Soldotna dominates Subway Showdown
Despite the raging snowstorm that hit Nome, a packed gym saw some great basketball at the 2020 Subway Showdown. Soldotna High boys and girls teams put on a show of talent and well-coached basketball skills to win every game they played, usually by a wide margin. The other three teams, Nome-Beltz, Kotzebue and Unalakleet, were fairly well balanced and played competitive games against each other.
The Lady Nanooks lost to Unalakleet in the opener and then downed Kotzebue on Friday in a crowd pleaser that went right down to the last seconds. On Saturday, SoHi topped the Lady Nanooks 59 to 23. “You probably learn more from losing than from winning because it hurts more,” said Nome Coach Joe Musich. “Our lesson today was: we went out and played scared in the beginning. And we just couldn’t climb back into it. Once we did get rid of that fear, in the third and into the fourth, we started playing our game and started coming back for us. It started to look good. But it took too long to get to that point.” He added that SoHi is a solid team with a deep bench and that they’re smart, well-coached players. “Sometimes it’s good to get beat like that, to make you hungry.”
There are several bright spots in the Lady Nanook team this year and one of them is the freshman quartet of Natallie Tobuk, Asa Hukill, Kellie Miller and Jelsey Gologergen. They play like young tigers. “At times they still play like freshmen but they are very physical and they’ve got some talent,” said Coach Musich. “So it’s something for us to look forward to. They’re aggressive, they’re not afraid.”
The Nanook boys downed Unalakleet and Kotzebue and lost to SoHi 62 to 36. Dawson Schaeffer sunk 16 of 18 free throws on his way to 25 points in the game. This tops Jesse Blandford’s school record of 15 for 18 against Unalakleet in the 2006-2007 season.
“That is a good team and we needed that game,” said Nanook Coach Pat Callahan of the Nome – SoHi game. “We needed to get beat down in order to take practices seriously. We’re a young team and we have talent, but we didn’t think that could happen to us. If it focuses us in practices, from here on out we’re going to improve a bunch. We have way more room for improvement than those Soldotna guys and I think if we played them again this season it would be a great game. It would have been fun for the fans here to see a close game or to see us win the game but it was more important in the big picture for us to lose a game,” Callahan said.
Callahan noted that having a team that’s never played in Nome before is always fun. “I wish the games could have been a little more competitive for them on both boys and girls.”
The SoHi passing game was impressive and they also were effective in stealing Nanook passes. “Yeah, and we were a step slow and behind and because we don’t have whole lot of guys so it’s really hard for us to challenge ourselves in practice even,” said Callahan. “We have to figure that out that we have to do everything in practice with intensity.”
The gym was packed for the evening games and the atmosphere was intense. “And that’s what they like,” said the coach. “They think this is just the coolest thing. Their parents love finally getting off the road system and going somewhere. I would have liked a little more competitive games. But I’ll always jump at a chance to get a good team to our gym, especially one that’s never been out here before.”
Nome Subway Showdown
Soldotna Girls 68 — Kotzebue 25 (Morgan Boubchor 19, Josie Sheridan 14 - SoHi) (Gallahorn 6, Swanson 6 - OTZ)
Unalakleet Girls 62 —Lady Nanooks 53 (Jewel Wilson 31, Kailyn Haugen 18 - UHS) (Brooke Anungazuk 20, Lisa Okbaok 13)
Soldotna Boys 62— Kotzebue 20 (Ray Chumley 14, Zach Hanson 10 - SHS) (Mikey Hensley 6, Aiden Ivanoff 5 - KHS)
Nome Boys 68— Unalakleet 45 (Stephan Anderson 14, Dawson Schaeffer 12 - NBHS) (Michael Haugen 15, Larry Wilson 14 - UHS)
Lady Nanooks 57 — Kotzebue 55 (Lisa Okbaok 26, Brooke Anungazuk 17, Macey Witrosky 6
Grace Gallahorn 19, Leveah Makisi 17, Ally Martin 6)
Soldotna Girls 69—Unalakleet 34 (Itua Tuisaula 25, Autumn Fischer 11, Jewel Wilson 19, Lena Ivanoff 8)
Nome Boys 70— Kotzebue 37 (Stephan Anderson 18, Dawson Schaeffer 13, Caden Hanebuth 12, Kai Whitmore 10, Peter Nelson 7, Aiden Ivanoff 5)
Soldotna Boys 72— Unalakleet 30 (Tyler Morrison 20, Ray Chumley 10, Levi Rosin 10, Michael Haugen 15, Cody Ivanoff 7, Carter Commack 5)
Championship game: Soldotna Boys 62 —Nome Boys 36
Tournament MVP Jersey Trusdell led the Stars with 15.
Soldotna Girls 59 —Nome Lady Nanooks 23
The Soldotna Stars won the 2020 Nome Subway Showdown by going 3-0 over the round-robin tournament. Ituau Tuisaula led Soldotna with 22 points. Lisa Okbaok led Nome with 13.
Unalakleet Boys 60— Kotzebue 57
Michael Haugen made 11-17 free-throws on his way to a game high 24 points to lead the Wolfpack to the win. Larry Wilson added 12. Air Whitmore led Kotzebue with 20. Unalakleet finished the tourney with a 1-2 record. Kotzebue Boys finished 0-3.
Unalakleet Girls 47 —Kotzebue 36
Unalakleet girls placed second in the 2020 Nome Subway Showdown by finishing the tournament with a 2-1 record. Kailyn Haugen led the Wolfpack with 14 points and Jewel Wilson added 13. Grace Gallahorn led the Huskies with 9. Kotzebue finished the tournament with a 0-3 record. Unalakleet outscored Kotzebue 17-4 in the 4th quarter to secure the victory.
Free-Throw Contest: Boys - Adrian Pleasant (UNK); Girls - Jelsey Gologergen (NBHS)
Three-point Contest Champions: Boys - Jersey Trusdell,Sohi; Girls - Jewel Wilson, UNK
Hot Shot Champions: Boys - Cody Ivanoff, UNK; Girls - Lisa Okbaok, NBHS
Boys: Caden Hanebuth (NBHS), MVP Jersey Trusdell (Sohi), Michael Haugen (UNK), Stephan Anderson (NBHS), Dawson Schaeffer (NBHS), Ray Chumley (Sohi).
Girls: Lisa Okbaok (NBHS), Jewel Wilson (UNK), MVP Ituau Tuisaula (SoHi); Ally Martin (Kotz), Morgan Boushor (Sohi), Grace Gallahorn (Kotz).