Girls hoops

DEREK CLARKSTON/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Kodiak’s Alaina Bartel, left, Aurora Berg and Angel Mangrobang celebrate after beating Homer to clinch the girls title in the 53rd Joe Floyd Winter Classic Basketball Tournament in December at Kodiak High School.

Northern Lights Conference play begins in earnest this week, so it is time to unveil the Daily Mirror’s weekly power rankings for the conference. 

The Palmer boys and the Wasilla girls are the defending regional champions.  



1. Colony (3-1) — The Knights grabbed the Doc Larson title in December but suffered their first loss of the season last week to Ketchikan (45-44). 

Up next: South Anchorage Tournament (Thursday-Saturday) 


2. Soldotna (8-1) — Soldtona has feasted on lower classification schools — wins over Homer, Haines, Unalakleet, Kotzebue and Nome — to post an 8-1 record. Jersey Truesdell has been a machine, being named the MVP in all three tournaments the Stars have played in this season. 

Up next — Kodiak (Friday and Saturday)


3. Wasilla (3-4) — The Warriors have been up-and-down this season, collecting wins over Mt. Bethel (Georgia), Juneau and Chugiak, and losing to Doherty (Colorado), Bartlett, West Valley and Grace Christian.

Up next: Palmer (late Tuesday)   


4. Palmer (2-3) — Palmer has reeled off back-to-back victories (Kodiak and Juneau) after beginning the season with losses to Thunder Mt., Service and Dimond.

Up next: Wasilla (late Tuesday) and Palmer Elks Boys Showdown (Thursday-Saturday)  


5. Kodiak (2-4) — Kodiak struggled shooting from behind the arc at the Alaska Prep Shootout (21 for 96) and dropped all three games to push its losing skid to four games. 

Up next: Soldotna (Friday and Saturday) 



1. Soldotna (9-0) — The Stars have cruised through the opening month of the season, but only two of their nine wins are against Alaska 4A schools. They own victories over four Lower 48 teams and wins over Alaska’s Unalakleet (69-34), Kotzebue (68-25) and Nome (59-23), the last three earned them the Nome Subway Shootout title.

Soldotna has eclipsed 50 points in every game and is beating opponents by an average margin of 36 points.  

This week: Kodiak (Friday and Saturday) 


2. Colony (6-1) — Colony is undefeated in Alaska as its only loss came in an early-season tournament in Hawaii. The Knights own wins over Juneau (55-53), Thunder Mountain (58-31 and 53-40) and East Anchorage (67-45). 

This week: Chugiak (Wednesday), West Anchorage (Thursday) 


3. Wasilla (4-5) — It’s not often that the Warriors, under coaching legend Jeannie Herbert-Truax, are under .500, but they are. Even more strange is that Wasilla, which has played a heavy out-of-state schedule so far, is 0-2 against Alaska opponents — Chugiak (51-45) and ACS (68-35).

This week: Palmer (late Tuesday)  


4. Kodiak (4-2) — Leslie Spear has been a force for the Bears this season, posting four games with 20-plus points. The junior center is leading Kodiak with 20.3 points per game.

This week: Soldotna (Friday and Saturday)  


5. Palmer (1-5) — It’s been a rough first month for Palmer, losing to Ketchikan (45-38 and 51-38), South Anchorage (45-41), West Valley (53-48) and Thunder Mountain (40-32). The Moose’s only victory was against North Pole (63-22). 

This week: Wasilla (late Tuesday) and Palmer Elks Boys Showdown (Thursday-Saturday) 

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