by Tommy Wells
The Bethel Regional High School Lady Warriors claimed the 2019 Ravn-Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Basketball Invitational title on Saturday in front of a large crowd in the WarriorDome.
Bethel garnered points from eight different players and rolled to a convincing 36-26 come-from-behind victory over Glennallen in the finals of the eight-team tournament. With the win, Bethel finished off a perfect run through the three-day tournament, which began on Thursday.
The Panthers held the upper hand early in the contest even though they made just three shots from the floor. Sophia Tyone and Grace Jacobsen highlighted the Lady Panthers’ 8-point efforts by throwing in three-point shots.
Ava Lieb led Bethel with three points. Fiola Dema and Amber Long added shots.
Trailing by one at the start of the second, the Lady Warriors turned on their defensive effort. The move paid huge dividends as Glennallen managed just four points in the period, all of which came via a pair of baskets from Anna Lovena.
Deja Jackson helped Bethel take the lead in the second. Jackson pumped in a clutch trey and lead a 6-4 run that went into the half holding a 13-12 lead.
Madison Smith tallied two points in the frame. Lieb chipped in a free throw.
Bethel extended its lead in the third. Jaron Mute, Lieb, Dema and Audri Goodwine all tossed in shots in the frame and helped the Lady Warriors go into the fourth with a 23-20 advantage.
Brianna Evan put the BRHS offense on her shoulders in the final period. She scored five points in the fourth and spearheaded a decisive 13-5 run to secure the tournament title.
The Lady Warriors rolled through the first two rounds of the tournament en route to earning a spot in the finals. On Thursday, Bethel defeated Selawik by a 54-32 decision in the first round. On Friday, they handed Dillingham a 47-39 setback.
Unalakleet, which had lost to Glennallen in the semifinals on Friday, claimed third in the final team standings on Saturday afternoon by downing Dillingham, 64-49.