The 40th Annual Tipoff is underway.

A highlight of the basketball season, the three-day, eight-team girls and boys round-robin tournament was started in 1982 by the now defunct Cordova Elks Lodge to expand the home basketball season and attract teams from across the state.

It has been a huge success, packing the Cordova High School court with spirited crowds and gaining notoriety throughout Alaska for the excitement and hospitality of Cordova.

So far, 57 schools have sent teams to the Tipoff. This year that count will increase, with the arrival of Hooper Bay and South Anchorage JV.

Both bring intrigue and challenge. South is coached by former Wolverine Rob Galosich, CHS ‘93; and the Hooper Bay boys defeated Cordova twice in close contests at the Scammon Bay tournament last weekend, while the Hooper Bay girls dealt Cordova a double-digit loss.

The girls JV team from Juneau, plus Lumen Christi, a small private Catholic school in Anchorage, rounds outage field.

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Cordova will play the late games each day.

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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 dshorn44@gmail.com.