Tikigaq repeats as Class 2A girls basketball state champions

Tikigaq wins 2A girls championship
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 8:45 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Tikigaq girls basketball team left no doubt that they are the best Class 2A girls team in the state, beating Metlakatla 55-33 on Saturday to win back-to-back state championships.

There were times when the Tikigaq girls made the game look easy. All of the girls have been playing together for years and the chemistry on the court is easy to see.

Star sophomore Jennifer Nash burst onto the scene last year with big performances to help Tikigaq win the championship in 2022, and in her sophomore season, it was more of the same.

“It’s always going to be hard work. It’s never going to be easy,” Nash said. “You always have to trust each other and always come out confident.”

It wasn’t just Nash — Tikigaq has a balanced attack with all of the players filling up the stat sheet.

Like many small communities in rural Alaska, basketball is the center of the community, which helps bring everyone together.

“It just means everything to me because our community is all about basketball and whaling. It just means everything to us. That is all we do back home so it’s just so amazing,” senior Jayden Lane said.

Even though they ended the season the same way they did last year, as the champions, this year was different after all of the challenges that the team went through over the past few years.

“It does feel different because it’s been a tough three years with the pandemic,” Tikigaq head coach Ramona Rock said. “I really am thankful that we worked hard through those three years.

“I have to say, you know, that it’s been like all lives matter, all these kids that are going through things especially in the rural areas. Basketball really is uplifting for the kids, the communities and the parents.”

Tikigaq will be returning part of their core next year so don’t be surprised if they end up pulling off a rare three-peat.