Lady Bucs return to Valdez empty-handed after state championships
Team was tops going into the tournament after stellar performances this season
The Lady Buccaneers came home empty handed from the state championships in Anchorage last week - halting the team's seemingly unstoppable rise to the top this season.
"We went in with high expectations and had two off games," Coach Doug Fleming said in an interview this week.
The Lady Bucs came out strong in the first game against Mt. Edgecumbe, going neck and neck in the first quarter, which ended 13-12. Valdez topped the opposition in the second, outscoring Mt. Edgecumbe by four points. The team ran into trouble in the second half, and allowed Mt. Edgecumbe to run up 15 points in the last quarter, to the eight points scored by the Lady Bucs.
"Our second half was the worst we had all season shooting-wise," Fleming said. "Our defense was there."
The game ended 37-32 against the Lady Bucs.
Katey Merioles led Valdez, scoring 12 points and four rebounds. Makenzi Mott was a close second, with 10 points and five rebounds. Jane Sharrai contributed five points and six rebounds.
The team played a consolation game against Grace Christian Saturday, which Valdez lost, 37-29.
Makenzi Mott led the team's effort with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Bucs had a stellar season this year, with a 11-1-0 record in division play, 20-6 overall.
The team ripped through the Region III championships and were top contenders for the state championships.
"It was a great season for them overall," Fleming said.
Mott was named to the first all-state team; Madison Fleming was named to the second.
Photo courtesy Calvin Fifarek
Buccaneer cheerleaders provide a boost during the 3A championships in Anchorage.
After the championships,
Merioles and Fleming and were later named to play in the senior all-star games this April.
Coach Fleming said he hopes to return as coach next season.
The Lady Bucs are losing five seniors this year, including starters Sidney Hursh, Merioles and Fleming.
He said the senior starters led the Lady Bucs to four consecutive slots in the state championships after a long dry spell for the team "which is quite the feat."