Ketchikan hosted a basketball jamboree this weekend and the Petersburg Vikings gladly accepted their invitation to participate along with teams from Hydaburg and Prince Rupert.
Vikings Head Coach Rick Brock made the trip south with 14 of his players.
The first game on Friday was a matchup between Ketchikan and Petersburg’s JV squads.
The Vikings JV were down double figures during the 3rd and 4th quarters, but managed to battle back. They had a chance at the game’s end to sink a shot that would tie the game, but the shot didn’t fall, ending the game 39-42, a Ketchikan win.
That night the Vikings varsity fought the Hydaburg Warriors.
It was a close match up, with Petersburg down by two going into the half, but Hydaburg started pulling away and had a 5-point lead by the end of the third quarter.
The deficit increased in the fourth as the Vikings struggled to get into an offensive rhythm.
“We just did not shoot the ball very well, and Hydaburg has a really good team,” said Coach Brock.
Near the end of the game the Vikings mounted a comeback and tied the score, but had to foul.
Free throws put the Warriors up 3 points and as the clock ran down Petersburg put up a three-point attempt to tie it, but missed the shot.
Friday night’s final score was 58-55, a Hydaburg win.
Taylor Pullar made 22 points, Tristan Welton had 14, and Hugh Fleming had 10.
Saturday’s games started out with a different format. They played two twenty-minute running time halves, meaning until the last two minutes of the game the clock doesn’t stop for fouls or out-of-bounds. This keeps the game moving along at a fast clip and makes every possession very important.
Petersburg was scheduled to play Prince Rupert on Saturday morning, but their ferry broke down, so Hydaburg volunteered to fill in.
In that rematch the Vikings started out better than the night before, but the Warriors stepped up their game play to match and the score was even, 18-18, at halftime.
It was neck and neck throughout the second half too, but down the stretch the Vikings came up with a 5-point lead.
Hydaburg sank a three with two seconds left in the game, and then stole the ball for a shot to tie or win, but they missed.
Petersburg came out ahead in the exciting match, 43-41.
“It was a nice bounce back win for us,” said Brock.
Taylor Pullar scored 13. Michael Brock had 12, his top offensive performance so far.
Next came a JV rematch with Ketchikan.
The Vikings were down three at halftime starting to show some fatigue toward the end and it ended up a 39-30 Ketchikan win.
Following that game was a matchup of the C teams from Petersburg and Ketchikan, and it turned out to be one of the jamborees most exciting matchups.
The young players from Ketchikan came on strong and had a 6-point lead at the half, which they increased to a 13-point lead with around 4 minutes left in the game.
“I called a timeout and said let’s take one more run at it and see what happens. We started pressing full court and with a running clock, so it doesn’t stop if the ball goes out of bounds. We came all the way. We were down 13 with 3-4 minutes to go and came all the way back, to be down two,” said Brock.
Within striking distance in the last moments, Alan Jensen dropped a 3-pointer from way back, putting the Vikings up one point.
Ketchikan came down the court and tried a few shots, but the Viking defense held them off and won the hard fought game 36-35.
Anthony Curtiss made 12 points, Clayton Franklin had 6, Billy Ware and Cole Somerville each scored 5.
The closing matchup of the jamboree was Ketchikan and Petersburg varsities in a regulation game, so four 8-minute quarters.
The game started out with what Coach Brock described as one of the best halves of the year.
“Ketchikan puts a lot of pressure on the perimeter, defensively. We did a really nice job of looking for scoring opportunities and when they weren’t there being patient, swinging the basketball, and trying the other side,” said Brock. “For our half court offense, I thought that was the best we have played all year.”
The Vikings maintained a lead throughout the first half until a halftime buzzer beater put Ketchikan up 20-19.
In the third quarter the Vikings went a little flat offensively and the Ketchikan outscored the Vikings 10-5.
“Defensively, we gave up ten points for the quarter to a good 4A school. That’s not bad, but we just couldn’t find the basket ourselves,” said Brock.
The Vikings stayed competitive in the fourth quarter, but had a stretch of a few possessions where they struggled.
The final score was a win for Ketchikan 46-35.
Brock was pleased to see his team stand toe to toe with a big 4A team on their home court.
“It was one of our better games of the year. Well worth the trip,” he said. “It was great of Ketchikan to invite us down and let both our JV and varsity get great experience.”
This weekend the Vikings will host Sitka.
It will be a tough matchup as Sitka has a very good team and have had a lot of success so far this season, but Coach Brock is excited about the progress his young team has made.
“We’re not just playing we’re competing. We hope to continue that this weekend. We just want to get on the court and compete, every possession, against a very good team,” stated Brock.