2A Interior Conference playoffs are under way

Berths in the state tournament in Anchorage March 16-18 are at stake

The 2A Interior Conference Playoffs are underway. Glennallen is hosting this year’s tournament, and the first round of action began yesterday, March 9. Cordova teams, cheerleaders, and fans left on the Aurora Wednesday, March 8, for Valdez, and then the 120 mile drive to Glennallen.

At stake are berths in the state tournament in Anchorage on March 16-18. The winners and runner-ups in both the girls and boys Conference showdown advance to the 2A ASAA March Madness Championships at Alaska Airlines Center on the University  of Alaska Anchorage campus.

The Cordova boys were seeded No. 2. Their first game was at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, against the winner of a 10:30 a.m. contest between No. 3 Su Valley and No. 6 Nenana.  Glennallen, seeded No. 1, played at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of an 1:30 p.m. matchup between No. 4 Effie Kokrine and No. 5 Tok.

The Cordova boys entered the playoff with an 8-2 Conference record. Their only losses were to Glennalllen, which went undefeated in league play.

The Cordova girls drew the No. 3 seed, based on a coin toss between them and Su Valley. The two teams split a pair of one point games here in mid-January, Cordova losing the first one 33-32, and then bouncing back to win the rematch in double overtime, 53-52.

The Lady Wolverines faced No. 6 Effie Kokrine in the first game of the tournament at 9 a.m. Thursday. Based on a pair of very lopsided wins over Effie Kokrine here two weeks ago, in all likelihood the Cordova girls advanced to face No. 2 Nenana at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The girls’ top seed went to Glennallen.  The Panthers played at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of a noon Thursday match-up between No. 4 Su Valley and No. 5 Tok.

The Playoff follows a double-elimination format, meaning everyone will play at least one more game today, March 10. Two losses ends the season. The girls and boys champions will be determined in games late today.  The winners on Friday are the conference champs, and automatically qualify for state. The losers of those games will have to play a pair of games on Saturday to make it to the big Anchorage tournament.

This year, the State 2A bracket pairings will be determined by the state tournament seeding committee, based on schedules and results from throughout the season, as well as Conference playoff results. In the past, the brackets were already established before the tournament, sometimes resulting in what was likely a championship game being played in the semi-final round.

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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.