Lumen Christi Archangels win first ever Class 1A girls state hoops title

Lumen Christi 1A girls champions
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 8:46 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Lumen Christi Archangels withstood a late run from the Shaktoolik Wolverines to win the first Class 1A girls state basketball championship in school history.

Lumen Christi held on to win the tournament final Saturday afternoon with a score of 32-30.

The Archangels showed off their resiliency in the fourth quarter of the title game when Shaktoolik came storming back to get the game within two scores. Lumen Christi held off the run and ended up lifting the championship trophy for the first time.

“They are resilient everyday,” Lumen Christi head coach Kenny Barker said. “We come in to work on things we aren’t good at. They focus. They try and then they do it in a couple days and knowing that, I think we can build to be where we are now.”

Barker is no stranger to the court, playing college basketball for both the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks.

Barker says he loves just how much the girls listen and take in everything he is coaching and it showed when it mattered most.

“I mean, it’s completely overwhelming. This has been an entire season of wanting this, working for this it’s just been insane,” senior Emily Ross said.

Ross played a big part in the historic victory, leading her team in scoring and helping lock down on the defensive end.

When teams look back on a championship season, there is often a moment or feeling when the goal of a championship doesn’t sound so farfetched. For the Lumen Christi Archangels, it was a feeling that came right from the start of the season.

“I think it was just the chemistry and the coaching from day one, like this is our goal and we are, like, we are not going to stop until we reach our goal,” Ross continued. “Every single practice, we are pushing on each other, we are working and it’s just so fun, all the jokes, all the laughs. It’s so fun.”

As the Archangels go into the next season as defending champions, the next generation in the school’s history will have new goals to reach for.