Barrow freshman makes impact at T-bird Classic, one of 3 tourneys on tap in Anchorage

Kamaka Hepa lived up to the hype Thursday.

Hepa, the 6-foot-7 freshman from Barrow whose talents have earned rave reviews from basketball analysts in the Lower 48, put on a show in the first game at the East T-bird Classic at East High.

Hepa scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and recorded three assists and three steals in Barrow's 64-26 rout of Kodiak.

He played 20 minutes in the 32-minute game and had 20 points by halftime.

Last summer, an ESPN basketball analyst named Hepa the best eighth grader at an invitation-only showcase camp for eighth and ninth graders in Tennessee. His ascent to the high school ranks has been long-awaited in Barrow.

Hepa hit 9 of 14 field goal attempts, including 2 of 4 outside the 3-point arc. Five of his rebounds came on the offensive end and he picked up just one foul. His only apparent flaw -- if you can call it that -- were three turnovers.

Antonio Dunbar added 11 points and Travis Adams dished five assists and had four steals for the Whalers, who led 35-13 at the half.

Max Much's eight points and seven rebounds paced Kodiak.

In other games at East, the girls teams from Kodiak and East coasted to victories, and the East boys rode a big fourth quarter to a 76-61 win over Juneau.

Kodiak, the defending Class 4A state champions, bruised Service 59-29 behind Ila Hughes' 17 points, four assists and three steals. Also hitting double figures for the Bears were Stephanie Price (10 points), Richelle Walker (10 rebounds) and Charmaine Fabricante (10 rebounds). Katie Pearce topped Service with eight points.

The East girls used Tennae Voliva's 12 points, 10 rebounds and five steals to crush Eagle River 79-24. Sandin Kidder added 20 points and Octavia Hines scored 19 for the Thunderbirds. For Eagle River, Shekinah Young dropped in eight points and brought down six rebounds.

In the late game, the East boys outscored Juneau 25-15 in the final quarter to cement their victory.

Louis Bonner led all scorers with 19 points for the T-birds, who had three others in double figures -- Moses Miller (17), Keith Brayton (15) and Marquis White, who had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Miller hit 9 of 11 free throws to help East to a 24-of-34 showing at the foul line. Juneau sank 23 of 36 in a game that featured 57 fouls.

Kaleb Tompkins tossed in 14 points and Adam Empson and Bryce Swafford contributed 11 apiece to lead the Crimson Bears.

The T-bird Classic, in its 30th year, is one of three long-established high school tournaments happening in Anchorage this week. The others are the 35th annual Cougar Tip-Off, a four-team boys tournament at Service High, and the 16th annual Grace Grizzly Classic, an eight-team boys and girls tournament.



Galena 55, Delta 23

Romay Harris scored 24 points to lead Galena to a 55-23 win over Grace Christian in the opening game of the Grace Grizzly Classic basketball tournament Thursday.

Sarah Buchanan scored 11 points and Courtney Carlo added 10 for Galena, which raced to a 14-4 lead in the first quarter.

Valerie Krepel scored 12 points to lead Delta.

Grace Christian 36, Bethel 23

Grace Christian broke open a close game with a big fourth quarter to beat Bethel 36-23.

The Grizzlies led by one points after three quarters but outscored Bethel 14-2 in the final eight minutes.

Grace was led by Mary Hogan and Hayley Hagen, who led a balanced scoring attack with eight points apiece, and Sarah Laker, who pulled down 11 rebounds. Shantell Kessner-Kinegak's six points and six rebounds paced Bethel.


Galena 53, Delta 51

Galena went 4 of 5 from the free throw line in overtime to earn a 53-51 win over Delta.

Jacob Miller scored 19 points to pace Galena, which also got 14 from Evan Buchanan.

Micah Helkenn scored 16 points and Martese Blankenship had 11 for Delta.

In the tournament's final game, Grace Christian claimed a 62-46 win over Mt. Edgecumbe.


Bethel 55, Chugiak 36

Three Bethel players scored in double figures to lead the Warriors to a 55-36 win over Chugiak at the Cougar Tip-Off tournament at Service on Thursday.

Taylor Hoffman scored 16 points, Steven Glasheen had 15 and Peyton Corbett added 10 for Bethel, which held Chugiak scoreless in the first quarter.

Zach Philbrick had 11 points and Hunter Harr added 10 for Chugiak.

Service 47, Eagle River 34

Pindo Drammeh, Eben Upton and Brad Wacker scored all but six of Service's points in a 47-34 win over Eagle River.

Drammeh led the way with 15 points, Upton added 14 and Wacker 12 for the Cougars, who outscored Eagle River 23-13 in the third quarter.

The second quarter was a snooze-fest. Service outscored the Wolves 3-1, with the only baskets a 3-pointer by Eben and a free throw by Justin Patin.

R.J. Dirscherl led Eagle River with 11 points.