FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The West Valley girls' basketball program fell to the ACS Lions in last season's inaugural Ice Jam championship game. The Wolfpack were not going to let another opportunity to claim the title of their own tournament slip away two years in a row. A lock-down third quarter and 24 points from senior Sheridan Blasey propelled West Valley to a 54-38 victory over the Bartlett Golden Bears in the 2020 Ice Jam championship game Saturday night.
"I am really proud of my team for coming this far," Blasey said, who was named tournament MVP. "I am really proud of everyone for working so hard this tournament, and no one gave up either."
Trading buckets for most of the first half, West Valley held a 29-25 advantage over Bartlett, last year's state runner-up, heading into the halftime break. The correct adjustments were made for the Wolfpack, as they allowed just one field goal and one free throw for three points in the decisive third quarter.
"We switched to 1-3-1, which I think was important, because we kind of held them up," Blasey said of the second-half defense. "We were more fiery in the 1-3-1, we were hustling to the ball and trapping."
Joining Blasey on the all-tournament team were juniors Rachel Cockman, who scored 11 in the championship game, and Ali May, whose energetic defense led to many fast break opportunities for the Wolfpack all weekend long.
Sheridan Blasey shares the court with her sister, Hadley, who is also a starter and a strong contributor to West Valley's success.
"I think we have this mentally contention, we can just see each other really good, we know when we are going to cut, it is really fun playing with her." Sheridan said.
A strong 3-0 weekend for the Wolfpack, that featured wins over the Kodiak Bears (59-27), the Palmer Moose (53-48) and Bartlett, who is once again a contender for the 4A state championship.
The Wolfpack will return to the court on January 15, when they host the 3A Barrow Whalers at 7:30 p.m.
2020 Ice Jam All-Tournament Team
MVP: Sheridan Blasey - West Valley
Leslie Spear - Kodiak
Jada Schultz - Wasilla JV
Catherine Uschmann - Palmer
Kira Frommerz - Thunder Mountain
Tasi Fenumai - Thunder Mountain
Nyapar Mathot - Bartlett
Nyakoat Ruot - Bartlett
Ali May - West Valley
Rachel Cockman - West Valley