Wolverines edge Bristol Bay for Sockeye title
A year ago, the Dillingham High School Wolverines were struggling to carve out a new chapter in the school's basketball story. All that hard work is paying off this season.
The Wolverines, backed by solid performances from Jayden Mayer, Brandon George and Kameron Bartman, raced to the 2017 Sockeye Invitational tournament title on Saturday with an impressive outing in front of their home fans. Dillingham defeated rival Bristol Bay by a 77-70 clip in the title game.
"Overall it was a great weekend," said Wolverines head coach Deon Lopez. "We've seen a lot of growth in each player, and the kids are finding out who and what kind of team we are and what it's going to take to be successful and pull out wins."
Perhaps none of the three wins were as satisfying as their final two games against Bristol Bay and Newhalen. The Wolverines had seven different players etch their names into the scorebooks in the contest.
In the finals against Bristol Bay, Mayer led all DHS scorers with 18 points. George and Bartman also reached double-digits with 16 and 14, respectively. Caden Smeaton narrowly missed double figures, finishing with eight. Zachary Tilden and Triston Hansen both added three, while Triston Chaney contributed two.
The Wolverines pulled out a nail-biting 57-56 victory over Newhalen in the semifinal round. In the win, Smeaton, George and Bartman combined for 41 of the team's total offensive numbers.
Smeaton led the team with 16 points. George and Bartman added 15 and 10, respectively. Matthew Tennyson and Dillon Chaney added five and three.
Dillingham opened the tournament on Thursday with a 51-42 victory over Koliganek. George paced the DHS attack with 13 points. Bartman and Tennyson both chipped in 11, while Smeaton threw in nine.
The Wolverines will return to tournament action this weekend when they travel to Naknek to participate in the 2017 "Battle of the Bay" tournament. The tournament gets under way on Thursday at Bristol Bay High School.