Seward’s Anevay Ambrosiani and Sequoia Sieverts fight with Kenai’s Damaris Severson for the ball Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Seward’s Anevay Ambrosiani and Sequoia Sieverts fight with Kenai’s Damaris Severson for the ball Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Coronavirus postpones state, NLC basketball; Southcentral tourney still on

The Alaska School Activities Association announced Wednesday that the state basketball tournament and cheerleading state championships have been postponed due to concerns about the new coronavirus.

In a press release, Billy Strickland, executive director for ASAA, also announced the spring conference of the Alaska Association of Student Governments, which was to be held at Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka from April 3 to 5, has been canceled.

Strickland also had announcements affecting conference tournaments.

Tournaments being held this weekend are not being postponed. That includes the Southcentral Conference tournament, which is being held at Anchorage Christian Schools today, Friday and Saturday and includes Kenai Peninsula schools Kenai, Nikiski, Homer and Seward. Dylan Hoch, ACS athletic director, said in a text message Wednesday night that the tournament was still a go, unless the school hears otherwise.

Strickland said in the release that conference tournaments being held after March 14 are postponed. This includes the Northern Lights Conference, which includes Soldotna. That tournament was to be held March 19 to 21 at Colony High School.

Strickland did say the state of Alaska has issued an advisory to those who are thinking about attending conference tournaments. Those who should not attend are those over 60 years old; those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes; or those who have acute respiratory illness or fever.

The state basketball tournaments were set to be held at the Alaska Airlines Center March 18-21 and March 25 to 28. At last weekend’s Peninsula Conference tournament at Cook Inlet Academy, peninsula schools Nikolaevsk girls, Nikolaevsk boys and Cook Inlet Academy girls qualified for the Class 1A state tournament.

Strickland said the decision about whether to cancel the state tournaments will be made later.

There will be two Class 3A girls state berths and two 3A boys state berths available at the Southcentral Conference tourney. Those missing out on a top-two finish also have the chance of getting the one boys and one girls at-large 3A state berth available.

The clear class of the girls field is host ACS, which lost only once this season and that loss was out of state. No Southcentral Conference team got within 40 points of ACS this season.

The Lions play Seward, No. 4 from the South, at 7 p.m. today. ACS defeated Seward 85-19 on Feb. 21.

Homer, No. 2 from the South, and Grace Christian, No. 3 from the North, also have a tough path to state due to being on the ACS side of the bracket. The Mariners and Grizzlies play at 9 a.m. Homer lost to Grace twice this season, once 42-34 at the Grizzly Invitational on Feb. 14, and also 45-40 in conference play on March 6.

On the non-ACS side of the girls bracket, hope springs eternal. Nikiski, Homer and Kenai all finished with 6-4 conference records, but tiebreakers made the Bulldogs No. 1, the Mariners No. 2 and the Kardinals No. 3.

Nikiski plays Houston at 4 p.m. today. The Bulldogs defeated the Hawks three times this year, each time by more than 10 points. The Kardinals face Redington at noon. Kenai just defeated the Huskies 47-35 on Friday.

The two top slots in the boys tourney typically belong to ACS and Grace Christian. Grace is the No. 1 seed out of the north with a perfect record in conference. The Grizzlies face South No. 4 Nikiski at 10:30 a.m. after just defeating the Bulldogs 71-30 on Saturday.

The Lions are the No. 2 seed out of the North. They lost three times in the conference this year — twice to Grace and once to Houston. ACS opens with South No. 3 Kenai. The Lions topped the Kardinals 66-50 on Feb. 22.

Seward, No. 1 out of the South, actually put up a better record in conference than ACS, finishing at 8-2. Those two losses came to Grace and ACS, however, and the Seahawks took an additional loss to Grace in nonconference play.

Seward opens with Redington, No. 4 from the North, at 5:30 p.m. The Seahawks just defeated the Huskies 66-29 on Saturday.

Finally, Homer, No. 2 out of the South, faces off with Houston at 1:30 p.m. The Mariners were able to take down the Hawks 53-44 on Feb. 22.

Southcentral Conference tournament

at Anchorage Christian Schools

GIRLS

Thursday’s games

Game 1 — ACS vs. Seward, 7 p.m.

Game 2 — Homer vs. Grace, 9 a.m.

Game 3 — Redington vs. Kenai, noon

Game 4 — Nikiski vs. Houston, 4 p.m.

Friday’s games

Game 5 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 9 a.m.

Game 6 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, noon

Game 7 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4 p.m.

Game 8 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games

4th/6th place — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 9 a.m.

3rd/5th place — Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, noon

Championship — Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 4 p.m.

BOYS

Thursday’s games

Game 1 — Grace Christian vs. Nikiski, 10:30 a.m.

Game 2 — Homer vs. Houston, 1:30 p.m.

Game 3 — ACS vs. Kenai, 8:30 p.m.

Game 4 — Seward vs. Redington, 5:30 p.m.

Friday’s games

Game 5 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10:30 a.m.

Game 6 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 1:30 p.m.

Game 7 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5:30 p.m.

Game 8 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games

4th/6th place — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 10:30 a.m.

3rd/5th place — Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 1:30 p.m.

Championship — Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 5:30 p.m.

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