CHS boys go 3-3 on conference tour

On a week-long trip on Feb. 13-20, 2022, for Interior Conference games, the Wolverine girls and boys basketball teams pause for a photo in front of their chartered bus. Photo courtesy CHS

Following the Valdez Elks tournament on Feb. 10-12, the Cordova Wolverines hit the road for a six-game seven-day road trip to all the Interior Conference schools except SuValley.

First stop was Glennallen. Cordova split the series there, losing 57-56 on Feb. 14, and bouncing back to win 65-59 the next evening.

In the first game, Glennallen took a late lead on free throws, and the Wolverines had two shots that wouldn’t drop in the final seconds.

Cordova had three players in double digits in the second game. Jaykob Thorne led with 16 points; Xavier Russin added 14, and Trevor Dundas had 11.

The Cordova JV team won both games against the Panthers by scores of 39-11 and 54-23.

Next stop was Tok, which will be the site of this year’s Conference Playoffs on March 10-12. In a battle of the Wolverines versus the Wolverines on Feb. 16, Tok prevailed 51-45.

“Our JV boys fought hard and beat the Tok JV’s 49-24, but the varsity game was a different story,” CHS coach Jake Borst said. “After five difficult contest (in Valdez and Glennallen) and a week’s worth of sleeping on classroom floors, the travel caught up with us. We had a poor shooting performance and ended up losing 51-45.”

Next up was Effie Kokrine, on Feb. 17.

“After a hard night in Tok, we traveled to Fairbanks to play the Warriors,” Borst said. “Our lone senior captain, Trevor Dundas, took a hard fall early in the first quarter forcing him to sit the rest of the game and the rest of the trip. We faced a 15-point deficit going into the half. Everyone was forced to step up, in particular a couple freshmen seeing their first varsity action. We came away with a 53-42 victory.”

Then it was on to Nenana, which Borst as a CHS player recalled being a tough rival.

“I remember traveling there when we battled in the 3A Aurora Conference back in 2006,” Borst said. “Still as difficult a place to play as I can remember.”

CHS lost a rugged defensive battle 45-40 on Feb. 18.

It was followed by an early game the next morning.

“Facing numerous injuries, we were led again by our big junior posts, Jaykob Thorne and Wyatt Sorenson, and young reserves,” Borst said. “It was another defensive grind-it-out thriller, with several lead changes. Freshman John Itliong made a runner in the lane with four seconds left that proved to be the game winner, 36-35.”

Cordova road by bus to Whittier on Sunday, Feb. 20, and arrived home via ferry on midnight that evening — just in time for an unusual mid-week two game series here against SuValley on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 23-24.

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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