Alaska’s smallest schools put up some big numbers Thursday during the first day of action at the Class 1A state basketball tournament in the Valley.
The girls played four games at Palmer Middle School and the boys played four games at Colony High, and together they fired up 987 shots from the field. The girls put up 481 shots (and made 131) and the boys put up 506 (and made 183).
When it was all over, eight schools advanced to Friday’s semifinals games at Wasilla High.
For the boys, Tanalian and Tanana will meet at 6 p.m. and Lumen Christi and Shaktoolik will play at 8 p.m.
For the girls, Newhalen will play Brevig Mission at 2 p.m. and Klawock will take on Shishmaref at 4 p.m.
Three of the semifinalists are from the Nome area -- Brevig Mission, Shishmaref and Shaktoolik -- two are from the Lake and Peninsula School District on the Alaska Peninsula -- Tanalian and Newhalen.
Lumen Christi is from Anchorage, Tanana is from the Interior and Klawock is from Southeast Alaska.
Klawock has the smallest roster of the tournament with six players. The Chieftains have something to please just about every Alaskan -- players named Kenai and McKinley and an athletic director named Fairbanks. Kenai Holien and McKinley Holien were the top scorer and rebounder, respectively, for Klawock, whose athletic director is Teresa Fairbanks.
Klawock’s Nevan Yockey and Brevig Mission’s Alaina Pete turned in two of the most impressive performances Thursday. Yockey racked up 22 points and 22 rebounds in his team’s 47-40 loss to Shaktoolik, and Pete had 16 points and 21 rebounds in her team’s 48-42 win over Tri-Valley.
The leading scorers for the day were sophomore Daniel Wardell with 41 points for the Tanalian boys and junior Johnna Nanalook with 31 for the Newhalen girls.
Tanana 60, Buckland 59 -- Tanana jumped to a 22-12 first quarter lead and held on while Shaktoolik chipped away at the lead to make it a one-point game, 53-52, after three quarters.
Savien Linnear led Tanana with 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals. Teammates John Erhart and Fred Nicholia Jr. added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Buckland got a boost from Fred Ticket’s 26 points, Keldon Melton’s 11 points and Eric Geary’s 12 rebounds.
Shaktoolik 47, Klawock 40 -- Shaktoolik’s Kaden Jackson filled the stat sheet with 10 points, eight steals and five assists to offset a monster game by Klawock’s Nevan Yockey.
Yockey, a senior, racked up 22 points and 22 rebounds.
Marcus Evan added 15 points and Dean Paniptchuk had 13 for Shaktoolik.
Lumen Christi 86, Upriver 28 -- Precision shooting helped the Archangels of Anchorage overwhelm Upriver, a co-op made up of players from Shangnuk and Kobuk, villages without enough students to field separate teams.
Lumen Christi hit 41 of 71 shots, an effort that landed five players in double figures -- Daniel Bennett (24 points on 11 of 16 shooting from the field), Robert Wilcox (18 points on 9 of 12 shooting), Timothy Bennett (13 points and 12 rebounds) and Brenden Gregory and Noah Cruz, who both netted 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting.
Daniel Bennett provided a boost everywhere, finishing with seven assists, six rebounds and five steals.
For Upriver, Brian Gomez scored 14 points and Bryant Sun grabbed 12 rebounds.
Tanalian 89, Pilot Station 56 -- Red-hot shooting by Daniel Wardell sparked Tanalian. The sophomore poured in 41 points on 15 of 23 shooting from the field, a display that included a 4-of-6 showing from 3-point range. Wardell also grabbed nine rebounds.
Aiding the cause for the Lynx were Isaac Fowler (19 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals) and Caleb Alsworth (17 points).
Pilot Station’s Patrick Fitka turned in a big double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds, and teammate Patrick Polty tossed in 16 points.
Brevig Mission 48, Tri-Valley 42 -- Brevig Mission flourished behind big games from Shannon Tocktoo (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Alaina Pete (16 points, 21 rebounds).
The Huskies made an 18-4 first-quarter lead hold up against Tri-Valley, which came back to narrow the gap to 32-26 going into the fourth quarter.
Ayla Walker tallied eight points and 15 rebounds and Breanna May added 13 points for the winners.
Melanie Walkers led Tri-Valley with 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals.
Newhalen 55, Lumen Christi 27 -- Newhalen’s Johnna Nanalook chalked up 31 points, 10 rebounds and six steals to subdue Lumen Christi.
Aileen Lester finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Malemutes, who limited Lumen Christi to seven points in the first half.
Natalie Grubb’s 16 rebounds and six points led Lumen Christi, which also got eight points and seven rebounds from Sabrina Warren.
Klawock 56, Alakanuk 19 -- Kenai Holien piled up 26 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and five assists to fuel Klawock, which got points from five of its six players.
McKinley Holien pitched in eight points and 13 rebounds for the winners, who cruised to a 37-11 halftime lead.
Leading the way for Alakanuk were Jacelyn Chikigak with nine points and nine rebounds and Alexandra Sage with 10 rebounds.
ASAA March Madness
Class 1A boys
Thursday’s games at Colony High
Tanana 60, Buckland 59
Shaktoolik 47, Klawock 40
Lumen Christi 86, Upriver 28
Tanalian 89, Pilot Station 56
Friday’s consolation games
10 a.m. -- Klawock vs. Upriver, Colony High
Noon -- Buckland vs. Pilot Station, Colony High
6 p.m. -- Tanana vs. Tanalian, Wasilla High
8 p.m. -- Shaktoolik vs. Lumen Christi, Wasilla High
Class 1A girls
Thursday’s games at Palmer Middle School
Newhalen 55, Lumen Christi 27
Brevig Mission 48, Tri-Valley 42
Klawock 56, Alakanuk 19
Shishmaref 69, Buckland 49
Friday’s consolation games
2 p.m. -- Lumen Christi vs. Tri-Valley, Colony High
4 p.m. -- Alakanuk vs. Buckland, Colony High
Friday’s semifinal games
2 p.m. -- Newhalen vs. Brevig Mission, Wasilla High
4 p.m. -- Klawock vs. Shishmaref, Wasilla High
This story has been updated with results from Thursday’s late games.