The Wrangell High School basketball teams are heading to Petersburg this week to kick off the 2016 basketball season.
The Wolves and Lady Wolves Varsity and Junior Varsity teams will each play two games against the Petersburg Vikings on Friday and Saturday.
Lady Wolves varsity coach Edna Nore said part of her team traveled to Petersburg last month for a last-minute preseason tournament.
“We didn’t have the full roster going, just a few kids because it was during the holidays. We didn’t win any games during that time, but we were able to figure out what we needed to work on as a team,” Nore said. “And it’s a really young team this year. I only have three seniors coming back from the previous season, so getting them to work together and play as a whole new group has been one of our challenges.”
The Lady Wolves also played a tournament in Anchorage. Nore said she wants to leave Petersburg with a win but acknowledged the games will be challenging.
“Petersburg always comes out with a press. So I want the kids to be able to run their press and not panic, and just be confident that they can handle the ball and play defensively,” Nore said. “If they come to their passes and look to shoot and crash the boards–Petersburg’s really good at crashing the boards both offensively and defensively–if we come out that way, I think we can hold them down and be right there playing with them.”
Wolves Varsity coach Ray Stokes said his team is doing well so far, with four wins and three losses at preseason tournaments in Sitka and Anchorage. Stokes said the team lost several seniors last year, so the players have a mix of experience.
“We have some experience and then also some kids that are kind of new to the varsity level competition,” Stokes said. “It’s a blend of both, which is actually kind of healthy. So far, things are going pretty good.”
Stokes said this weekend’s games against Petersburg will also be challenging for the boys’ team.
“They’re pretty loaded, I think. And it will definitely be some tough games for us this weekend,” Stokes said. “But we’re hoping we can go over there and compete and do well over there.”
On Friday, Varsity boys play at 6:15 p.m., and the girls’ game will follow at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Varsity girls play at 5:30 p.m., and the boys’ game is at 7:45 p.m.
Wrangell fans can tune in to 101.7 FM or kstk.org to listen to the games.