For Nanooks Basketball, A Quick Turnaround After Losses to Bethel

The Nanooks girls, in white, try to block a Bethel player with the ball, dressed in yellow

It was a weekend of trading places for the Nome-Beltz and Bethel basketball teams. The Lady Nanooks hosted the Lady Warriors in a two-game series, while the Nome boys headed for the Kuskokwim to face off against Bethel.

The girls went up against a Bethel team that’s been strong for several years and qualified for state last year. The Lady Nanooks were also missing a top offensive player, Lisa Okbaok, and took two losses: 48–21 Friday and 48–31 Saturday.

Bethel’s boys team also posed a challenge for the Nanooks. Nome coach Pat Callahan says the Warriors have been strong for the past five or six years and are favored to be first or second in the 3A Western Conference.

But the Nome-Beltz boys hung on, keeping Bethel to a 10-point lead for most of their Friday game before dropping to a 20-point loss, 68–48. On Saturday, the game was close: the Nanooks had a six-point lead at halftime and lost by just five points, 52–47.

There’s no time to dwell on losses, though, with a quick turnaround this week. Both boys and girls teams play outside of Fairbanks starting today. First, both teams are up against Eilson at Eilson Airforce Base. Then, the Nanooks will compete in the Delta Junction Tournament Thursday through Saturday, beginning with games against Hutchison.

Image at top: The Lady Nanooks took on Bethel at home last weekend (photo: Janeen Sullivan, used with permission).