Lady Wolverines second in Tipoff

Navarro named tournament’s most valuable player

After falling to the talented Dimond JV’s in the first round of the Cordova Tipoff here last on Jan. 19-21, the Lady Wolverines bounced back to top Eielson and Unalaska to finish second in the annual local basketball classic.

Cordova’s Edrea Navarro, a 5-0 sophomore, was named the Tournament MVP. Teammates Riley Butler and Leigha Peebles were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Dimond JV’s, called the “best squad I have had in 20 years” by their coach, Jason Stahl, went 3-0 in the tournament to come in first.  Employing a relentless and deep press, the young Lynx topped Cordova 68-41. The Lady W’s struggled with turnovers early in the game, but improved as the contest continued.  Navarro led the CHS scoring with 12 points.

Cordova played much of the game with only six players, after reserve Nailea Martinez went down with a knee injury.

Cordova topped Eielson 36-27 in the second game.  Both squads were short on players; CHS with six, Eielson with seven. Peebles scored all of her team high 10 points in the first half, giving Cordova a 21-14 lead at  intermission.  Eielson,  a former 3A power, is down to 155 students as a result of cutbacks at their air force base, and had only 7 girls turn out for the team.

Raven Coach Connie Browder, who for many years was an assistant coach at Eielson, was delighted to revisit Cordova, while mentioning that if the enrollment declines anymore, Eielson would be in the 2A Classification range of 150 – 60 students and could end up back in the conference with Cordova.

Cordova’s final round 54-48 win over Unalaska had to be especially satisfying.  The CHS girls fell to Unalaska by six points in the Rally the Regions tournament in December; and they also got double digits scoring from three players.  Abby Bourgeois found the range from beyond the arc, dropping in four treys and finishing with a game and season high 17 points; Butler finished with 16, and Navarro. 10.

The Lady Wolverines now stand at 6-5 overall, and begin a challenging three weeks on the road.  This weekend they will play Palmer once, and then play a pair of conference games at Nenana.  The following week they travel to Glennnallen for a pair of conference games; and the week after that will play three games in the Valdez Elks tournament.

Individual scoring:  

Game 1:  Cordova:  Bourgeois 3, Tabara 9, Navarro 12, Butler 9, Peebles 6, Vargas 2.  Dimond JV:  Rogers 2, Juss 6, Nageak 20, Camacho 16, Rabb 2, Pili 3, Lawrence 8, Parker 2, Watkins 5, Sullivan 4.  Game 2: Cordova:  Bourgeois 8, Tabara 6, Navarro 9, Butler 3, Peebles 10.  Eielson:  James 2, Cole 14, Scott 11.  Game 3:  Cordova:  Bourgeios  17, Tabara 5, Navarro 10, Butler 16, Peebles 4.  Unalaska:  Villamor, Kayla 17, Villamore, Kiara 12, Magalong 10, McWilliams 2, Wilson 9.

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Dick Shellhorn, author, reporter, ref and grandpa, can be reached at Shellhorn was born and raised in Cordova, Alaska, and has lived there his entire life. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 40 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016.