Soldotna girls out, Lathrop girls in Class 4A state tournament

Beth Bragg

One day after thinking it was headed to the state tournament, the Soldotna Stars girls basketball team learned that its season is over.

Soldotna is out and the Lathrop girls are in the Class 4A state basketball tournament, a bracket change that came Monday morning after Alaska School Activities Association tournament officials discovered an error in the rankings that decide at-large berths.

In the Class 4A tournament, six teams are awarded automatic berths based on regional tournament results. The two remaining berths are based on the Winning Percentage Index, which ranks teams based on results against other Alaska teams.

ASAA originally awarded the at-large berths in the girls tournament to Colony and Soldotna. Based on the WPI rankings ASAA was using, those were the two highest-ranking teams on the WPI list that had not already secured automatic berths.

But on Monday ASAA learned that its WPI rankings were wrong, said Isaiah Vreeman, ASAA's director for state championships.

Two scores from last weekend's Region 5 tournament in Sitka had not been reported to ASAA, so those games had not been factored in, he said.

Once they were factored in, Lathrop vaulted past Soldotna on the WPI list.

ASAA executive director Gary Matthews called Soldotna on Monday morning with the news, Vreeman said.

"Soldotna was disappointed, especially because of the non-reporting of scores," Vreeman said.

Vreeman said the scores -- Thunder Mountain beating Ketchikan, and Juneau beating Thunder Mountain -- weren't reported because of a mixup in Sitka.

"People think somebody else is going to do it," Vreeman said. "There was no maliciousness or anything like that. Somebody was supposed to report scores and they didn't."

The two main factors determining a team's WPI scores -- the team's win-loss record, and the team's opponents' win-loss record. Soldotna and Lathrop both played games this season against teams involved in the games not reported.


Reach Beth Bragg at or 257-4335.