nooks take two from Bethel
The Nome-Beltz Nanooks took two hard fought basketball games from the Bethel Warriors Friday and Saturday in the Nanook gym.
Friday’s contest ended 67-46 on a night where it would have been closer except for the Warriors’ shots not dropping. They shot 32 percent compared to the Nanooks’ 57 percent.
On Saturday, Bethel came back more intense with better luck on their side, but the Nanooks prevailed by a score of 78-64.
On Friday, Gareth Hansen led Nome with 18 points. Caden Hanebuth added 7 points, 9 assists and 11 rebounds.
On Saturday, Stephan Anderson scored 12 of his game high 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nanooks. Freshman Dawson Schaeffer added a season high 19 on 5 for 6 shooting from 3-point range. Gareth Hansen was 5-5 from the free throw line. He has now made 52 consecutive free throws. The Nome boys season record stands at 10-8.
Noticeable in the Nanook play was the success they were having with long down court passes. “I think for our team it’s gotten better,” said player Gareth Hansen when asked about the long passes. “Caden and Stephan have really started looking up the floor and that’s helped us in transitions. Something we struggled with in the past is fast break, transition, scoring, It just opens up opportunities for us.”
The Nugget also asked coach Pat Callahan about the down court passes. “We’re attacking presses better,” said Callahan. “Caden Hanebuth is a gifted passer. He sees the floor better than any player I’ve ever coached. So we tell our guys ‘Better be ready! The ball is coming!’”
“They were definitely playing better tonight,” said Hansen after Saturday’s game. “More of their shots were falling. We were scoring pretty well, too.”
At half time Saturday the Split the Pot cash was at $242. The first ticket drawn was that of Lonnie Gooden, a varsity player last year. His shot was slightly short, bouncing off the rim. Next ticket drawn was that of seven-year-old Rohn Peacock. He stepped to the line and hit nothing but net! $242! That’s probably his biggest payday ever. Asked what he plans to do with the money he replied “I don’t know, save it up.”
Gareth Hansen is having a long free throw streak that is now at 52. “He was 91 out 100 for the season, but now he’s 96 out of 105,” said Coach Callahan. “That’s about 92.5 percent. It’s nice to have a reliable free-throw shooter.” Nelson himself gives credit to lots of practice, simple mechanics, and confidence.”
Next weekend, the Nanooks will travel to Unalakleet for a pair of games. “It’s a really tough place to play, a traditional rivalry game,” said Callahan. “We love going down there, the people are great. We go to Peace On Earth and have pizza on Saturday. We go see the old gym, the old Quonset hut. They played a game in the old Quonset hut tonight with Shaktoolik and Unalakleet JVs. It’s neat to see an old 1960s gym.”
The Unalakleet girls will play in Nome.
The Unalakleet gym is smaller, both shorter and narrower. “It’s tougher to play in and it will make us better.”
The following weekend it’s off to Utqiagviq for two and the weekend after that North Pole comes to play two. Regionals are scheduled for March 7, 8 and 9.
The Lady Nanooks split their weekend games in Bethel against the Warriors. They lost a heartbreaker 58 to 57 in overtime as Bethel made a three pointer to win the game. Brooke Anungazuk and Kastyn Lie each scored 18 to lead Nome. On Saturday they won 50 to 46. Brooke Anungazuk scored 15, Kastyn Lie added 13 and Daynon Medlin scored 11.