Nome Nanooks place second at State Championships
By Miriam Trujillo
The Nome Nanook Basketball season is over, as the boys went all the way to the finals of the state basketball championships and took second place in the game against Grace Christian High of Anchorage, on March 25.
The boys’ road to state began when they won the championship game at the Western Conference Basketball Tournament against Barrow. That championship earned them a place in the State 3A Alaska School Activities Association March Madness Bracket.
The first game of the state tournament took place on Wednesday, March 22, where the boys matched up once again with Barrow. The quarterfinal game took place in the main court of the Alaska Airlines Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage Campus in Anchorage. That game, and all ensuing games, were streamed live on KICY radio station as well as a variety of sports websites. The Nome boys beat Barrow, 65 to 50. Senior Jade Greene scored the most winning points in the game at 24 points. This win moved Nome-Beltz up into the semifinals where they would face Houston, who had won their quarterfinal game against Valdez.
Nome-Beltz faced off against Houston the next day, Thursday March 23 in the semifinal game. Nome-Beltz won again in a close, nail-biter of a game with 68 to 63 after going into double overtime. Sophomore Finn Gregg scored the most winning points of the game at 27 points. The stage was set for the Nome-Beltz boys to play in the State Championship, hoping to repeat their championship victory from last year. They faced off against Grace Christian, who had won their semifinal game against Mt. Edgecumbe. This was a rematch of last year’s championship game, when Nome-Beltz squared off against Grace Christian and won.
The State Championship game was a ticketed, televised event that took place a few days later, on Saturday, March 25. Nanook fans came all the way from Nome to cheer their team on, while fans as far away as the Lower 48 tuned in to follow the game remotely. Back in Nome, the game was shown at restaurants, as people gathered to cheer the mighty Nanooks on.
By the end of the game, though, the Nanooks lost to Grace Christian, 33 to 64. The Nome Nanooks were awarded the second-place trophy to cap off their season.
The Nanooks cheer team accompanied the boys basketball team throughout the tournament and also competed in their own ASAA State Meet, in the DII division, held at Alaska Airlines Center. The meet was held on Tuesday, March 21, and live-streamed by the National Federation of State High School Associations Network. While Nome didn’t place, Nome Cheerleader Cameron Minix was named to the All Cheer Team. At the three Nome-Beltz State basketball games, Cameron Minix was named Cheerleader of the Game in the quarterfinal against Barrow, Victoria Gray was named cheerleader of the game in the semifinal against Houston, and Brenna Scholten was named cheerleader of the game in the championship against Grace Christian. In the championship game, cheerleaders from Bethel and Utqiagvik joined the Nome cheerleaders in the halftime supporting the Nanooks.
Nome-Beltz boys’ basketball team ended their season with a 24 to 3 record.
Nome-Beltz players Jade Greene and Finn Gregg were named to the All-Tournament Team.