GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

‘I’m Proud of Them:’ Basketball Wraps Up

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    The Sitka High Lady Wolves hit their peak at the right time, players said, snagging the Region V title, but missing their chance at State due to health concerns.
    The Sitka High girls team claimed the Region V title Friday. The Mt. Edgecumbe Braves claimed the boys title Saturday following a tie-breaker match.
    “We worked really well together as a team,” Sitka junior Jocelyn Brady concluded in an interview.
    Brady was one of three Lady Wolves to earn the All-Tournament accolade, along with her teammates, senior Tiffany Elefante and sophomore Chloe Morrison.
    For the Lady Braves, senior Vernae Ramoth and junior Autumn Beans won the honor as well.
    “I think we moved the ball really well, we’re all pretty selfless… (we) don’t care who’s scoring as long as we’re scoring,” Sitka sophomore Tawny Smith said. She echoed a sentiment expressed many times this season by her coach, Sondra Lundvick: the Lady Wolves play a selfless game of basketball.
    Sitka’s girls finished the season with 13 consecutive wins.
    “We worked hard together but it’s also just off court relationships too. We’re all pretty good friends with each other,” Brady said.
    She’s been on the Wolves’ varsity squad for three years, and over time she has improved “at movement on the court (and) with the team as well,” she said.
    This movement paid dividends in the regional tourney.
    “We ran the court really well.  There were a couple of moments where either one of us posts, me or Chloe (Morrison), we were able to run up the court (and score in a breakout play),” Brady said.
    The Lady Wolves’ 2020 team made a reputation for driving hard to the basket.
    Smith noted that her team plays a physical and high-tempo game.
    “Pretty physical, physicality is pretty much a main thing. We do well keeping the tempo right,” Smith said.
    The wildfire spread of COVID-19 canceled the planned State Tournament.
    “Its a bummer. I think everyone was excited,” Smith said.
    Both Smith and Brady emphasized that they will miss their team’s only senior: Tiffany Elefante.
    Smith said that Elefante “led us really well this year.”
    The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves came a long way through the season, but not far enough to clinch a regional title.
    “We did a lot better at communicating, especially on defense. I think we did pretty good on defense,” Lady Braves senior Vernae Ramoth told the Sentinel.
    She noted that her team could have executed plays better.
    Of the tournament atmosphere, Ramoth said that “it was so great, it was really fun. It was super loud and just high intensity.”
    Ramoth was especially proud of her All-Tourney award.
    “It was a really big thing for me especially since last year was my first year with the Lady Braves.”
    The Lady Braves’ other All Tournament player was junior Autumn Beans.
    “At first, I was a little nervous, and then as we started playing I got used to it, I got my head in the game,” Beans said.
    Beans hoped that in the future, her team could “get used to playing with each other more quickly, and talking more on defense and offense. And getting more patient with the ball.”
    She concluded by looking forward:
    “We’ll have next year.”
    The Sentinel spoke with Edgecumbe players, and their coach Kathy Forrester, as the athletes returned their jerseys, Monday afternoon. Some were preparing to go home to rural Alaska, which at the time was a voluntary option available to students.

Region V All Tournament players pose for a shot following the Lady Wolves’ regional victory, Friday, in Juneau. From left, Sitka High’s Tiffany Elefante, Chloe Morrison, Jocelyn Brady, Mt. Edgecumbe’s Vernae Ramoth and Autumn Beans. The Lady Wolves will not travel to the state tourney, as health concerns have canceled it. (Photo provided by Kathy Forrester)

    Only hours after the interview, the governor announced that all schools in Alaska, including residential schools such as Mt. Edgecumbe, would close to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
    Coach Forrester herself was on the way to Ketchikan when she spoke with the newspaper.
    “We really played well. I feel like we didn’t have enough time to be where we needed to be because our team is young in playing ability,” Forrester said.
    Despite their Region V loss, Forrester was happy with her basketball team.
    “We had a great year. I just love these kids, and I am going to really miss the seniors. Their leadership was amazing.”
    She was particularly happy at the low number of turnovers in the second regional game. The Lady Braves have fought the turnover bug all season, but kept that number to only 12 in Friday’s game.
    “Never has that ever happened,” she said.
    Forrester praised the Lady Wolves as well.
    “They played well, and they deserved that win.”
    Forrester extended a special thanks to her other coaches, Margo Livermore, Monica Chase, Janet Schwartz, and Emily Jones, as well as Mt. Edgecumbe athletic staff members Andrew Friske and Lieudell Goldsberry.
    For the Lady Braves, Forrester said, the season highlight was the overtime rivalry game between her team and Sitka High, February 21.
    Sitka High won in a tight contest, 45-42.
    “That was pretty cool. It made us feel like we could compete with them.”
    Watching her players leave the gym one by one after turning in their gear, Forrester had one thing to say.
    “I’m proud of them.”

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 

 

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Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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