This year's Sockeye Classic basketball tournament wrapped up on Saturday with the Dillingham Wolverine boys and the Bristol Bay Lady Angels in first place.
This weekend was an exciting one for basketball in the Bristol Bay region. KDLG's Avery Lill has this recap of the 2017 Sockeye Classic.
From Wednesday night’s first game between the New Stuyahok Lady Eagles and Port Alsworth to the final
boys game between Dillingham and Bristol Bay, nine area teams played 28 games at the 2017 Sockeye Classic.
The tournament wrapped up Saturday night, with the Bristol Bay Lady Angels and the Dillingham Wolverines boys team each clinching first at the tournament. Karl Clark is the Dillingham head girls coach and also one of the tournament organizers.
“It’s like watching a movie, you know, when you watch those big gut-wrenching, frog in your throat type of moments, where it’s like ‘Oh my god, this is so cool. This is awesome,' says Clark. "And you have the fans just cheering as loud as they can because they’re into their teams. They’re into their athletes. And it was a great, great weekend for basketball.”
Don Hanson is a Western Alaska sales representative for Alaska Marine Lines, which sponsors the tournament annually. He says that he looks forward to coming up from Seattle to watch this tournament every year.
“Bristol Bay is really the heart of our Western Alaska operations with the fishing industry,” Hanson says. “I’ve been doing this for this company for 28 years, and it’s been around as long as I can remember…You know, watching the kids grow up, I’m second generation now. The kids that were just getting out of high school when I started out here, now I have their kids through the system already. So I’ve seen it come full circle. Now I think we’re working on the grandkids.
Even among the teams who didn’t make it into the championship rounds, a number made a good showing and played competitive ball. Togiak and Manokotak duked it out for fourth place in double overtime Saturday afternoon. Aaron Frost, the Togiak boys head coach said even though they lost, that game was a highlight for him.
“Our last game, we started the second half down by 20 and forced double-overtime. That was cool to see,” says Frost.
We’ve got a full line up of basketball games this season. The Battle of the Bay will be in Naknek next weekend and the Penair Invitational will be back in Dillingham the following week. We will be airing a number of those games here on KDLG.
Scores from the tournament are posted here.
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