The Bears are leaving the day after Christmas to participate in the four-day Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic at Ketchikan High School.
Kodiak opens against Gig Harbor, Wash. at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
This will not be the first time Kodiak coach Stepahnie Dandliker has faced Gig Harbor, a city five minutes from Tacoma.
Kodiak’s first-year coach faced Gig Harbor in this tournament while coaching at Metlakatla.
“I don’t know what they have right now as far as their personnel, but they were a big, fast and strong team then,” she said.
“I’m hoping to have our girls see some competition they haven’t seen before and see what is out there outside the state of Alaska. I’m glad we got matched up with them to start.”
Gig Harbor is a 4A school — Washington’s highest classification — and is 3-3 this season after going 10-10 last year. The Tide are averaging 41.8 points per game while allowing 49 points a contest.
Kodiak is coming off a season-opening 41-33 loss to Lathrop on Saturday, one day after the Bears won the endowment game 41-30. After that loss, Dandliker believes playing four games in four days will help her young team.
“As we saw in the opening weekend, we came out pretty lively on Friday and as we started to get a little bit tired, we started to get a little bit flat,” she said.
“I’m hoping four games in four days they are going to have to fight through some of that stuff. I would like to see them rise to the challenge of playing when they are really tired, because they are going to have to do it all year.”
Dandliker said this week’s practices have centered around conditioning, something she wasn’t pleased with after Saturday’s loss.
“We have been running a lot in practice here,” she said,“working on taking care of the ball against pressure defense, so hopefully they can get past their tiredness and play hard.”
Also in the field are Dimond; Petersburg; Cascade, Wash.; Sitka; Skagway and Ketchikan.
If Kodiak wins Tuesday, it advances to play the winner of Dimond/Petersburg at
4 p.m. Wednesday. The two losers play the same day at 9 a.m.
Kodiak returns from Ketchikan on Dec. 31. Dandliker hopes her team is ready for the long stay.
“It is hard to be gone that long over the holidays,” she said. “But again we had to fill four games on the schedule.”
Tuesday, Dec. 27
9 a.m. — Gig Harbor, Wash., vs. Kodiak. 12:30 p.m. — Dimond vs. Petersburg. 5:45 p.m. — Cascade, Wash., vs. Sitka. 7:30 p.m. — Skagway vs. Ketchikan.