Brevig Mission boys capture top spot at Norton Sound Shootout
Eight teams from the Bering Strait School District joined Nome’s two junior varsity squads last weekend for the Norton Sound Shootout — the largest high school basketball tournament of the year in the Nome-Beltz gym. The boys side of the tournament featured teams from White Mountain, Shishmaref, Brevig Mission, Savoonga, Gambell and Nome. The girls bracket included squads from Savoonga, Gambell, Shishmaref and Nome.
The Brevig Mission boys team finished the three-day tournament a perfect 3-0 and were declared tournament champions. They traveled to Nome as the top seeded team in the BSSD. Brevig beat the second seeded team from Gambell in a come-from-behind thriller on Thursday that was decided by an Arnold Olanna shot with 5 seconds remaining on the clock. Brevig beat Savoonga 72-50 on Friday, and clinched the top spot by eeking out a 70-68 win over Shishmaref on Saturday. The leading scorers for Brevig were Carl Seetot, Elton Picnalook and Shane Bruns. The wins bring Brevig’s overall season mark to a lofty 12-2.
The Savoonga girls were also seeded number one in the BSSD coming into the Showdown. They knocked off the BSSD’s number two-seeded team from Shishmaref 59 49 on Saturday en route to being crowned winners of the girls bracket. They too finished with a 3-0 record after beating the Nome JV girls 43-37 on Thursday, and defeated Gambell 64-50 on Friday. Savoonga was led in scoring by Miriam Kulowiyi, Zhane Akeya, Alazae Waghiyi and Sharlyna Gologergen.
Results from other boys games were White Mountain over Nome JV 62-58 in overtime, Gambell turning away Savoonga 94-47, Shishmaref defeating Nome JV 61-42, Shishmaref beating White Mountain 66-59, Gambell upending White Mountain 55-42 and Nome JV besting Savoonga 66-52.
Results from other girls games were Shishmaref beating Gambell 80-69, Savoonga over Nome JV 43-37, Shishmaref slipping past Nome JV 45-43 and Nome JV downing Gambell 51-44.
The tournament all-star team for the boys consisted of Josh Prentice, White Mountain, Patrick Gologergen, Savoonga, Carl Seetot and Elton Picnalook, Brevig Mission and Lyden Weyiouanna, Shishmaref. The boys Most Valuable Player was Wallace Ungwiluk of Gambell.
The tournament all-star girls were Kayli Apatiki and Danielle Appassingok, Gambell, Zhane Akeya, Sharlyna Gologergen and Alazae Waghiyi, Savoonga. Nome's Sierra Tucker was voted tournament MVP for the girls.
By running the table in Nome, the girls from Savoonga remain unbeaten this year. Their overall record improved to 9-0. “We didn't even have a team last year,” said Kulowiyi. “We have three freshman in the starting five, and a sophomore and a senior. We are the strongest girls team ever from Savoonga.”
When asked about how his Brevig Mission team overcame a 10-point deficit to Gambell in the second half of their opening game, team captain Carl Seetot said,”We just came together as a team and started playing team defense. We all had a good game.”
Mike Skelton has been coaching basketball in White Mountain for the past twelve years, and coached in Shishmaref for eight seasons before that. He has been bringing teams to the Shootout for many years. “It's a great tournament,” said Skelton. “I've always been impressed. It's always been competitive. They get good officials. This is one of the better tournaments I've ever gone too. They (Nome) do a great job hosting.”
Nome assistant athletic director and junior varsity coach Dan Sullivan said, ”We had great crowds. It was a nice basketball atmosphere.” He said it was fun to see how each of the teams had their own cheering section in part of the gym. Sullivan is pleased that the BSSD sends teams, and says it is a win-win situation, as his junior varsity boys get valuable playing experience, and the Bering Straits teams are exposed to a tournament atmosphere before their upcoming sub-regional events.
Nome Varsity in Valdez
Both the boys and girls varsity squads from Nome attended the Valdez Elks Basketball Tournament in Valdez this weekend. The girls team finished fourth in their eight-team division. They lost their opening round game to Nikiski 42-39. The Lady Nanooks bounced back to beat Seward 47-34, and ended tournament play by taking care of Eielson 42-26. Nome's season record improved to 10-9.
Nome's varsity boys team lost to Cordova 75-66 in the first round. They fell to Eielson 87-65 on Friday, and bowed to Seward 52-40 on Saturday. With the three losses, their record for the year falls to 3-16.
Also attending the tournament were teams from Kotzebue and Grace Christian.