Buckland, Selawik punch tickets to Class 1A girls' tournament
Kylah Melton and the Buckland Sissauni extended their basketball season by several weeks this past weekend in front of a large crowd in the Dawg House in Kotzebue. Playing in front a standing-room-only crowd in the Kotzebue High School gym, the Lady Sissauni nailed down a return trip to the Class 1A girls' state basketball tournament with a gutsy 49-44 victory over top-seeded Selawik in the championship game of the Northwest Arctic Conference tournament.
With the win, Buckland earned its fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament.
The win over Selawik capped an impressive outing by the Lady Sissauni. The No. 3 seed heading into the tournament, Buckland kicked off its march to the conference tournament crown with a 50-26 victory over the Upriver Lady Hunters in the first round on Wednesday. The win sent the Lady Sissauni into the semifinal round to face off against Noatak, which had earned a first-round bye via its second-place finish in the regular season.
Buckland stunned the Lady Lynx in the semifinals by a 52-44 margin.
Noatak bounced back from its loss in nice fashion. The Lady Lynx defeated Kiana by a 48-39 in the consolation semifinals on Saturday en route to advancing to the second-place game to face Selawik.
Selawik clinched the conference's second state tournament berth with a 50-43 victory in the second-place contest. The Class 1A state basketball tournament will tip off on March 15 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. The tournament will run through March 18.
Wednesday: Kiana 52, Noorvik 23; Buckland 50, Upriver 26
Thursday: Selawik 57, Kiana 45: Buckland 52, Noatak 44
Friday Consolation: Noatak 43, Noorvik 33; Kiana 56, Upriver 38
Championship; Buckland 49, Selawik 44
Saturday Consolation Semifinals: Noatak 48, Kiana 39
Second-Place game: Selawik 50, Noatak 43
Individual Awards; Free Throw Champion: Nicole Stalker, Noatak; 3-Point Champion: Kylah Melton, Buckland