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The first step isn’t going smoothly.

Ranking things and making lists seem to be all the rage these days.

Terry Lee Ming, 66, died on June 7, 2019, in Bellingham, Washington. He was born on Oct. 30, 1952, in Pittsburg, California.
Randy Jason Sullivan, 46, died May 13, 2019, in a mid-air collision near Ketchikan. He was born on Feb. 1, 1973, in Anchorage.
Garold E. Charles, 67, died March 29, 2019, in Saxman. He was born Dec. 19, 1951, in Craig.
Craig wins tourney at Kayhi: MEHS, Sitka win C-team and JV titles
Ketchikan High School player Sarah Palaruan tips the ball to Metlakatla High School player Tayen Booth on Saturday morning during the Small Schools Tournament at Kayhi. Metlakatla won the match 2-0. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

Daily News Sports Editor

Ketchikan High School hosted the Small Schools Tournament in Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium and Craig Family Gym this weekend. The two-day event had seven different schools, including Kayhi, with three visiting teams traveling with more than one squad, with junior varsity and C-teams.

In addition to the Lady Kings, teams from Metlakatla, Mount Edgecumbe, Sitka, Petersburg, Craig and Klawock high schools were in town. Overall, 14 teams participated in the tournament. And at any one time, three different games were being played, with Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium split into two courts.

“The tournament ran really smoothly,” Kayhi head coach Beth Sandefur said. “(That’s) great because there were 44 games played over the last two days between the three courts. And it’s pretty easy to get a little bit behind, and then it throws your whole schedule off. So I was really happy with how smoothly everything was ran.”

The pool play matches were two sets and had a one-hour time limit. Sandefur credited the referees for keeping the games on schedule.

“The three gentlemen who came and officated for us are all outstanding refs and we really appreciate them,” she said. “They have a big role in making sure that those things run smoothly, communicating to the teams how much warm up time they’re going to get and keeping the clock running when it needs to be running.”

At the end of tournament, the Craig Lady Panthers were varsity champions, winning 2-1 over the Petersburg Lady Vikings.

The Sitka Lady Wolves won the JV championship over the Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves. And Mt. Edgecumbe was victorious over Petersburg in the C-team title match.

After dropping all three of its matches on Friday, 2-0, the Kayhi varsity squad came ready to battle on Saturday.

The Lady Kings met Metlakatla on the court and claimed an early 4-1 lead. But Metlakatla climbed back, tying the first set at 6-6, before overtaking Kayhi 15-9.

The Lady Kings would get a late surge and climb back within two points when Sarah Palaruan was serving from the back line. And the right hand of Kayhi’s Madison Purcell would help the Lady Kings along the way.

Kayhi would win the first set 25-20.

The score would be nearly flipped around in the second set. Kayhi had to scrounge for points, and the back and forth affair was knotted at 10-10, before Metlakatla bumped in front 14-10.

Metlakatla would win the match 25-21. With a two-set, one-hour time limit, the game was called tied at 1-1.

The two teams would meet again Saturday afternoon, in a bid to advance in the bracket portion of the tournament.

Kayhi would lose that match 2-1, ending its shot at a title bout.

“It was a little frustrating,” Sandefur said. “We had an eight-point lead. And we let them come back.

“Volleyball is a really emotional game,” she continued. “We’ve talked so much of it is the six inches between your ears. (That’s) a huge factor in the way that you play. We just haven’t found our rhythm yet, (as far as) getting our energy up and staying steady with it up.”

Craig 2, Petersburg 1

(25-22, 21-25, 15-7)

Varsity Championship

The Small Schools Tournament had a big battle for the varsity championship between Petersburg and Craig. The two clubs went back and forth nearly every possession.

Neither side had more than a two-point lead, before Craig edged ahead 23-20 in the first set. But that didn’t last long, as Petersburg would climb back within one, 23-22.

Craig would win the next two points for a 25-22 win, but the match was a sign of what was to follow in the ensuing two sets.

The see-saw affair continued in the second set, as again neither side held more than a two-point lead, until — this time Petersburg — broke out in front 18-15. The Lady Vikings would continue to score tallies, stretching their lead to 21-16. And their 25-21 second set win would push the title match into a third — and final — set.

The Lady Panthers pounced on their opportunituy, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. That stretched to 7-1 before Petersburg was able to string a few points together.

The Lady Vikings cut Craig’s lead to three points, 7-4, before Craig would get the ball back. And the Lady Panthers continued on the roll they had started. Craig won eight of the next 11 volleys to claim the championship 15-7 in the shortened third set frame.

Sitka 2, Mt. Edgecumbe 0

(25-19, 25-19)

JV Championship

The junior varsity Lady Wolves and Lady Braves had identical scores their two sets. Down 18-11, Mt. Edgecumbe would climb back scoring five of the next six points, cutting Sitka’s lead to just three tallies. But the Lady Wolves would go on a tear, winning five of the next seven points, before taking the first set 25-19.

The second set would end the same way — 25-19 — in favor of Sitka. But the Lady Wolves would have to fight for the win.

Despite falling back 7-0, the Lady Braves would claw their way back into the game and make it a four-point deficit, 12-8. Mt. Edgecumbe would then cut that in half, winning four of the next six points, and only be behind by two, 14-12.

But that’s as close as Mt. Edgecumbe would get to Sitka, as the Lady Wolves would get the ball back en route to their second 25-19 victory.

Mt. Edgecumbe 2, Petersburg 0

(25-17, 25, 15)

C-team Championship

Petersburg jumped out to an early 7-1 lead over the Lady Braves during the first set of the C-team championship game. But Mt. Edgecumbe battled back, tying the match at 10 points apiece. Mt. Edgecumbe would run 10 consecutive points on the board, giving themselves an 18-10 edge, and they would eventually win the first set 25-17.

That Lady Braves’ momentum carried over to the second set, as they maintained a lead the entire time.

The Lady Vikings would hit double digits, cutting Mt. Edgecumbe’s lead in half, 20-10, but the 10-point spread would continue. And Mt. Edgecumbe’s C-squad won the championship match 25-15 for a 2-0 victory.

Small Schools Tournament

Saturday Results

Court 1

PSG (V)- 0

CRG (V)- 2 (25-22, 25-22)

KTN (V)- 1 (25-20, 21-25)

MET (V)- 1 (20-25, 25-21)

CRG (V)- 2 (25-23, 25-12)

KLW (V)- 0

PSG (V)- 1 (26-24, 17-25)

KLW (V)- 1 (24-26, 25-17)

PSG (C)- 0

CRG (JV)- 2 (25-20, 25-11)

Court 2

CRG (JV)- 0

MEHS (JV)- 2 (25-18, 25-7)

KTN (JV)- 2 (25-22, 25-23)

CRG (JV)- 0

CRG (JV)- 1 (16-25, 25-14)

PSG (JV)- 1 (25-16, 14-25)

KTN (JV)- 0

SIT (JV)- 2 (26-24, 25-16)

SIT (JV)- 1 (15-25, 25-21)

MEHS (JV)- 1 (25-15, 21-25)

CRG (JV)- 1 (20-25, 25-19)

MEHS (JV)- 1 (25-20, 19-25)

KTN (JV)- 2 (25-13, 25-9)

KTN (C)- 0

PSG (JV)- 2 (25-8, 25-9)

KTN (C)- 0

Court 3

PSG (JV)- 2 (25-8, 25-19)

PSG (C)- 0

MEHS (JV)- 2 (25-10, 25-13)

MEHS (C)- 0

KTN (C)- 0

MEHS (JV)- 2 (25-15, 25-11)

PSG (C)- 0

MEHS (C)- 2 (25-13, 25-21)

MEHS (C)- 0

KTN (JV)- 2 (26-24, 25-17)

PSG (C)- 0

SIT (JV)- 2 (25-5, 25-12)

MEHS (JV)- 0

PSG (JV)- 2 (25-12, 25-15)