This year’s Lady Wolverine basketball team. Back Row: Arianna Jeppson-Bolin, Willow Tiedeman, Sadie Fry, Isabelle Nothstine, Victoria Nothstine, Yagnnesis Mejias, Taylor Tiedeman, Ellie Carpenter. Front Row: Kate Flores, Ayessa Itliong, Anika Jensen, Katherine Pallas, Maria Ysabelle Hidalgo, and Lily Clement. Photo by Dick Shellhorn

CHS Wolverines open basketball season at Valdez 

High school basketball season is here, and players from all over Alaska have begun preparing for a grinding gauntlet of practice, games and travel, with the goal of a berth at the State Championships and March Madness Alaska Style on March 14-16, 2024. 

Here in Cordova, since Nov.29, basketballs have been bouncing at both the Cordova High School Gym and Mt. Eccles Simpler Court in preparation for a challenging opener against arch-rival Valdez on Dec. 15-16, 2023.  

The Buccaneers, with an enrollment four times CHS, are in Class 3A, proving for the last several years to be a formidable opponent for 2A Cordova. 

Cordova has three sets of home games this year: the 41st Annual Cordova Tipoff on Jan. 18-20, featuring Nenana, Ninilchik, and Petersburg; a pair of conference games versus Su-Valley on Jan. 26-27, and conference games versus Effie Kokrine on Feb. 16-17. 

“All the home games are pretty much bunched together this year,” said CHS Activities Director Seth Balint, “so fans want to be aware of a flurry of action.”   

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Cordova Boys looking for another trip to state 

The Cordova boys basketball teams are gunning for another trip to state.  

Coach Jake Borst, a former Wolverine, made that the goal from day one of practice, and thinks he has the players to do it.  

“This will be my third season as head coach,” said Borst. “After an appearance at state last year, I’m hoping we can continue on last year’s successes. We did lose five seniors last year, but I believe our younger guys have matured and experienced a lot of growth in the offseason. That coupled with a few players coming back to the team after a hiatus last season — we should have a very competitive returning squad.” 

Cordova Lady Wolverines launch basketball season with youthful enthusiasm 

If a recent blue and white split squad scrimmage at the Cordova High School court is any indication, Lady Wolverine fans are in for quite a treat this year. 

Scrappy full court pressure, aggressive rebounding, fundamental low post play, and constant positive communication were on display throughout all four six-minute quarters of the team’s scrimmage on Dec. 2. 

The Lady Wolverines are coached this year by Brooks Fry, now in his second year as the PE instructor at CHS. Recent stops for Fry include Anaktuvuk Pass, where in addition to girls basketball, CHS AD Seth Balint said he coached “just about any sport you could think of, including boys basketball, XC skiing, and mixed-six volleyball.”  

He also taught at Nome, where he coached girls basketball. 

Fry’s assistant coach is Erin Brennan, an occupational therapist at the Cordova Community Medical Center. Brennan played Division III college basketball back east, where she made her mark on the low post block. 

It was fun watching Brennan urging Cordova’s promising duo of freshman twins, Victoria and Isabelle Nothstine, and Willow and Taylor Tiedeman, to gain position inside and then take the ball to the hoop. 

This Lady Wolverine squad is young, including six freshman and two sophomores, along with two juniors and three seniors. Given the mix of size and experience it is going to be treat to watch then grow.   

The first glimpse of the Lady Ws will be during tipoff on Jan. 18-20, when they will face Petersburg, Ninilchik, and Nenana. 

Circle those dates on the calendar to see some exciting basketball right here in Cordova.  

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