By Van Williams
Classic Media Director
Jordan Zackery’s blocked shot and ensuing bank-shot 3-pointer jumpstarted a late-game rally that carried the West Eagles to a 63-55 win over Tikigaq of Point Hope on Day 1 of the Alaska Airlines Classic girls basketball tournament at West High.
That fourth-quarter sequence started a 13-3 spurt that put the Eagles in command as they won their fourth consecutive Classic game dating back last year.
Zackery finished with 17 points and teammate Tonya Karpow posted a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Jayla Speakman added 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting for West (3-2), the defending Classic champion.
Karpow took over the third quarter when she scored nine of her team’s 15 points. She scored on back-to-back offensive rebounds and later converted back-to-back driving laups, the second coming off a steal that led to a three-point play.
Zackery drained 4-of-9 shots from 3-point land, including one that put West up 38-35 in the eighth lead change of the game.
Tikigaq (6-2) got 14 points and six steals from Jennifer Nash and 11 points from Jaydn Lane. Nash swished a 3-pointer just before the third-quarter buzzer to get the Harpoonerettes within 43-41.
West surged ahead 58-44 after a big run capped by four quick points from Re’Zhanai Wyche, who along with sister Zariah Queen joined their father and older brother in the Classic scoring annals. Their dad Antonio Wyche played in the 1995 Classic for East Anchorage and big bro Da’Zhon Wyche set the Classic single-scoring scoring record with 49 points in 2016 with West.
Tikigaq made things interesting with 55.9 seconds left by pulling within 58-52 after Lane and Nashookpuk each buried 3s about 10 seconds apart force a West timeout.
The Eagles sealed the deal by going 5-of-9 from the foul line.
On Wednesday, Tikigaq will face Ronan (MT) at 6 p.m. while Metlakatla faces West at 7:30 p.m. on Day 2 of the three-day tournament.
Tikigaq 10 19 12 14 – 55
West 13 15 15 20 – 63
TIKIGAQ – Berger 1, Kowunna 0, Nash 14, K.Lane 5, Oviok 4, Nashookpuk 5, Oktollik-Nashookpuk 7, J.Lane 11, Teayoumeak 8.
WEST – Wyche 4, Queen 1, Harris 6, Rameirez 2, Speakman 11, Zackery 17, Karpow 21, Gust 0, Ellia 0, Tauliai 0, Hudson 1.