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Nome-Beltz boys come up short at 3A championship game

Nanook head coach Patrick Callahan talks strategy with his team at the 3A state championship game on Saturday, March 25.
Nanook head coach Patrick Callahan talks strategy with his team at the 3A state championship game against Grace Christian on Saturday, March 25 in Anchorage. Photos by James Mason (2023)

The Nome-Beltz Nanooks boys’ basketball team played valiantly in the Alaska State Activities Association 3A championship game on March 25 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

No. 2 ranked Nome fell to No. 1-seed Grace Christian 64-33. The game was a rematch of the 2022 championship game, which Nome won 49-47.

Jade Greene was named the Nanook Player of the Game, and Brenna Scholten was named Cheerleader of the Game. Both Greene and Finn Gregg have been named to the All-State Team.

Greene led the Nanooks with 17 points — 15 of those points came on 3-point plays — while Gregg tallied up 6 points.

Nanook junior Bert Kuzuguk defends against a Grace Christian player at the 3A state championship game.

While many family members attended the game in Anchorage, family and fans back in Nome were cheering just as hard for their boys in blue.

Dena Okitkon caught the game at the Nome VFW Hall watch party, along with Peyton Weyiouanna’s sister, Alesa Weyiouanna.

“I’m very proud of Peyton and the boys,” Okitkon said. “Peyton is just a freshman, and the boys did a good job a really good job this year,  I’m proud of them. They fought hard and I’m very happy that they made it to the championships again.”

Rose Gray helped organize the watch party at the VFW. She commented on how important basketball is to the community.

“Nome, it’s a community built on basketball, and the love of basketball,” Gray said. “My uncle was a state champion back in the ’60s, and he still supports these teams as well. So, there’s a lot of camaraderie and brotherhood, especially with our boys’ teams. I know the girls’ team is the same way. It’s just a big family. It’s pretty cool.”

The Nanooks ended the season at 24-3 overall and were 7-0 in 3A Western basketball standings to win their conference.

The Nome-Beltz Cheer team competed at the ASAA D2 State Cheer Meet on Tuesday last week. Cameron Minix was named to the all-cheer team. Kenai Central was named the D2 Champions and Bethel was the runner-up.

Image at top: Nanooks head coach Patrick Callahan talks strategy with his team at the 3A state championship game against Grace Christian on Saturday, March 25 in Anchorage. Photos by James Mason. (2023)

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