ESS

Courtesy of Phyllis Amodo

The Kodiak ESS girls basketball team. Back, left: Coach Ross Elvejhem, Angel Christiansen, Teanna Amodo, Jazmine White-Amodo and coach Phyllis Amodo. Front, left: Claire Taylor, Desiree Eluska and Ariana Amodo. 

 

Despite routinely getting blanketed by defenders, Teanna Amodo has put up all-star numbers in her first year of playing girls basketball.

The junior do-it-all player for Kodiak ESS averaged 22 points per game and accounted for 57% of the Ravens’ offensive output during the regular season.

Alarm bells went off when Amodo sprained her ankle, which sidelined her for the team’s final game of the regular season on Feb. 21.

Since then, Amodo has lived by the RICE method — rest, ice, compression and elevate — to make sure she is healthy to play in the Peninsula Conference Championships that begin today at Cook Inlet Academy. 

“It’s doing better after resting it,” said Amodo at Monday’s practice at North Star Elementary.

She went through drills and hopes to play when the ESS girls open their first Peninsula Conference tournament at 6 p.m. against CIA.

Since becoming a sports program in 2012, Kodiak ESS — for rural students in the Kodiak Island Borough School District — has only fielded co-ed teams that competed in the boys division. 

Amodo, who played as an eighth-grader, spent three years battling with the boys. She held her own against the boys and has excelled against the girls. 

Kodiak ESS coach Phyllis Amodo said Teanna Amodo has shown to be one of the top players in the conference. 

“She practices a lot to make herself be where she is at today,” said Phyllis Amodo.  “She has always had the ball in her hand.” 

Teanna Amodo put up a season-high 35 points in the team’s opening game of the season and hasn’t slowed down since, topping 20 points in three of the next five games. 

She finds a way to score despite seeing a heavy dose of double and triple teams.

“A lot of the time, they are doing a full-court press on me,” Teanna Amodo said. “It is kind of hard, and I often get double-teamed off the ball.”

All of Teanna Amodo’s points didn’t translate to wins as ESS enters the regional tournament as the No. 6 seed with an 0-7 record, which included an overtime loss to No. 4 seed Ninilchik.

 

The coach isn’t concerned about the record as she said the players have improved from the beginning of the season.  

“The girls have come a long way,” Phyllis Amodo said. “We are a young team and had to start with all the basics — they are still trying to learn. I’m excited for them to come together and for the years to come.” 

Four of the six players are from Akhiok, which has made it easier for the team to practice. Past ESS teams were only able to practice together a few times during the season because players were flung all over the island. 

“There is more team chemistry,” Teanna Amodo said. “It is a lot easier, especially during practices. There are more players you get to work with. It was kind of hard when you got together once or twice.”  

Nikolaevsk (10-0) and Birchwood (7-3) are the top two seeds and received opening-round byes in the tournament. 

Nikolaevsk plays the winner between No. 4 Ninilchik (4-6) and No. 5 Lumen Christi (3-7) in one semifinal, while Birchwood faces either No. 3 CIA (6-4) or Kodiak in the other semifinal. 

The top two finishers advance to the 1A state tournament that begins March 18 in Anchorage. 

“I have high hopes for these girls,” the coach said. “They are just as good as the two top teams.” 

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