Southern peninsula keeps hoops hot


For a small school off the road system, participating in events with teams from other schools can prove challenging. Last week the tables were turned, as teams traveled to the south side of Kachemak Bay to play in the Seldovia Basketball Invitational Tournament. Among them were Nikolaevsk School’s boys and girls teams, Birchwood Christian School’s boys and girls teams from the Chugiak area, and the Kodiak ESS co-ed team, with athletes from Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Karluk and Larson Bay.  

On the boys’ side of the action, the Seldovia Sea Otters took first place. Seldovia’s final game of the round-robin format was against Birchwood, with the Otters winning 50-36. Aidan Philpot was the top-scorer with 18 points, followed by Sam Ozyildirim, with 14.

The Nikolaevsk Warriors girls team took first place in the tourney, playing their final game against Birchwood and winning 53-29. Top Nikolaevsk scorers were Serafima Kalugin, with 20 points, and Kilina Klaich, with 12.

This is a return trip to the winners’ podium for the Seldovia boys and Nikolaevsk girls, after each team took first place in the Nenana Invitational Basketball Tournament, Feb. 5-7.

On Sunday, Mark Janes, head coach for the Seldovia boys team, was reviewing videos of the Seldovia tourney games.

“They’re doing pretty good, but I’m seeing lots of stuff,” he said of areas where he believes his team can improve.

Bea Klaich, head coach of the Nikolaevsk girls team, said the tournament was an opportunity for the Warrior girls to play with “a lot of different combinations off the bench and the team chemistry is getting great.”

The Seldovia-Nikolaevsk meet again Friday when Seldovia travels to Warrior territory. Nikolaevsk is welcoming the chance to take on the Sea Otters.

“Both teams will be making adjustments and can expect more great competition,” said Steve Klaich, head coach for Nikolaevsk’s boys team.

Bea Klaich said Seldovia should expect “a tough game.”

Thursday, Nikolaevsk plays the Ninilchik Wolverines at Ninilchik. The girls game begins at 4 p.m. and the boys game begins at 5:30 p.m.

Friday’s Nikolaevsk-Seldovia Friday games at the Warrior Dome are girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.


After playing host to a 12-team tournament Feb. 4-7, the Ninilchik Wolverines boys and girls teams traveled north to the Susitna Valley Crowley Classic last week.

The Ninilchik boys lost their game against Nenana in the single-elimination, championship-style format. They rebounded with a win against Akiak and lost their final game against Susitna Valley. 

The Ninilchik girls also began with a loss to Nenana, but followed up with three wins.  Those victories put the Ninilchik girls in third place for the Crowley Classic.

Today, Ninilchik welcomes the Nikolaevsk Warriors to Wolverine territory (see above) and on Feb. 24 Ninilchik is host to the Cook Inlet Academy Eagles, with games starting at 5 p.m. That also is senior night, with Melissa Clark on the girls team and Sam Mireles and Peter Pasqua on the boys team being honored.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at