Local club basketball team takes 3rd in tournament

Missing basketball? Join the club.

Pictured are assistant coach Ethan Billings, Cambry Lockhart, Gwen Nizich, Nadia Wilson, Cailynn Baxter, Alayna Echiverri, Kerra Baxter, Tatum Billings, Layla Tokuoka, Bergen Erickson and coach Tanya Nizich. (Courtesy Photo / Haley Tokuoka)

Pictured are assistant coach Ethan Billings, Cambry Lockhart, Gwen Nizich, Nadia Wilson, Cailynn Baxter, Alayna Echiverri, Kerra Baxter, Tatum Billings, Layla Tokuoka, Bergen Erickson and coach Tanya Nizich. (Courtesy Photo / Haley Tokuoka)

In light of a canceled middle school girls basketball season, coach Tanya Nizich and assistant coach Ethan Billings organized a club team.

The team consisted of sixth through eighth grade students, and the idea to form a club team came about when a group of girls was shooting hoops at the Alaska Club, Nizich said in a phone interview.

“We just wanted to make it right for them,” Nizich said, adding that the team was a way to continue the young athletes’ basketball development.

Team Juneau included Tatum Billings, Kerra Baxter, Cailynn Baxter, Nadia Wilson, Alayna Echiverri, Cambry Lockhart, Gwen Nizich, Bergen Erickson and Layla Tokuoka.

The club team found locations to practice, Nizich said in an email, and played against the junior varsity and C teams from Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. The team played 26 games in three months.

The team attended three tournaments in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley area against Alaska elite teams and scrimmages against the Wasilla C team, according to Nizich. The team was funded by parents.

In the most recent tournament, the club team placed third out of nine teams, and the club may not be done playing just yet. Nizich said while other sports seasons are now encroaching on the time team members have for club basketball, another tournament or two in the Mat-Su may be in the cards.

“The hope is maybe we can continue on with this group a couple more times,” Nizich.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in Sports

Senior assistant captain Anna Dale attempts to stuff the net during a home game between Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Crimson Bears Varsity hockey team and the Kenai Central Kardinals at the Treadwell Arena Saturday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Crimson Bears topple Kardinals on home ice

The team won with a score of 4-2

This combination photo shows all five division-winning teams from the recent 3v3 Pre-Season Tournament at Thunder Mountain High School. (Upper left) Team 7, (upper right) Hoopsters, (lower left) 3 Amigos; (lower center) Lucky Ladies and (lower right) 3 of a Kind. (Courtesy Photos)
3v3 Tournament crowns division winners

Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball and Hooprats recently hosted the 13th… Continue reading

Matthew Wendel, Mike Kreis, Kasey Watts, Courtney Kreis, Tami Wahto and Todd Schur wore costumes during the 2021 Turkey Trot. Why’d they wear costumes? “Why not?” asked Schur. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strut your speed at upcoming annual Turkey Trot

Stuff the starting line Thanksgiving morning

Bree Lee Lo, June Enele, Lemoe Eneliko and Moira Anemia pose for a photo taken by Alexandra and Barron Anemia. All were on hand to celebrate Samoa's Rugby League World Cup run. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Local rugby fans celebrate Samoa’s World Cup run

“Win our lose, we’re still proud.”

Glacier Swim Club finds success in Petersburg

Twenty Juneau students competed in the November swim meet hosted in Petersburg over the weekend.

The 2022-23 Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team poses for a group photo during 2022 3A/4A Volleyball State Championships in Anchorage on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11. (Courtesy Photo / Julie Herman)
TMHS volleyball wraps up stellar season

Falcons fall short of finals at State tournament

TMHS stands for team photo after state tournament at Bartlett High School in Anchorage on Saturday, Nov. 5. (Courtesy Photo / Josiah Loseby)
Juneau swim teams make a splash at state championship

“We all performed well and we all had a good time.”

Juneau Skating Club Forget-Me-Not team featured in last year’s spring event. The team is traveling to Irvine, California to compete in the Glacier Falls Classic on Saturday, Nov. 12. (Courtesy Photo / Kim Hort)
Forget-Me-Not skaters return to California

Juneau Skating Club team competes in Glacier Fall Classic.

Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team celebrating their championship victory against JDHS on Saturday, Nov. 5. TMHS now heads to the state tournament in Anchorage to face Colony in the first round on Thursday, Nov. 10. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
TMHS volleyball team advances to state tournament

Falcons will take on Colony in Anchorage Nov. 11

Large crowds turned out to support high school swimmers through Alaska at the Region V meet on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28, 29 at in Juneau at Dimond Park Aquatic Center. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Prep swim teams score big at Region V meet

TMHS and JDHS swim teams score big at Region V meet

JDHS junior Mila Hargrave winds up to spike the ball while TMHS junior Ashlyn Gates attempts to deflect it. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Volleyball wraps up regular season

Region tournament set for Nov. 4 and Nov. 5