Cordova boys open basketball season at big Anchorage tournament

Back row, from left: Vincent Nothstine (10th grade), Asa Carter (12th), Jaykob Thorne (11th), Xavier Russin (11th) and Floyd Witsoe (10th). Front row, from left: Sam Heidbrink (11th), James Corales (10th), Junior Itliong (11th) and Trevor Dundas (12th). Photo courtesy of CHS Coach Jake Borst

After a year’s hiatus from basketball competition, the Cordova Wolverines decided to go all-in on their season opener.

Talk about trying to make up for lost time.

COVID-19 pandemic protocols restricted the CHS squad from traveling or competing last year, so why not jump in and face some big schools to get things going?

The Wolverines started play Thursday, Dec. 16, against 4A Palmer in the 41st Annual Service Cougar Tipoff in Anchorage. Teams including 4A Service, Chugiak, Kodiak and Thunder Mountain, as well as 3A Nome and 2A Tok, round out the field.

New varsity Coach Jake Borst is looking forward to the challenge.

“Our season started on Dec. 1 with 16 student athletes ready for the first day of practice,” he said. “A big point of emphasis for us was preparing for the return to competitive play which meant a lot of conditioning, as well as fundamental skill development.”

“My expectation is to continue the excellent tradition that is Cordova Basketball,” Borst said, who played on the only CHS boys team to make in to the 3A state final, back in 2006. “This tournament will be a challenging series of games, but we will be entering into it with the entire season in mind. The level of competition and adversity can only help towards our end goal.”

Borst paid tribute to his predecessors.

“I’ve had the enormous privilege of being coached by and working with two of the most respected coaches in Alaska in Jason Boerger and Bert Adams,” he said. “I hope to further the progress we’ve made with the Cordova Basketball program.”

Christmas break will follow the Service tournament, with both the CHS girls and boys teams resuming action in Cordova in the 39th Cordova Tipoff on Jan. 13-15.

Visiting teams for that three-day round robin tournament will be Glennallen and Ninilchik, as well as the Nome girls and the Tanana boys.