Alaska dunks Whitehorse at Don Hather tourney

Alaskan high school teams topped Whitehorse high school teams - or as the scoreboard says, U.S.A. beat Canada - at the Don Hather Basketball Tournament in Skagway.

Alaskan high school teams topped Whitehorse high school teams – or as the scoreboard says, U.S.A. beat Canada – at the Don Hather Basketball Tournament in Skagway, Alaska, over the weekend.

At the tournament, in which every game is a match-up between Whitehorse and Alaska high school teams and is scored as Canada versus the U.S., Whitehorse teams were held to three wins in 18 games.

Representing Whitehorse were the F.H. Collins Warriors, the Vanier Crusaders and the Porter Creek Rams senior high school teams, boys and girls.

On the hardwood for Alaska were the Skagway Panthers, Hoonah Braves and the Kake Thunderbirds high school teams.

“We haven’t played (Kake) in a long, long time,” said Warrior boys coach James Shaw. “It’s been 20-something years since F.H. played Kake.”

Both Warrior teams picked up a win in Skagway. The boys team won 42-38 and the Warrior girls won 43-35 over the Hoonah Braves.

“A lot of learning happened,” said Shaw. “We have a very inexperienced team right now.”

The Vanier Crusaders senior boys also topped Hoonah 42-36 in the first game of the tournament on Friday.

“It was nice to see the boys in action against competitive teams,” said Crusaders coach Roslyn Tait, who is co-coach with Cody Hougen and Travis McKenzie. “We have a fast team and it was nice to see them work hard on offence and defence.

“It took a quarter for them to get the jitters out and then they played really well.”

Canada won the boys’ side of the tournament three straight years between 2010 and 2012, but went winless last year. Last year’s tournament did not include a senior girls side of the tournament.

Other close games over the weekend include 23-18 for the Hoonah girls over Vanier; 30-27 for Skagway girls over F.H. Collins; 56-47 for the Kake boys over Vanier; 27-21 for the Skagway girls over Vanier; 49-40 for the Skagway boys over Vanier; and 27-25 for the Hoonah boys over Porter Creek.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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