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Unalaska Women’s Varsity Basketball Team Takes Third Place in Regional Conference, Boys Head to State

The Unalaska women’s varsity basketball team wrapped up its season at the Great Alaska Regional Conference 2A in Anchorage on Saturday in a final game against Unalakleet.

Head coach Riley Spetz said the team played well throughout the tournament, despite some hiccups early in the trip.

“We were delayed for a few days and ended up flying to the airport, landing, getting the rental cars and going straight to the gym to play,” he said.

They won their first match against Unalakleet and lost to Tikigaq in the second.

In their last match, Spetz said they fought hard but were unable to pull off another win against Unalakleet’s Wolf Pack.

After halftime, we came in, we got back, we really picked up on the defensive side – we got some big saves, big steals and a few baskets,” he said. “And in the end, it was a six-point game, and they just shot a few more than us. We had every right to be in this game and have a chance to win in the end.

The Raiders were down 38-44 in their last game, and with that the opportunity to play in the state tournament this year. They took third place among four teams in the regional tournament.

Still, Spetz said the teenagers had much to be proud of.

The girls finished the season with seven wins and six losses. They have won all four of their home games against Sand Point and King Cove.

“We had a lot of highlights this year,” he said. “And for a team of girls who hadn’t played basketball in a while, it’s always refreshing to be in the gym with them. They’re all great teammates and they’re thrilled to be there.

This season was the first time in about two years that the team could travel and host home games. The coronavirus pandemic has halted sports trips for student athletes on the island.

The tournament marked the last matches for a number of athletes this year. Spetz graduated four seniors: Jadrey Reynon, Vy Huynh, Lily Mahoney and Alexa Esnardo. Spetz said he was grateful for his time as a coach.

“They’ve really given the team their all this year,” he said. “And we’re really grateful for everything they’ve done here in Unalaska. They will be missed for their leadership and ability on the ground.

Senior Jadrey Reynon and junior Marina Jones were both voted to the All-Tournament team at the regional conference. The women’s team also received the Sportsmanship Award.

The Unalaska boys’ basketball team also lost their last regional tournament game to Unalakleet 62-65, but they will still head to the state tournament.

They will play their first match at 12:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon against Metlakatla.