Postseason basketball will get a jump start this week at Ketchikan High School, as the Region V 1A tournament will run Wednesday to Saturday inside Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
Nine high schools have made the trek to the First City, including Thorne Bay, Kake, Skagway, Gustavus, Klawock, Angoon, Hydaburg, Yakutat and Hoonah.
The Thorne Bay Wolverines (16-0) hold the top seed in the boys’ bracket. They won the boys’ Region V 1A championship last season for the first time since 1990, and placed fourth in the 1A state tournament.
They’ve continued to roll along this season, scoring 1,202 points while remaining undefeated. They enter the region tournament holding their opponents to an average of just 37.6 points per game, while scoring nearly twice that many each contest.
The Wolverines have averaged 75.1 points per game.
All three of the Wolverines’ top scorers from last season’s ASAA state tournament are returning.
Seniors Jacob Congdon and Stockton Schwab, as well as sophomore Kyle Congdon, averaged double digits during last year’s state tournament.
On the girls’ side, the Klawock Chieftains (17-4) hold the top seed, and will try to repeat as Region V champions. Klawock has won 17 of the last 21 Region V 1A tournaments, dating back to 1984.
The Chieftains defeated Kake — the 2018 Region V winner — by a nailbiting 47-46 final in last year’s region title game.
Klawock placed third in last season’s 1A state tournament. Led by then freshman Kenai Holien, the Chieftains hit the 50-point plateau on the big stage, defeating St. Mary’s High School 50-37. Holien knocked in 24 of those tallies.
They’ve continued to do the same this season, averaging 51.5 points per game this year.
Now a sophomore, Holien has helped lead the Chieftains to a 17-win season.
Klawock’s 17-4 record is slightly misleading, as the Chieftains dropped their first three games during a tournament in Minnesota in December. They are 17-1 against competition in the Last Frontier.
The Chieftains have tallied 1,082 total points this season. Their opponents have averaged 36.6 points per game.
Rounding out the boys’ bracket, is No. 2 Hydaburg, No. 3 Klawock, No. 4 Kake, No. 5 Skagway, No. 6 Gustavus, No. 7 Angoon, No. 8 Yakutat and No. 9 Hoonah.
No. 2 Hydaburg and No. 7 Angoon will square off at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Hydaburg Warriors fell to Thorne Bay in last season’s Region V title game, 53-40. But with a strong upperclass, the Warriors are looking to bounce back.
Six of the 10 Warriors listed on roster are either juniors or seniors, including Cadence Peele, Willis Washington and Trever Olsen. All three scored double figures during Hydaburg’s trip to the state tournament last season, despite the team dropping out after two games.
The majority of Angoon’s roster is also upperclassmen, as four of the seven are either seniors or juniors.
Caleb Riley, Justin Abbott-Jack and Justice Chase are all seniors. Garrison Willis is a junior.
No. 3 Klawock and No. 6 Gustavus will play each other at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Klawock Chieftains are led by seniors Ruben Hoppe and Kevin Isaacs.
The Gustavus Foxes are one of a few teams that have five different grades represents — eighth grade to senior. Both Jacob Patrick and Faith Wagner lead the pack of Foxes as its two seniors.
No. 4 Kake and No. 5 Skagway will go head-to-head at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
Kake also has five different grades represented, including five freshmen and three eighth graders.
Bryce Knudsen is the Kake Thunderbirds’ lone senior.
Kake and Skagway recently squared off on Feb. 22-23. The Thunderbirds outdid the Skagway Panthers, 70-24 and 58-38.
No. 8 Yakutat and No. 9 Hoonah will kick off the Region V 1A tournament at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The winner will advance to play a second game against the top-seeded Wolverines at 8:15 p.m.
Both the Yakutat Eagles and Hoonah Braves list players from eighth to 12th grade.
Patrick Baker is the Eagles’ lone senior on roster.
Jermaine Johnson holds the same spot for the Braves.
Hoonah also lists two players at 6’2”. Junior Ethan Ruerup hits the mark, as well as eighth grader Tyrell Cromner.
The girls’ bracket lists just seven teams. Klawock will receive a bye, not playing its first game until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
No. 2 Kake and No. 7 Yakutat will square off at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Kake Thunderbirds, who placed sixth at the ASAA state tournament last season, are led by seniors Willow Jackson, Jade Beer and Courtney James.
Jackson knocked in 11 of Kake’s 36 points, as the Thunderbirds’ fell to Buckland High School 54-36 in their final state tournament game last season.
Likewise, the Yakutat Eagles have a pair of seniors on its roster — Jessica Holcomb and Juliet Hoadley.
No. 3 Skagway and No. 6 Thorne Bay will play at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Skagway Panthers had a seven game winning streak in January, but dropped their last pair of games against Kake on Feb. 22-23.
The Thorne Bay Wolverines have a trio of upperclassmen, including 5’11” senior Abigail Hills, as well as senior Hadara Jennings and junior Grace Lacour.
No. 4 Angoon and No. 5 Hoonah will start the girls’ bracket at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to play the Chieftains on Thursday evening.
Both the Angoon Eagles and Hoonah Braves have a pair of seniors on roster.
The Angoon Eagles are led by seniors Lilliana Demmert and Starr George.
The Hoonah Braves are led by seniors Zada Michel and Liyah Jewell.
The Region V 1A tournament is double-elimination, with two teams from both boys’ and girls’ brackets representing Region V at the state tournament.
The 1A state tournament will run from March 18-21 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.
Kayhi’s slam dunk passes and season passes will not get fans through the doors at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium this week.
This being an ASAA tournament, Kayhi’s basketball passes don’t count.
Tickets will be divvied up between two possibilities — admission and session.
Admission tickets include all eight sessions, and, with these tickets fans, will not need to leave between sessions of games.
A tournament pass is $50, and for elders or students it’s $40.
Session ticket prices are cheaper, but fans must exit between basketball game sessions.
Adults are $10, and students are $5. Students are considered anyone from 5-years-old to 12th grade.
Anyone under 5 years old is free.