FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF)
In a tournament honoring the late Joe Tremarello, on Coach T. Court, Mrs. Tremarello joined the Lathrop Malemute teams as they celebrated a championship sweep in the Joe T. Classic for the first time in its history.
Both the Lathrop boys and girls squads went a perfect 3-0 on the weekend, sealed by convincing victories over the Sitka Wolves on Saturday.
In the 8th edition of the tournament, the Lathrop boys were crowned champions for the first time after dismantling the Wolves 61-33.
Junior Ben Kraska was tabbed tournament MVP, while his teammates Jakobee Johnson and Tyriq Luke were also named to the all-tournament team after the dominant weekend.
The Malemutes only allowed 109 points (36.3 ppg) throughout the Classic, anchored by their press defense and quick hands.
"Communication with the team, everyone giving 100 percent, even the subs giving 100 percent when they're on the floor and that just helps us get the victory,” Kraska said after the championship game.
“The crowd has been here for us, they definitely helped us get that activity going, the bench, and getting people to stay up high and just working hard."
Lathrop controlled all three games, winning by double-digits in each game with an average margin of victory of over 15 points. The ‘Mutes took down the Barrow Whalers 52-41 on Thursday, before defeating the Monroe Catholic Rams on Friday 52-35, led by Luke’s 16 points.
“Even though we won the tournament, we still have stuff to work on,” Kraska added. “We got goals to fulfill and this was just one step into the season, just more motivation to get at it.”
Lathrop will visit the Hutchison Hawks on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for a non-conference matchup.
Monroe’s Malachi Bradley and Quinn McHenry were named to the all-tournament team.
The Lathrop girls put on an offensive clinic throughout the Joe T. Classic, reaching the 60-point mark in all three games, including their 63-42 win over Sitka in the title game. Tristan Martin took home the tournament MVP honors after putting up 24, 12 and 17-point performances respecively. Teammates Ella Roberts and TT Tagovailoa were also all-tournament selections, while Katie Bast was represented from Monroe. With the undefeated weekend, the Malemutes remain unbeaten against Alaska schools at 6-0. This is the fourth time in eight years the girls were crowned Joe T. Classic champions. Lathrop takes on the Hawks at Hutchison High School on Wednesday; tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.