The Barrow and Sitka high school girls basketball teams met Saturday afternoon in search of the same thing.
A Princess Cruises Capital City Classic win.
The Lady Whalers and Lady Wolves slogged through the first two days of the tournament without a win, and each were hungry to show what they can do against comparably-sized school.
“We played really good two 4A (large schools) teams — Juneau and East (Anchorage) High School — they gave us confidence going into this game against a 3A opponent,” Barrow coach Aniseko Unutoa said.
That confidence translated into eight made 3-pointers as the Lady Whalers took down Sitka 58-50 to finish the Classic 1-2. Sitka remained winless at 0-3.
The game marked the beginning of the end of the tournament that gathered well over 100 student-athletes, coaches and fans to Juneau for three days of holiday hoops at the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium. On the side, teams boarded a bus together to the Mendenhall Glacier, showcased their skills in a dunk contest and took pictures in front of the Carlos Boozer Jr. jersey plaque hung prominently on one of the gym walls.
Senior guard Jordan Ahgeak led the Lady Whalers with 17 points. Ahgeak’s aggressiveness was rewarded with five trips to the foul line where she shot 7-of-10.
The Lady Wolves faced a 16-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter, but managed to hang around thanks to the strong play of Abby Forrester. The 5-foot-10-inch senior forward scored 11 of Sitka’s 18 points in the final period, shooting 7-of-8 from the foul line.
Sitka made it an eight-point game midway through the fourth quarter, but Barrow quickly regained a double-digit advantage.
“We’re putting some young kids in some spots that are fairly pressure-filled,” Sitka coach Sondra Lundvick said. “They’re getting better and so it’s still December and hope to be playing till late-March, so we’ll see.”
Despite not winning the game, the Lady Wolves doubled their offensive production from their previous two losses to Juneau-Douglas (25 points) and East Anchorage (28 points). Lundvick said it was unfortunate they couldn’t score the ball on Friday in a 38-28 loss like they did on Saturday.
“Normally, if you hold a team to under 40 points, you’re going to win the game,” she said. “We just couldn’t throw it in the ocean, we just couldn’t get a bucket to fall.”
In the second Capital City Classic game on Saturday, the Barrow boys defeated Lathrop 76-68.