The Arctic Sounder
The Arctic Sounder

Tikigaq girls win second at state

Last year’s state champions, Tikigaq girls, took second place at the 2A state basketball tournament this weekend.

After two sweeping wins — 64 to 28 over Haines, and 64 to 34 over Unalakleet — they lost 51 to 42 to Metlakatla.

The championship game on Saturday was a rematch of last year’s title match between Metlakatla and Point Hope — who captured four of the last five 2A state championships.

While in this championship game, Metlakatla was leading most of it, the Harpooners came back from a 12-point deficit and caught up with the opponent in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the teams were returning to the tie several times before Metlakatla took the final lead.

With 19 points, junior Jennifer Nash was the best Tikigaq scorer of the game. Metlakatla coach Tyson Hayward told Anchorage Daily News that Nash is “a great floor general” who “controls the floor.” Metlakatla junior Lexi Cook told Daily News that her team was focusing on slowing Nash down.

“We talk about her every day because she’s a really good player,” she said.


Nash previously told Arctic Sounder that her love for basketball only make sense, given that she grew up in a basketball community of Point Hope.

“Basketball is who I am. It means so much to me and is my safe place,” she said in 2023. “When I put on my jersey, I don’t just think of myself but I think of my community and how proud they are of me and my team.”

Alena Naiden

Alena Naiden writes about communities in the North Slope and Northwest Arctic regions for the Arctic Sounder and ADN. Previously, she worked at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.