Cordova Wolverines with second place trophy and All-Tournament Awards at the Awards Ceremony of the Ninilchik Invitational Tournament on February 18, 2023. Left to right: Braden Beckett, Sam Heidbrink, Dexter Gasmen, Danilo So, James Corales, Xavier Russin, Jaykob Thorne, Wyatt Sorenson, Noah Pearson, John Itliong, Junior Itliong. Photo by Jake Borst

When Cordova faced off against Ninilchik in round three of the Ninilchik Invitational Tournament on Feb. 17, the Wolverines were sure to win, as that happens to be the mascot of both schools.

Ninilchik is the defending state 2A champs, and they still have a ton of talent as they raced by Cordova 86-64, canning an impressive array of 3-pointers from all around the arc.

Cordova trailed 40-21 at the half, and Ninilchik poured in 29 points in the third quarter including seven 3-pointers. Ninilchik deadeye Cole More finished with 32 points, and as a team Ninilchik made a total of 14 trey’s in the game.

Cordova tried to match the barrage with their inside game.

“Our bigs showed up,” said CHS Boys Coach Jake Borst. “Jaykob Thorne led the team with 16. Wyatt Sorenson had 16, and Xavier Russin had 11.”  

All was not lost for the Cordova Wolverines, as they picked up three wins to finish second in the four-day round robin affair.

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On Feb. 15, Cordova clobbered Bristol Bay, 73-13.

Nine players scored, led by Jaykob Thorne and Wyatt Sorenson, with 12 points each.

“It was one of our best games,” said Borst. “We moved the ball with precision and patience, having 24 assists to only nine turnovers.”

CHS won 57-25 over conference foe Nenana the next day. Noah Pearson led Cordova with 15 points.

In their last game on Feb. 18, Cordova topped Tri-Valley 60-47. Sam Heidbrink, Wyatt Sorenson and Xavier Russin led the team with 14 points apiece.

Cordova’s Jaykob Thorne, John Itliong and Junior Itliong were named to the All-Tournament team.

Cordova faces conference-foe Tok here on Feb. 24 -25 in their last home games of the season.

It’s been over a month since Cordova has played at home, so this weekend’s matchup with Tok will truly be a homecoming. 

It also will be the final tune-up for the regional playoffs at Glennallen on March 9-11.

The Cordova boys come into this doubleheader with a solid 17-7 record. Four of those losses were against 3A schools; against conference opponents, CHS is 4-1 so far.

Tok is not bringing a JV girls team, so there will be three games each night featuring JV boys, varsity girls and varsity boys starting at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Homecoming Coronation will at 7 p.m. on Friday. Senior Night Ceremonies will be at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Dick Shellhorn
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 [email protected].