Nome Nanooks host Unalakleet basketball team
High school hoops returned to the region last weekend as Nome-Beltz and Unalakleet players met for the first school games since last March.
A decision by the Bering Straits School District board two weeks ago allowed travel for the Unalakleet teams. The Wolfpack girls traveled to Nome to play the Lady Nanooks and the Nome boys traveled to the lair of the Wolfpack. The evenly matched girls teams split their two games and the Nome boys prevailed over Unalakleet twice.
“It’s pretty fantastic,” said Nome girls coach Brooks Fry after Saturday’s game. “We get to play another school. It feels like about a year that we’ve been able to do something like this, so we’re really pleased.”
It was a treat to finally see the Lady Nanooks in a real high school game. They are well balanced and blessed with athletic and aggressive players. Unalakleet is similar. “That was a good matchup,” said Coach Fry. “Unalakleet’s got a good team and about the same number of girls with similar skills and well-coached. Definitely a good matchup.”
“We lost by four points yesterday,” said Wolfpack head coach Myra Harris after Saturday’s four-point win. “Nome is in a building year, they’ve got a new coach, both with experience, and I’m a new coach as well. I’m really glad to be playing in the region and having an opportunity to compete. That’s really important for the kids. So, this was great. This gives us a good view of the Nanooks. We’ll be playing them again in a couple of weeks. Last night I made some calls that I think are culture building. What I’m trying to do is build a culture with the Lady Wolfpack that will allow them to change the style of game we’re trying to play. When you’re coaching you’re trying to decide ‘Do I focus on culture building for the long term or do I try to do that in a game.’ Sometimes you have to make calls in a game where you just say ‘I want this next play to work.’
The Wolfpack’s sophomore center Lena Ivanoff showed real promise as she dominated at both ends of the court. She was easily the tallest player on the court yet quick and agile with great ball handling skills. “Lena Ivanoff is an outstanding player,” said Coach Harris. “As they say you can’t coach height. So, she’s got that advantage. She’s a sophomore so she’s got some time to develop as a player. And she can handle the ball.”
“There’s always things that need to get polished,” said Coach Fry after the game. “One thing we’ve been working on recently is making good decisions. The game goes fast but you have to learn to think slow and not panic in pressure situations and make good choices. Any teenager can struggle with that and so that’s something we’re working to develop with our team. A lot of our girls are hustlers. I sure appreciate that about this team.”
In Unalakleet, the Nome boys won Friday with a score of 75 to 54. On Saturday they prevailed 70 to 65.
In two weeks the Unalakleet boys will travel to Nome for two games and the Lady Nanooks will play the Wolfpack in their home gym.
Lady Nanooks 46 vs UHS 42
Macey Witrosky 6, Claire Fry 8, Ayla Knodel 13, Kaitlyn Johnson 2, Natalie Tobuk 11, Kellie Miller 6, Sophia Marble 0, Aralye Lie 0, Georgie Ustazewski 0.
UHS - Lexi Ivanoff 19, Lena Ivanoff 8, Anna Pleasant 0, Markayla Katchatag 4, Margo Daniels 4, Sara Nanouk-Jones 0, Victoria Fisher 5, Sonja Ivanoff 2
Lady Nanooks 29 UHS 33
NBHS - Witrosky 6, Lie 5, Fry 12, Medlin 2, Knodel 4, Johnson 0, Tobuk 0, Miller 0, Marble 0
UHS - L. Ivanoff 7, Le. Ivanoff 6, Markayla Katchatag 3, Margo Daniels 2, Victoria Fisher 6, S. Ivanoff 9
Nome Boys 75 Unalakleet 54
NBHS - Son Erikson 0, Haylen O'Connor 2, Ethan Hannon 0, Jade Greene 9, Stephan Anderson 27, Dawson Schaeffer 26, Caden Hanebuth 9, Richard Cross 0
UHS - Cody Ivanoff 26, Mike Haugen 15, Jonothan Katchatag 8, Carter Commack 5
Nome Boys 70 Unalakleet 65
NBHS - Haylen O'Connor 7, Jade Greene 11, Stephan Anderson 3, Dawson Schaeffer 24, Caden Hanebuth 16, Ethan Hannon 9, Son Erikson 0, Richard Cross 0
UHS - Kanay Ivanoff 3, Carter Commack 10, Cody Ivanoff 34, Mike Haugen 12, Jonothan Katchatag 4, Kael Erikson 2