Unalaska Raiders win 35th Cordova Tipoff

Cordova stands at 6-5 overall at midseason, as team goes on the road

Led by Tournament All-Stars Carter Price and Trevor Wilson, the defending 2A State champions from Unalaska topped Haines, Eielson, and Cordova to win the 35th Annual Cordova Tipoff on January 19-21.

The Cordova boys had to settle for third place, while playing in three of the most exciting games of the round-robin affair. CHS faced Haines in the first round, and led by only four, 43-39, after three quarters, before exploding for 28 points in the last stanza to win 71-49.

Cordova’s tandem of 6-3 players, Cody Sjostedt and Andrew Werner, combined for 33 points, with most of Sjostedt’s game high 17 on the inside.

Cordova hooked up with former 3A Aurora Conference rival Eielson in a run-and-gun affair that came down to the final buzzer.   CHS led 45-44 after three quarters.

Wolverine Andrew Muma, held to one field goal in the first three periods, exploded for four straight three pointers to keep Cordova close in the last stanza, and Cordova trailed by 62-60 with 1:20 left in the game.

The Wolverines opted to run the clock down to 28 seconds before a field goal attempt was unsuccessful.  Eielson then hit one of two from the free throw line with 6 seconds left. Cordova tried a long pass but couldn’t get a shot off in the remaining time.

All of Cordova’s 15 points in the final period came on three pointers. Sjostedt and Werner again led Cordova, this time combining for 34 points, with 19 and 15 respectively.

Neither team ever gained a double digit advantage  in the Unalaska-Cordova match-up.  Cordova was ahead 15-11 after one quarter, Unalaska led 28-25 at halftime. The Raiders were in front 41-37 after three periods, and used the strong ball handling skills of Price and Wilson to eat up clock late in the game.

Wilson topped the Raider scoring with 26 points;  Werner and freshman Christian Adams led CHS with 15 apiece.

Unalaska’s Carter Price was named Tournament MVP. Wolverines Andrew Werner and Andrew Muma were named to the All-Tournament squad.

Cordova now stands at 6-5 overall at the midpoint of the season, and is on the road this weekend to face Palmer for a single non-conference game before traveling to Nenana for a pair of Interior Conference contests.  So far, CHS is undefeated in conference action, with two game sweeps of Su-Valley and Tok.

Individual scoring:  

Game 1:  Cordova: Muma 10, Estes 2, Hamberger 12, Sjostedt 17, Gillespie 6, Werner 16, Melo 2, Adams 6.  Haines:  Light 2, Faverty 4, Clay 5, Sage 13, Swinton 24, Palmieri 3.  Game 2:  Muma 14, Hamberger 2, Sjostedt 19, Adams 10, Werner 15.  Eielson:  Brown 13, Scarboro 14, Cinco 5, Baird 3, Bolton 2, Griffith 11, Murphy 15.  Game 3:  Cordova:  Muma 7, Hamberger 4, Sjostedt 6, Adams 15, Gillispie 3, Werner 15.  Unalaska:  Wilson 26, Price 14, Lane 4, Faoasau 14.

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Dick Shellhorn, author, reporter, ref and grandpa, can be reached at shorn@gci.net. 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.