Andrew leads Hawks to Kusko League tourney crown

Weston Andrew, playing for the Napaskiak Hawks, drives in for a layup during their game with the Akula Tundra Foxes. Napaskiak won and advanced to the championship round. photo by Greg Lincoln

by Tommy Wells

Weston Andrew scored 14 points and four other members of the Napaskiak Hawks scored into double figures on Saturday and helped power the Hawks to the 2019 Kuskokwim Delta boys’ championship honors with a 53-43 win over the Nunapitchuk Wolves. The tournament was held Thursday through Saturday at the home of the Hawks at the Napaskiak high school gym.

Andrew and Stephen Joekay helped the Hawks get off to a quick start against Nunapitchuk. Andrew pumped in a pair of shots early on and Joekay chipped in a clutch three-pointer en route to guiding Napaskiak to a 12-11 run in the first eight minutes of the contest. Aaron Williams, Jeff Nicholai and John Andrew also contributed baskets for the Hawks.

Brandon Nicholai supplied the bulk of the Wolves’ first-quarter offense. He scored six of Nunapitchuk’s first 11 points. Jaden Andrew added a three-pointer.

Napaskiak took the upper hand in the second. The Hawks outscored Nunapitchuk by a 12-8 margin in the frame and took a 24-19 lead into the half.

Nunapitchuk stormed back in the third. Nicholai poured in eight points in the initial minutes of the second half and powered the Wolves to a 31-31 tie heading into the fourth quarter.

Napaskiak dominated the fourth, posting a 22-12 run in the frame to cement the win.

John Andrew led the Hawks’ fourth-quarter run by scoring six of his 11 points in the frame. Joekay, who also finished with 11 points, tallied five in the frame, while Williams added three.

Williams also tallied 11 points in the affair for the Hawks.

Nicholai also reached double figures by netting 10 points.

Nicholai led all Nunapitchuk scorers with a game-high 16 points. Jaden Andrew added 12.

Akula used a staggering 29-point outburst in the second quarter and raced to an 82-60 victory over the Atmautluak Falcons in the Kusko tournament’s third-place contest.

After fighting to a narrow 17-14 lead in the first quarter, Akula all but put the game away with a torrential run in the second. They outscored Atmautluak by a 29-17 clip in the frame and took a 46-31 lead into the half.

Shawn Twitchell paced Akula’s run by throwing in 12 of his game-high 27 points in the second quarter.

Akula, which also garnered 21 points from Eric Tinker, didn’t take its foot off the gas pedal in the third. They posted a 21-16 spree in the initial eight minutes of the second half and headed into the fourth quarter with a 20-point advantage, at 67-47.

Jeremy Nicholai and Leondre Dementieff also scored into double figures for Akula, netting 12 and 10, respectively.

William Pavilla led all Atmautluak scorers with 16 points. Henry Alexie added 13, while Jadon Nicholai and Richard Pavilla contributed 11 apiece.

Akiuk captured the fifth-place honors in the tournament with a 54-44 victory over Kwethluk.

Akiuk, which took the upper hand early with a 17-4 run in the first quarter, had three players score into double-digits in the win, including 15 by Tyler Kassel. Kalila Pavilla and Charlie Lupie added 11 and 10, respectively.

Kwethluk was led by 13 from Darrel Waska and 12 from William Billy.