Cordova Junior High boys sweep series with Valdez

Cordova’s Vincent Nothstine, 30, and James Corales battle for a rebound in junior high basketball action against Valdez on Sept. 27, 2019. Photo courtesy Joe Prax/for The Cordova Times
Cordova’s Vincent Nothstine, 30, and James Corales battle for a rebound in junior high basketball action against Valdez on Sept. 27, 2019. Photo courtesy Joe Prax/for The Cordova Times

The Cordova Junior High boys swept an exciting basketball series with the Valdez Huskies at home Sept. 27-29.

Amazingly, the final score for both games was 27-25, in favor of the junior-Wolverines.  

Playing before bleachers packed with fans at Mt. Eccles Simpler Gymnasium, the young Wolverine squad trailed the entire game on Friday evening before rallying in the last minutes to win by two. 

Cordova was behind 15-13 after three quarters. Five different Cordova players combined to pour in 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Chiko Jacob was top scorer for Cordova with 11 points.

On Saturday, Cordova lead 14-10 at halftime, and 20-18 after three quarters. Each team made a three-pointer and two regular field goals in the final period.

John Itliong scored 14 points for Cordova, with James Corales adding 8.

In the “B” games, which included 6th graders playing for Cordova, Valdez won 20-14 and 19-13.

In girls’ action, deep Valdez squads topped Cordova 32-14 and 38-9 in the “A” games and 23-12 and 22-7 in the “B” games. 

With no ferry available, the Valdez teams traveled to Cordova on a Stan Stephens tour boat capable of carrying over 100 passengers. A stop to see groups of whales turned out to be part of the trip on the way over. 

The Saturday games were played in the morning, in order for the teams to head back to Valdez before bad weather predicted in the forecast.

The games will likely be Cordova’s only home junior high contests this season. Glennallen was supposed to come to Cordova, but cancelled due to no ferry service. 

The mini-Wolverines are tentatively scheduled to fly to Valdez for a junior high tournament Nov. 7-9.

“We may have a set of blue and white inter-squad games upcoming so Cordova fans can have another chance to see the junior high players in action,” Cordova Activities Director Kayti Ammerman said. 

The Valdez High School volleyball team also came over on the Stan Stephens charter, and swept matches against Cordova that were played at the high school Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Stats for those games were not yet available at press time.

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Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 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 and 2020, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes. Reach him at shorn@gci.net.