Petersburg High School’s girls basketball team won the regional title Saturday and the boys finished as runners up with an overtime loss in the championship game.
It was a one-day single elimination tournament Saturday in Ketchikan without all of the Southeast 2A schools.
The girls won their one and only game 43-42 over Craig in the championship game. Girls coach Dino Brock called the victory “pretty awesome.”
“We went down with five kids and battled,” he said. “We hit the wall a couple times I thought, had a little time out and then we would come back and make a run and that was kind of just the game, just back and forth a game of runs. We just kept battling and battling and battling. It was great, for the kids, it was great for the school, the community, everything. It was just a great win.”
Brock said it’s not easy to play hard for a full 32 minutes with no subs but his team was able to avoid having anyone foul out and leave the Lady Vikings shorthanded. He also highlighted his team’s balanced scoring in the championship game and all five players contributing.
“We talked in the locker room before the game about, no matter what happens in the game to walk in with a smile on our face, high fiving our teammates and just being proud of everything that we’ve done, proud of finishing the season, proud of being great teammates to each other and working hard every day and doing everything we could do to just finish the season with so many unknowns, so many things happening, a 25-day shutdown right in the middle of our season, games getting canceled and we just kept coming in, doing the things we needed to do and because of that we got the reward for it,” Brock said
In individual honors for Petersburg, Ines Larson was named to first team all state. Adrianna Stough and Kaili Simbahon were named third team all state players.
Larson and Shayla Madole also won all-conference honors. The team’s two seniors Madole and Allie Davis were named to the all-academic team and won good sports awards at the regional tournament.
Brock praised his two seniors after their final high school games.
“I really thought that this year they stepped up and did a great job of leading us and keeping things positive for us and encouraging people, especially when we shut down for the 25 days, making sure that when we came back we were ready to do what we needed to do and I just thought that they did a great job all season long,” he said.
It’s a repeat for the Lady Vikings; the team also won the regional title in 2020.
Meanwhile, the boys team came close to defending their title from last year as well, but lost in the championship game in overtime 43-40 to the Metlakatla Chiefs.
Boys coach Rick Brock noted his team trailed for most of that game before forcing overtime.
“Not by very many points but we were down a couple of possessions and in that last minute we were able to make a little run and got the lead,” Brock said. “And yeah the ball just didn’t, we had a couple of bad breaks and that time I think that fatigue at some point starts to set in physically and the mental edge goes a little bit, so yeah it was very, very exciting. I didn’t realize until after the game and all the adrenaline goes out of you just how exhausted, the kids were spent. They left everything on the floor. Even at the end of the evening, that last minute in overtime, their intensity level never faltered.”
The Vikings opened up the tournament with a 51-46 victory over the Haines Glacier Bears earlier on Saturday.
Brock praised the play of his entire team but singled out the effort from his four seniors.
“Julian Cumps came in in the first part of the Metlakatla game and hit a basket right away when he came in and then had a big basket down in overtime and then just played stellar defense throughout the whole two days.” Brock said. “The people he was guarding especially in the Metlakatla game, he was definitely outsized but that didn’t change the fight in him and the same thing for Aiden Luhr too. He had to guard a kid from Metlakatla that’s at least 10 inches taller than he is. And you couldn’t tell. He just got in there and battled. He had some key baskets. He ended up with six points in the Haines game and seven in the championship game, he had some big baskets for us also.”
“And then Mattias Volk and Brennan Skeek really stepped their game up,” Brock continued. “Brennan was awarded the player of the year for 2A (schools) and in the Haines game he was playing well and then there was a point in the game where he literally just took over the ball game at the end of the third quarter, beginning of the fourth quarter and he just hit another gear. He’s one of the fastest players around but he just had another gear and his intensity level went up. The game at that time was very close and then we went on a big run, mainly kind of spurred by him. And then Mattias Volk ended up in double figures in both ball games and really played well in both ball games and really played well throughout the whole weekend. In the Metlakatla game the guys he was battling with, you know he’s giving up four, five six inches against those guys too and you couldn’t tell. He was a dominant player in the key. So great to see the four seniors play well on Saturday.”
Brennan Skeek was voted all state player of the year, just the third Petersburg player under coach Rick Brock to win that honor. The other two were Cameron Severson, 3A player of the year in 2007, and Stewart Conn, 2A player of the year in 2017.
In other individual honors, seniors Aiden Luhr and Julian Cumps won good sports awards. All four seniors were named to the all-academic team. Mattias Volk and Skeek also were named to the all conference team. In addition John Bisset was named to the second team all state team for the season.
2A teams from the region are not continuing on to the state tournament in Wasilla and Palmer this week. So those regional games wrap up the season for both the Vikings and Lady Vikings for the second year in a row.