Stage is set for dramatic conference playoffs

Left to right, blue-clad Lady Wolverines Jade Sharky and Alice Graves battle for a rebound at the Valdez Elks tournament on Feb. 10. Photo courtesy of Joe Prax

It’s a whole new season, as 2A Interior Conference playoffs are set to begin March 10 at Tok.

Everyone starts out with a fresh 0-0 won loss record in the three-day double-elimination shootout, with the top two finishers advancing to the State 2A tournament in Anchorage on March 17-19.

For Cordova’s teams, this is a very special moment, as it has been almost exactly two years since they had to end their season in the middle of the Conference playoffs at SuValley due to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Alaska.

Last year, the CHS squads did not play a single game due of pandemic protocols.

This year’s boys side of the playoffs is probably the most balanced in history. Take Cordova: they are 2-1 versus Glennallen, 1-1 versus Tok, 1-1 versus Nenana, 1-1 versus SuValley, and 1-0 versus Effie Kokrine. 

Practically all the games were close.

“We’ve split series with almost all of these teams,” said Jake Borst, first year varsity Cordova coach. “We know what it takes to be successful against these teams as well as what not to do. Learning from our setbacks and limiting our mistakes is paramount as we head into the final stretch of the season.”

Cordova’s girls team will go in as an underdog, with their only conference wins coming against Tok and Effie Kokrine.

However, the inexperienced Lady Ws have shown dramatic late season improvement, as witnessed in their tense battle with SuValley in their final regular season game here on Feb. 24.

Brackets and seeding, based on Conference win-loss records, will be announced on Sunday, March 6. Then it’s back to Tok for the CHS teams, where they just played two weeks ago, on Feb. 16.