Dimond Basketball Looks Forward to Regions, State

The Dimond High boys and girls basketball teams have been highly successful so far this season and are looking forward to a possible state championship title. Both the girls and boys are contenders.

The basketball season is in full swing, with more than 30 games in a season between tournaments and conference games.

The boys have brought home many wins and only lost twice in two extremely tight matchups against East and Colony. Colony they avenged in their second facing of the team and East they hope to avenge on Feb. 19.

The girls have also brought home a lot of wins and only lost one game in the Cook Inlet Conference to West High School.

The basketball season is one of the longest high school sports seasons, but when asked about its length, Senior Noah Brandon said, “Everybody gets along and has fun together, which makes the season easy to get through.”

Over winter break, the boys team travelled to Arizona for the Cactus Jam tournament. Only weeks after losing to Colony High School in the final of the Doc Larsen Tournament, they faced off again in the final of the Cactus Jam. But this time they took the dub.

Captain Carter Moore for the boys’ side said, “Any time you lose to a team, you are dying to get another chance to beat them.”

Both Brandon and Moore said beating Colony in the final of the Cactus Jam was the best moment so far in the season.

The team’s expectations coming into the season were to, as Moore said, “roll over everyone,” so the first game against Colony was both the toughest game of the season and a wake up call.

Their goal is to be state champions at the end of the year.

Moore said, “We have made major strides to get to that level of play since the beginning of the year, but we still have a lot of improving to do.”

The girls team took advantage of winter break to travel to Las Vegas for the Gator Winter Classic and Centennial Holiday Tournament.  Finishing second in both tournaments, they represented Dimond and Alaska well.

Larissa Parker looks back fondly on the tournament, remembering it as a great opportunity for team bonding.

She said, “Being with each other all the time for two weeks brought us really close together.”

The team motto this year, featured on the back of their warm-ups, is “Family.” Before and after every game they come together and say “Family” on three.

Parker said, “Our motto is a perfect representation of our team. The atmosphere is really fun and easy-going.”

This was seen quite starkly when they travelled to Barrow. Parker said that it was the highlight of the season so far.

“Everyone in Barrow came to the game. There was a pep band and cheerleaders. It was so loud and exciting.”

Alissa Pili also reached an incredible milestone during the game. She was commemorated for joining the 2000 point club. The all-time 4A scoring record was 2,290. During the game against West on Feb. 12, she scored 37 points to surpass this record and reestablish it at 2,321 points.

Coached by Jason Stahl and Jim Young, the girls team is also a contender for state, their biggest competition being West and Wasilla.

The only tournaments left in the girls season are Regions and hopefully State if they are in the top two at Regions. If not in the top two, it is possible to qualify for the State Tournament through a statistic calculated by the number of wins in the season.

The boys travel to Valdez for a tournament this weekend and then will make their bid for state with the girls during the Regions Tournament on March 4-9 at West High School.