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Wolves squad come close in tournament play

 

James Poulson / Sitka Daily Sentinel

Wolves senior Ryan Reeves leans in against a Craig defender on Thursday during the Region V 2A tournament at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

The Wrangell Wolves varsity basketball squad put in two days of ferocious play during the Region V 2A tournament at Mt. Edgecumbe High School last weekend – and kept it close in a Friday game that saw them eliminated by the slightest of margins.

Entering into the tournament as the 4th seed on Thursday, the Wolves drew the Craig Panthers as their opponent. The Panthers won the game by a 73-46 final score.

Wrangell led the Panthers 11-8 in the first period off the quartet of Jacob Marshall, Blaine Wilson, Bryce Gerald and Blake Stokes. Gerald bolstered the 11-point tally as he sank a pair of buckets and was 1-for-2 from the line for 5 points.

The Wolves were outscored 18-10 in the second period however, as Craig began to pull away with Panther captain Karl Benolken draining 9 points of his own. Reeves held his own for Wrangell with three deuces and a free throw, while Stokes dropped a bomb from outside the arc for a trey.

In the second half Craig went on a rampage, outscoring Wrangell 23-9, with only Aaron Howell and Stokes making shots from the floor. Stokes added another three point shot for the Wolves, while Robert Marshall and Reeves were foul targets for the Panthers and were relegated to the line for a combined four points.

Wrangell finally entered double-digit team scoring territory at the end of the second half as they posted 16 points in the fourth period – though with eight of those points coming from the line. Reeves, Stokes, Robert Marshall and Steven Barger each had two-point shots during the period though Stokes was perfect from the line, nailing four to give him six points.

Stokes and Reeves ended the night with 14 points each. Wrangell’s remaining players were held in single digit territory, however, by a fierce Panther defense.

Reeve’s was named as a Region V All-Conference player during the tournament.

Friday morning’s loser-bracket game against Haines’ Glacier Bears was a much closer nail-biter of a game with Wrangell losing by only six points in a 48-42 final tally.

James Poulson / Sitka Daily Sentinel

Bryce Gerald goes up – and in – for a one-handed lay-up against the Panthers on Thursday afternoon.

No Wrangell players made it into double digits during the game, though Reeves and Stokes led the squad with 9 points each. Three Wolves players, Howell, Reeves and Jacob Marshall hit shots from beyond the arc, with Marshall holding down two of his own.

The third period was the closest Wrangell came to acquiring a lead when they trailed 36-32. The Wolves also outscored the Glacier Bears 12-8 during the period, though it was not enough as Haines rallied for a 12-10 fourth period run and the win.

Head coach Ray Stokes later reflected on the level of play during the season and the tournament.

“The tournament played out a lot like the season,” Stokes said. “The boys played hard and had good moments throughout the games but couldn’t seem to close them. We had a hard time scoring, which was our downfall all season and during the trip to Sitka. The Haines game was a sneaker because we have beaten them five times in a row this season, so the loss was a bit unexpected.”

 

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