Falcons, Shaman off to quick starts to season

by Tommy Wells

The Kipnuk Falcons and Chefornak Shaman boys teams may be flying just under the Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches poll radar, but they are enjoying solid starts to their 2020 basketball seasons. The two teams have combined to register just one loss through the first few weeks of the new year.

Kipnuk ran its season record to a perfect 50-0 over the weekend by grinding out a pair of tough wins over the Tuntutuliak Blue Jays. The Falcons took the opener of the weekend series by a 55-46 margin. They finished off the sweep with a 44-40 win on Saturday.

Chefornak sits atop the Island League standings with a 6-1 record. The Shaman’s only loss this season came earlier this month to rival Toksook Bay, 67-56, in a tournament played in Nightmute.

Like Chefornak, Toksook Bay is off to an outstanding start. The Islanders are 6-2. The team’s only setbacks came via a 61-59 loss to Class 2A Chevak on Thursday, and a 70-35 loss to No. 2-ranked Lumen Christi on Jan. 10.

Unalakleet boys, girls climb in state polls

by Tommy Wells

The Unalakleet Wolfpack boys and girls are drawing their fair share of attention from the state’s basketball coaches. Both squads cracked the top five in the latest Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches’ poll for Jan. 20.

The Unalakleet boys moved into the No. 4 position on the poll’s rankings of the top Class 2A squads. The Wolfpack trail only Petersburg, Cordova and Metlakatla in the power rankings. Defending Class 2A state champion Point Hope fell to fifth in this week’s poll. The Harpooners had been No. 1 for most of the 2019-20 season.

The Unalakleet girls were third in the girls’ 2A rankings. They trail only Point Hope and Unalaska in the power rankings.

In the boys’ Class 1A ranks, Ninilchik moved into the No. 1 spot, replacing Anaktuvuk Pass, which slipped to third this week. Lumen Christi is second.

King Cove held on to the top spot in the girls’ 1A division.

In Class 3A, the Barrow Whalers tumbled to fourth after a tough outing at the Joe T. Classic in Fairbanks. The Whalers had entered the week at No. 1 in the boys’ standings. Grace Christian replaced Barrow atop to rankings, followed by Monroe Catholic and Anchorage Christian.

ACS was the top-rated team in the girls’ 3A poll.

Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches

Power Rankings

For Jan. 20, 2020


Class 4A: 1. Dimond; 2. Colony; 3. West Valley; 4. East Anchorage; 5. South Anchorage. Class 3A: 1. Grace Christian; 2. Monroe Catholic; 3. Anchorage Christian; 4. Barrow; 5. Delta; Class 2A: 1.Petersburg; 2. Cordova; 3. Metlakatla; 4. Unalakleet; 5. Point Hope. Class 1A: 1. Ninilchik; 2. Lumen Christi; 3. Anaktuvuk Pass; 4. King Cove; 5. Tanalian.


Class 4A: 1.Colony; 2.Lathrop; 3. West Anchorage; 4. Juneau-Douglas; 5. Bartlett. Class 3A: 1. Anchorage Christian; 2. Galena; 3. Monroe Catholic; 4. Barrow; 5. Sitka. Class 2A: 1. Point Hope; 2. Unalaska; 3. Unalakleet; 4. Wrangell; 5. Nenana. Class 1A: 1. King Cove; 2. Tanalian; 3. Nikolaevsk; 4. Klawock; 5. Minto.