It had to be the shoes.
Tikigaq star guard Jennifer Nash ditched her hot pink kicks from the night before in favor of neon lime green sneaks that helped the Harpoonerettes run over the visiting Ronan Maidens of Montana 62-43 on Day 2 of the Alaska Airlines Classic at West High.
Nash was electric, buzzing around the court and bagging 15 points and nine assists, nearly dropping as many dimes to make a dollar. She was money.
Her nine assists were one shy of matching the tournament record of 10 set in 1993 by Brea (CA) guard Nicole Erickson, who went on to play at Duke.
Early on, it was the Tatyana Nashookpuk Show as the junior guard scored 12 of Tikigaq’s first 26 points. She hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter to extend the lead to 12-5. Later, her offensive rebound and putback pushed the cushion to 26-15.
Tikigaq of Point Hope drained four 3s in the first half to build a 34-18 advantage. Nash had six points and five assists in the half, knocking down a jumper to end the second quarter.
Nash kept it going in the second half as the lead swelled to 20 points at 44-24. She dropped off a beautiful pass to Joan Berger to make it 56-39. Moments later all-state guard found Berger again, this time making the assist from her knees after jumping on the floor for a loose ball.
This was Tikigag’s fourth win over a Lower 48 team this season under coach Ramona Rock. The Harpoonerettes went 3-0 against over Outside competition at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas.
Ronan’s Lauryn Buhr dropped in 17 points on 8-for-8 shooting. She was her team’s lone double-figure scorer. Leina Ulutoa added seven points, including a turnaround jumper that got the Maidens within as close as 46-32.
Alaska Airlines Classic
At West High
Thursday’s Girls Games
10:00am – Ronan (MT) vs. West
2:20pm – Metlakatla vs. Tikigag
Tikigaq 62, Ronan (MT) 43
West 40, Metlakatla 25
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.