The Bethel Warrior Girls came out victorious, taking first this weekend in the Ravn Basketball Invitational Tournament. Bethel Regional High School freshman Ethan Sundown was there, and brings us this story.
Bethel played Anchorage’s Bartlett High School in the championship round. Bartlett scored the game’s first four points and kept their lead through the first half, ending the second quarter 25 to 23, but Bethel came back in the second half. They locked in the third quarter with an 11-point lead and continued to increase that lead in the fourth quarter, winning the game 60 to 45.
Bethel senior and team captain Katie Crow explained the team’s strategy for coming out ahead in the game’s second half: "Keep playing defense the way we are, keep pushing ourselves, and come out with a spark in the third quarter to get the momentum going our way.”
Bartlett freshman Amelia ‘Uhila saw the game as a learning experience.
“I feel good," said ‘Uhila "We gotta just bounce back from this L, and work hard, and learn from our mistakes that we made.”
Though Bethel won the tournament, fourth place tournament winner Scammon Bay captured the crowd’s energy. Every time the team made a basket, the entire Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta audience rose to its feet. When Scammon’s opponents stood at the line to shoot a free-throw, the crowd shook the gym, stomping their feet to distract them.
Scammon Bay senior Sabrina Rivers says that the team is going to come back with a stronger defense in the next tournament.
“I’m proud of us because we tried our best and we saw what we needed to work on, so when we get home we know what to do, what to practice on,” Rivers said.
Last year Scammon graduated its star player Kiah Charlie, and fans didn’t know if the team would still have what it takes to beat out the bigger schools. But the small team proved it still has its fight. All the players handled the ball expertly, with each athlete able to play every position. When facing taller teams, the shorter players knocked out a series of three-pointers to prevent being blocked out. Scammon ended all its games within 10 points of its opponents, all of them larger schools.