By Van Williams
Classic Media Director
The West Eagles used a suffocating defense to take all the air out of the Metlakatla offense en route to posting a 40-25 victory on Day 2 of the Alaska Airlines Classic at West High.
Jayla Speakman was more like ‘Sparkman’ as she ignited a 16-5 run that put the Eagles ahead by double figures, a margin they maintained throughout the remainder of the game.
Speakman finished with team highs of nine points and six rebounds for West while Tonya Karpow added eight points and Amaya Hudson had seven points and matched Speakman with six boards.
Hudson’s 3-pointer pushed West’s lead to 28-15 early in the third quarter. Jordan Zackery hit the team’s only other 3-ponter to open the scoring second into the game.
Defending Cook Inlet Conference champion West has an enrollment of close to 1,800 – which is roughly the size of Metlakatla, a 2A school which has about 190 students.
The Eagles scored the game’s first 10 points, and it looked like the big school would swallow the smaller one.
Credit the Miss Chiefs for hanging tough. Metlakatla competed hard and never backed down, pulling as close as 36-22 on Athena Jordan’s jumper.
Bree Chavez led Metlakatla with seven points and Pyper Booth chipped in six points on 2-for-2 shooting from 3-point land.
Alysia Nelson-Boyd made the play of the game when she made a fabulous 50-foot football pass to Chavez, who handed it off to Booth for a swished 3-pointer. Moments later, Nelson-Boyd made another nice pass on assist to Jordan that made it 38-25.
The girls tournament wraps up Thursday with two games – West will take on Ronan (MT) in the ‘Student Body Game’ at 10 a.m. and Metlakatla faces Tikigag at 2:30 p.m. in a rematch of last season’s Class 2A state semifinal game.
Metlakatla 0 12 5 8 – 25
West 10 11 15 4 – 40
METLAKATLA – K. Cook 0, Chavez 7, Nelson-Boyd 3, L. Cook 0, R. Booth 3, P. Booth 6, Jordan 4, Buffalo 2. Guthie 0, Peratrovich 0.
WEST – Wyche 0, Queen 4, Harris 2, Ramirez 5, Speakman 9, Zackery 3, Karpow 8, Gust 0, Ellia 2, Tauliai 0, Hudson 7.