Real growing pains

(SitNews) Klawock, Alaska – The big sports news on Prince of Wales Island is the Klawock boys basketball team. That the defending 1A state champions are winning is not a surprise, it’s the opponents they are beating that has the state taking notice. The Chieftains have beaten Homer (3A), Eagle River (4A), Valdez (3A), Seward (3A), nearly took down Ketchikan and haven’t been challenged yet in conference play. But lost in the shuffle is another developing story which will take years to score.
In the shadows of the “Fab 5” as the five starters are called by some fans, is the Klawock girls team which on game night plays undercard to Tyrus Morgan’s dunks, Sam Rew’s pure stroke and Dylan George’s grit.
Three starters from last year’s girls squad are playing college basketball this year, leaving the Chieftains without the high-scoring studs that led the girls to their own impressive wins over 4A teams last season.
The burden of expectation fell on the two remaining starters Jill Carl and Sierra Giebel, who were the vital role players on last year’s juggernaut, and a collection of players with more heart than experience.
Last year Jill and Sierra started on the team which outscored their four opponents 274-117 at the state tournament, but had to settle for fourth thanks to a 46-37 second round loss to the eventual state champ.
“I was expecting to win state,” says Jill. “For two years [the town] had been expecting us to win state but it ended up being a disappointment.”
The education in heartbreak was only beginning…

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