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High School Sports

King Cove takes home Class 1A girls title with blowout win

  • Author: Joey Carreon
  • Updated: March 16
  • Published March 16

King Cove's Jalaya Durate, center, drives to the basket as Tri-Valley's Rachel Cockman, left, and Jazmyn Byfuglien defend in the Class 1A girls state basketball championship game Saturday. (Photo by Bob Hallinen)

Elaina Mack, the Player of the Year in Class 1A girls basketball, caught fire and scorched the Tri-Valley Warriors to lead the undefeated King Cove Rookies to a 72-34 win in Saturday’s state championship game.

It’s the Rookies’ second girls title in program history, with their first coming in 2004. The win capped a 30-0 season.

“It feels great. I don’t know how you can feel much better,” coach Gary Lamar said.

Mack, a junior who averaged 37.5 points per game during a 26-0 regular season, had a stellar game with 30 points, seven assists, five rebounds and five steals.

“I’ve always tried to do my best and step up during big games like this,” she said. “I mean, this was the biggest game of the tournament so I had to step up for my team.”

Fans of the King Cove Rookies lend support. (Photo by Bob Hallinen)

The game was a one-sided affair from the opening tipoff. The Rookies smothered the Warriors with their full-court press and forced numerous turnovers.

The Rookies jumped out to a 19-9 first-quarter lead and extended it to 38-21 heading into the locker room. Mack had 18 of her team’s points.

After the break, Mack continued her scoring onslaught, enabling the Rookies to run away with the lead and amass a 40-point lead with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter before coach Gary Lamar subbed in his reserves.

Along with Mack’s monster performance, fellow all-state selection junior Jalaya Duarte contributed a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double.

Together, Lamara said, Mack and Duarte are "the best one-two punch in Alaska.”

The Rookies dominated Tri-Valley on both sides of the floor. Offensively, they shot 39 percent from the field (30 of 76) and 41 percent from 3-point land (10 of 24). Defensively, the Rookies nabbed 14 steals while forcing the Warriors into 27 turnovers.

Defense was the biggest factor, according to Lamar.

“The pressure that we put on the ball makes it hard for people to sustain during the entire game,"he said.

Jazmyn Byfuglien led the Warriors with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Shelley Yatchmeneff hugs daughter Monica Yatchmeneff after King Cove's state-championship win. (Photo by Bob Hallinen)

Klawock 50, St. Mary’s 37

Powered by freshman Kenai Holien’s 24 points, the Klawock Chieftains took down the St. Mary’s Eagles to nab third place.

The Chieftains outrebounded the Eagles 50-42 and forced them into 21 turnovers.

Alexia Isaacs added 13 points for Klawock. St. Mary’s was led by senior Johanna Prince and freshman Traci Evan, who contributed 10 points apiece.

Buckland 54, Kake 36

Buckland’s six-girl roster handily defeated Kake to secure fourth place.

Senior Jacquelyn Berlin led Buckland with a game-high 16 points and sophomore Bethany Ticket pitched in with 11 points.

Kake was led by junior Willow Jackson’s 11 points.

All-Tournament Team

Rachel Cockman, Tri-Valley

Jazmyn Byfuglien, Tri-Valley

Kenai Holien, Klawock

Johanna Prince, St. Mary’s

Jalaya Duarte, King Cove

Elaina Mack, King Cove

Sadie Newton, King Cove

Elizabeth Fefelov, Nikolaevsk

Mamie Kirk, Buckland

Naomi Snyder, Noorvik

Willow Jackson, Kake

Johanna Nanalook, Newhalen

Kayla Morgan, Aniak

Sonja Ningeulook, Shishmaref

Sarah Stenek, Shishmaref

Leah Kozevnikoff, Russian Mission

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