High school teams get pre-tournament tune-up from the alumni
Nanooks and Lady Nanooks battled former Nanooks in the Christmas alumni basketball tournament Friday and Saturday in the Nome-Beltz High gym. The alums organized three teams in each men’s and women’s divisions. The older Nanooks dominated on the men’s side with two alum teams fighting it out for the championship. The Lady Nanooks were able to take the title.
Nanook coach Pat Callahan said the tournament has a long tradition in Nome but that the varsity doesn’t usually get to play the alums. With a four-team tournament coming up this week the intense level of play has a role in sharpening up the high schoolers.
“We look at it more as a practice,” said Coach Callahan. “I’m going to play every guy the same amount of minutes. I hope none of my guys get injured. We treat it as a practice and we’re not looking to win or lose a game.”
The coach thought the team made real progress against their elders.
“Right now this has been really helpful for the guys who didn’t get to play a lot against Galena. We’re missing three or four of our guys right now so it meant everybody had to play and had to perform and they did. This was good for the guys who are here for sure.”
Sol Booshu, Class of ’84, was the most senior of the alums. He still plays city league hoops and looked sharp on the floor.
“Yeah, it was fun but the hard floor is hard on old legs,” said Booshu. “I’m used to the Rec Center floor which is a lot springier. It’s a lot easier on the legs.”
The winners of the men’s tournament were Alumni A team. They consisted of Tyler Eide, Leif Erikson, Mikey Scott, Josh Gologergen, Bredan Tran, Thurston Stiles, Nathan Tobuk, Matt Medlin and Shea Oliver.
On the women’s side the Lady Nanooks played an intense game that their older sisters couldn’t stop. In the championship game they won by a score of 58-25.
Lady Nanook coach Joseph Musich was upbeat about the girls’ play.
“We’re starting to get into a rhythm and that’s what we need,” said Musich. “Especially with the new offense and defense. Basically everything is new so they need to learn how to work together so this is definitely a good opportunity for them.”
“They‘re getting their conditioning down, which helps when you don’t have to concentrate on your breathing out there. We’ve been running through the motions on the offense so it’s starting to come together,” Musich said.
Next up is the Nome Subway Showdown, a four-team tourney, which starts on Thursday, Jan. 4. Coming to Nome are teams from Kotzebue, Pt. Hope and Unalakleet.