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Miss Chiefs drop close game to Wrangell
The Metlakatla High School varsity girls basketball team is seen after a neck-and-neck 41-39 loss to Wrangell High School on Friday in the Region V 2A championship game at Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

SITKA (KDN) — The Miss Chiefs had the game in hand. But through the course of the Region V 2A championship against Wrangell High School on Friday, Metlakatla High School saw its lead slip away. And Wrangell inched past Metlakatla 41-39.

After jumping out to a 12-4 lead in the first quarter at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, the Miss Chiefs continued their momentum in the second quarter, carrying a 22-17 lead into the half.

Metlakatla’s score was helped in part by Alexis Russell’s double-digit scoring spree. The junior guard nailed three buckets, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

But once the second half started, Wrangell’s Lady Wolves began finding their defensive groove.

Russell finished the game with a team-high 16 points. But Wrangell’s defense held the Miss Chiefs to just five points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Lady Wolves scored 12 points of their own, to take a 29-27 lead heading into the final quarter.

From there a back-and-forth battle began, with both teams exchanging leads.

But with 10.2 seconds left on the clock, Wrangell’s Kaylyn Easterly knocked in the go-ahead shot — and eventual game-winner — as the Lady Wolves won 41-39.

With the win, Wrangell advances to the state tournament in Anchorage later this month. Metlakatla will play Craig at 9:45 a.m. Saturday in the 2A runner-up game that will determine which team will take the Region V 2A’s second berth at the state tournament.

Scoring Line

Wrangell: Kaylyn Easterly, 16; Helen Decker, 12; Maddy Harding, 8; Jamie Early, 4; Abby Gerald, 1.

Metlakatla: Alexis Russell, 16; Lexi Eaton-Milne, 9; Uniquea Clark, 8; Victoria Studstill, 2; KayAna Buxton, 2; Samantha Marsden, 2.