by Greg Lincoln
The Hooper Bay Lady Warriors are the 2A State Basketball champions, it is the girls team’s first state title. They defeated the Talkeetna Susitna Valley Rams 36-32 in an exciting neck-and-neck game.
Palmer High School and the Alaska School Activities Association hosted the championship games for 1A and 2A.
The game was tied at the end of the first quarter at 8 and 8. It was also tied at the end of the first half at 11. At the end of the third quarter the Lady Warriors were up by one point, 27-26. Su-Valley took a brief lead in the fourth quarter but Hooper Bay got the lead back by outscoring the Lady Rams 9 to 6 in the fourth.
Coach Brandi Hale of Hooper Bay did a tremendous job of leading her 8th seed Warriors through tough games in the tournament. They defeated the 2019 2A state champions – the Tikigaq Pt. Hope Lady Harpooners by one point, 43-42 in the opening round. After that they defeated the Lady Panthers of Glennallen 30-23.
“We are really thankful to be here. I’m so proud of these girls,” said Coach Hale, who played high school basketball for Mt. Edgcumbe High School and won the state championship in 2010. “They deserve it!”
Hooper Bay fans and the Lower Yukon School District were elated and proud of the Lady Warriors.
“You have all represented the school and community wonderfully,” wrote the Hooper Bay School. “We are so proud of you!!”
In 1998 Hooper Bay girls went to 2A state and placed 6th. And in 2015 they tied for 7th with Dillingham, and now they are the 2021 State 2A champions.
The champion team includes 8 seniors: Maedrean Bell, Shaylyn Bunyan, Alexis Stevens, Mary Long, Zoey Lake, Rose Lake, Daisy Joe, and Benise Tall; one junior Acsaruaq Smart; three sophmores Joan Bell, Ariel Naneng, and Raeney Bell; and no freshmen.
For the 2A boys’ championship, the 2019 2A State Champions – the Tikigaq Pt. Hope Harpooners defeated the Tok Wolverines 83-49.
The Glennallen Lady Panthers and the Scammon Bay Eagles were awarded the Sportsmanship award, congratulations!
2021 State 2A Basketball Championship Results
April 1-3, 2021
1st: Hooper Bay Lady Warriors
2nd: Talkeetna Su-Valley Rams
Sportsmanship: Glennallen Panthers
All Tournament Team
Zoey Lake, Hooper Bay
Alana Barron, Su-Valley
Haley Ulroan, Chevak
CeAnika Palacious, Glennallen
Jadyn Lane, Tikigaq
India Roderick, Su-Valley
Lena Ivanoff, Unalakleet
Kenna Grenier, Su-Valley
Victoria Fisher, Unalakleet
Mary Long, Hooper Bay
1st: Tikigaq Pt. Hope Harpooners
2nd: Tok Wolverines
Sportsmanship: Scammon Bay
All Tournament Team
Hunter Terrel, Glennallen
Evin Matchian, Hooper Bay
Joelian Lane, Tikigaq
Teddy Northway, Tok
Cassius Sundown, Scammon Bay
Jeffery Adams, Tok
Henry Kowunna, Tikigaq
Ellsworth Haugen, Unalakleet
Revyn Almquist-Corgill, Tok
Gevin Oegna, Tikigaq