”
After the tournament all the teams came together, dancing in the school lobby until almost midnight.