Bethel teams see seasons end in Anchorage

by Tommy Wells

The 2018-19 basketball seasons came to an end for the Bethel Regional High School boys and girls this past weekend in Anchorage. The Bethel teams finished third in the final standings at the Western Conference Basketball Championships at Dimond High School.

Only the top two finishers in the boys’ and girls’ divisions advance to the Class 3A state basketball tournament, which begins on Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

The Lady Warriors narrowly missed earning a berth in the state tournament on Saturday. The BRHS girls advanced to the second-place game of the tournament before dropping a tough 42-32 decision to rival Kotzebue.

Despite the loss, Bethel received plenty of recognition from the conference’s coaches, including winning the 2019 Western Conference Sportsmanship Award. Additionally, the team had two players, including Fiola Dema and Ava Lieb, named to the all-tournament roster.

The loss to Kotzebue finished the prep careers for five BRHS seniors, including Dema, Madison Smith, Brianna Evan, Deja Jackson and Andrea Lee.

Bethel opened the tournament on Thursday with a first-round loss to the Barrow Lady Whalers.

The Bethel boys went 0-2 at the tournament, suffering losses to Barrow and rival Nome-Beltz.