At Thunder Mountain High School on Friday, the Klawock girls basketball team held Yakutat at bay in the closing seconds of the Region V 1A girls basketball championship.
The Chieftains secured their 37-35 win over the Eagles despite a nerve-wracking fourth quarter, as Yakutat stifled Klawock’s offense in the closing seconds. The intensity built from the tip off, and both teams left every bit of energy out on the floor when the final buzzer sounded.
Yakutat’s dogged defender Sarah Newlun had the unenviable assignment of keeping Klawock point guard Ashley Huffine in check, and gobbled up turnovers that may have single-handedly kept her team in the game. Despite Neulin’s impressive performance, Huffine scored a game-high 19 points to lead her team to victory.
In her first year with the high school team, Klawock head coach Mary Edenshaw is taking her girls to the “big show.”
“I’m so proud of them. I’ve coached some the younger girls since sixth grade,” she said. “The seniors are a little less used to me, so we had a little bit of growing to do but I felt we’ve done it. … This group of girls right now, they’re a great bunch.”
Edenshaw added that the fundamentals brought her team the Region V trophy.
“Defense, boxing out, rebounding and defense,” she said. “It was a low-scoring game and the team that got the last rebound basically won the game.”
Though suffering a tough loss, one that could have easily gone their way, Yakutat’s head coach expressed pride in his team’s play.
“These girls left it all out on the court,” coach Rose Gordon said. “We’re not done yet, we have another game (Saturday) and we still have a chance to go to state. … Couldn’t have asked for a better performance. What a championship game, these girls do everything I ask.”
Behind Klawock’s Huffine, the Chieftains were led in scoring by Raven Chafin with 11.
Yakutat was led in defeat by Janie Jenson with 15, Dani Go with eight, and Sarah Newlun with seven.