Homer Lady Mariners and Valdez Buccaneers win Donlin Gold Tournament

The Bethel Warrior basketball teams hosted the Donlin Gold Tournament this past weekend with visiting teams coming tfrom Homer, Unalakleet, and Valdez. Above at top is Aaron Mute of Bethel looking to block while his teammate #5 Paul Dyment rushes to help. photo by Greg Lincoln

The 2024 Donlin Gold Basketball Tournament has its champions. Congratulations to the Homer Lady Mariners and the Valdez Buccaneers. Coming in second are both Bethel Lady Warriors and the Warriors.

Day 1, Jan. 18th, 2024

The Unalakleet Wolfpack basketball teams played the Valdez Buccaneers at the Donlin Gold Basketball Tournament tonight at the WarriorDome.

The Valdez Buccaneers defeated the Unalakleet Wolfpack team in the boys contest 59-37. Valdez’s Owen Watson scored 17 and Jarret Gage sunk 16. Also scoring shots were Tino Tucker, Jace Branshaw, Grayson Ade, Barrett McCumby, Nick Alfro, David Boone, and Zachary Holbrook. Also playing for Valdez was Kian St. Amand. For Unalakleet, Paxson Commack made 9, Bristol Burress scored 7. Also making buckets were Josh Smith, Trenton Towarak, Trevin Soderstorm, Teyler Johnson, and Isaac Smith. Also playing for the Wolfpack were Johnny Soderstorm, Chace Doty, Jordan Katchatag, and Russell Eaton.

The Lady Wolfpack won over the Lady Buccaneers in a close contest 45-41 despite scoring only 2 points in the second quarter. Raleen Bradley scored 20 for Unalakleet. Lizabeth Ivanoff, Cedar Busk, Ourea Busk, and Violet Jack also made baskets. Destiny Day of Valdez sank 14, her teammate Rylee Wade scored 12. Their teammates Kelli Malcuit, Hali Fitka, Lola Compahos, and Izzy Kizer also made points. Also playing for the Lady Wolfpack were Keely Johnson, Cora Sagoonick, Autumn Nanouk, Kaylea Eller, and Lena Ivanoff.

Bethel Warriors vs. Homer Mariners was the third game of the night. The Warriors won 76-47. Madden Cockcroft scored 19, Greg Turner sank 16, and Aaron Mute made 13. Brian Guest, Paul Dyment, Ellis Johnson, Ethan Wheeler, Jackson Iverson, and Mason Berlin also made buckets. Also playing for the Warriors were Kenneth Fox and Warren Nicolai. Homer’s Lucas Story scored 17. His teammates Riley Huffman, Benjamin Engebretsen, Einer Pederson, Spencer Dye, CJ Burns, Nathan Overson, and James Anderson also made points. Justus Grimes also played for the Mariners.

The Homer Lady Mariners defeated the Bethel Lady Warriors 50-42. Channing Lowrey scored 15 and Sydney Shelby made 12. Juliann Techra, Minadora Reutov, Lillie Mac Kuhn, Mally Im, and Keagan Niebuhr also scored shots. Also playing for the Valdez were Gracie Miotke, Kya Stokes, and Madalyn Miotke. Bethel Lady Warrior’s Allie Alexie scored 18 and Kyana Harpak made 11. Their teammates Briella Herron, Payton Boney, and Isabel Lieb also made points. Also playing for the Lady Warriors were Riley Boney, Ambrea Jackson, Julia Andrew, Hannah Leinberger, Malinda Simon, Ashlynn Lonewolf, and Maelynn Fredericks.

Day 2, Jan. 19th, 2024

Friday night games continued with the Lady Valdez Buccaneers and the Homer Lady Mariners game, followed by the boys game with the same teams. The Lady Mariners won by 3 points in a close contest with Valdez 47-44. Channing Lowney, Minadora Reutov, and Sydney Shelby all scored 13 for Homer. Also contributing to the scoreboard were Juliann Techie and Mally Im for the Lady Mariners. For the Lady Buccaneers Lola Compahos sunk 20 and Destiny Day made 13. Also making shots were Kelli Malcuit, Rylee Wade, and Izzy Kizer for Valdez.

The Valdez boys defeated Homer 72-42. Top scorers for the Buccaneers were Tito Tucker 22, Owen Watson 13, and Jarrett Gage with 10. Also making baskets were Jace Branshaw, Grayson Ade, Barrett Mc Cumby, Nick Alfaro, Kian St. Amand, and Zachary Holbrook for the Buccaneers. Lucas Story of the Mariners scored 10 and Nathan Overson made 9. Also making buckets were Riley Huffman, Benjamin Engebretson, Einer Pederson, Spencer Dye, CJ Burns, and Jamen Anderson for Homer.

The Bethel Lady Warriors defeated the Unalakleet Lady Wolfpack 49-43. Top scorer was Allie Alexie with 13 points. Briella Herron and Payton Boney both scored 10. Isabel Lieb and Kyana Harpak sank 8. Violet Jack made 13 for the Lady Wolfpack. Cedar Busk and Lizabeth Ivanoff scored 10 and 9, respectively. Also making points were Keely Johnson, Ourea Busk, and Raleen Bradley for Unalakleet.

The last game was for the boys. The Bethel Warriors won 67-51. After trailing 19-6 at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors outscored the Wolfpack and were ahead 36-27 at the half. Greg Turner sank 26 and Madden Cockroft scored 14. Paul Dyment sank 10. Also scoring were Ellis Johnson, Ethan Wheeler, and Aaron Mute. For Unalakleet Brisol Burress sank 19, Paxson Commack made 11. Also contributing points were Josh Smith, Trenton Towarak, Trevin Soderstorm, and Isaac Smith.

Day 3, Jan. 20th, 2024

On Saturday, games continued with the Homer Mariners vs. the Unalakleet Wolfpack both boys and girls games. The Wolfpack defeated the Mariners 75-63. Unalakleet’s Paxson Commack scored in the game. His teammates Trevin Soderstorm and Isaac Smith both sunk 12. Also scoring for the Wolfpack were Josh Smith, Brisol Burress, and Trenton Towarak. For Homer Spencer Dye scored 21, CJ Burns shot 20, and Nathan Overson sunk 12. Also scoring for the Mariners were Riley Hoffman, Lucas Story, and Einer Pederson.

For the girls, the Homer Lady Mariners were victorious over the Unalakleet Lady Wolfpack, 62-45. Minadora Reutov of Homer scored 17, Channing Lowney made 16, and Sydney Shelby sunk 12. Also scoring were Juliann Techie, Lillie Mae Kuhn, Mally Im, Keggan Niebahr, and Madalynn Miotke. For Unalakleet, Raleen Bradley scored 26, Violet Jack made 8. Also scoring for the Lady Wolfpack were Lizabeth Ivanoff, Keely Johnson, Cedar Busk, and Ourea Busk.

The tournament concluded with Valdez vs. the host team Warriors. The boys played first with Valdez coming out on top 50-36. Scoring 22 was Tino Tucker for the Buccaneers. Jarrett Gage made 16. Also making buckets were Grayson Ade, Owen Watson, and Kian St. Amand. For Bethel Greg Turner scored 13 and Ethan Wheeler made 10. Also scoring here Madden Cockroft, Paul Dyment, and Ellison Johnson.

The final game of the tournament was played between the host team Lady Warriors and the Lady Buccaneers of Valdez. Valdez won by 1 point, 42-41. Valdez trailed behind the first three quarters, then caught up and won in the 4th scoring 20 points in the frame. Destiny Day of the Lady Buccaneers made some last second free throws to seal the win. She scored 16, her teammate Lola Compahos made 17. Also scoring were Rylee Wade, Hali Fitka, and Sofia Ramos. Kyana Harpak scored 13 for the Lady Warriors, Payton Boney made 7, and Allie Alexie and Isabel Lieb both scored 6. Also making baskets were Brielle Herron and Malinda Simon.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10041 made a special donation of padded bleacher chairs with comfy foam backs and cushions to the Bethel Regional High School. Buck Bukowski was instrumental with this donation. Elders were offered the seats at the tournament so that they could sit in comfort and ease while enjoying the games. Quyana!

And the Homer Mariners girls and boys teams were treated to an exciting day of Yup’ik Culture immersion and experience at Ayaprun Elitnaurvik. The players learned how to make akutaq and fried bread assaliaqs. They also sampled traditional Yugtaq foods and enjoyed lunch with the Ayaprun students and staff. After lunch they made manaqs and watched as folks checked their subsistence setnets from under the ice on the Kuskokwim River. They also went ice fishing and some caught pike! What an awesome adventure and great memories made on their trip to Bethel.

Donlin Gold Basketball Tournament Awards

Girls Results

1st Homer Lady Mariners

2nd Bethel Lady Warriors

Free Throw Champ: Sydney Cronk, Valdez

Big Man/Post Champ: Ashlynn Lonewolf, Bethel

3 Pt. Champ: Channing Lowney, Homer

All-Tournament Team

Allie Alexie, Bethel

Raleen Bradley, Unalakleet

Channing Lowney, Homer

Rylee Wade, Valdez

Briella Herron, Bethel

MVP: Sydney Shelby, Homer

Boys Results

1st Valdez Buccaneers

2nd Bethel Warriors

Free Throw Champ: Einer Pederson, Homer

Big Man/Post Champ: Aaron Mute, Bethel

3 Pt. Champ: Greg Turner, Bethel

All Tournament Team

Greg Turner, Bethel

Tino Tucker, Valdez

Paxson Commack, Unalakleet

Josh Smith, Unalakeet

Jarrett Gage, Valdez

MVP: Madden Cockroft, Bethel