Twins make state tourney for 32nd straight year

Welcome back to the big show, Twins.

With a little bit of outside help, the Post 20 Twins qualified for the Legion AA state tournament this weekend to keep their outstanding postseason record of success intact. The Twins are going to state for the 32nd straight year.

The Twins officially clinched a state spot when Ketchikan lost to Kodiak 14-7 in the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader in Anchorage, officially eliminating the Kings from the postseason championship. If Ketchikan had won, the Kings would be the ones heading to the state tourney on a tiebreaker over the Twins, who finished 10-8 in league play this summer.

Ketchikan won the first game 13-8 to keep its state hopes alive, but Kodiak staged an impressive rally in Game 2 to win it 14-7. Ketchikan led 6-0 after three innings, but Kodiak answered with two massive rallies, scoring six runs to tie it in the bottom of the fifth, then plating eight runs in the sixth to take a daunting lead the Bears never gave up.

“It’s exciting,” said Twins head coach Robb Quelland. “It’s an honor to participate in the state tournament at the highest level that Alaska has to offer.”

As the eighth and final seed, Post 20 gets its tournament under way Friday night at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Field against No. 1 Juneau, which finished 17-1 in league play this year.

The state appearance also continues a remarkable run for the Twins, with the one and only miss being 1986. With the Legion Twins program starting in 1970, it makes 48 out of 49 years the Twins have played at state, although general manager Lance Coz noted that some years featured a format in which all the teams qualified. The current format has been in effect since 2014.

“Quite truthfully, this is the only year we’ve had to depend on help from our friends to make it,” Coz said, referring to Ketchikan’s loss. “We thank them for that.”

Post 20 had to battle this summer to wrangle the final qualifying bid, as a young team that was top-heavy with experienced veterans lost a chance to secure a championship tourney spot last Saturday with two league losses to Wasilla and Ketchikan.

It meant the Twins had to rely on other teams to defeat Ketchikan.

“We’re young, and we’re fortunate to get 10 wins this year,” Quelland said. “As much as we should have had it, it’s hard it get 10 wins in this league. The teams at the top have one or two losses, and that’s tough.”

As for the superlative record of postseason appearances, Quelland pointed out that most of the state’s powerhouse programs have suffered through off years that led to missed state showings, so it leaves the Twins as a shining example of consistency. The Twins have four state crowns in program history in 1991, 1995, 2012 and 2016.

“You have those up and down years, but the kids pull it together and qualify,” he said.

More in Sports

Kenai Central’s Kylee Verkuilen races Nikiski for control of the ball during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai sweeps, shuts out Nikiski in Friday soccer games

Kenai girls and boys teams opened with early goals

Head coach Taylor Shaw (center) talks to the Kenai River Brown Bears during a timeout at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Season review: Brown Bears hope to build on solid finish to season

It’s not easy to finish a season in last place in a division, yet have plenty of reasons for optimism for the next season

tease
Homer snow shuffles sports schedule

The Mariners were supposed to host Kenai Central in Thursday

A pair of Trumpeter Swans break through the thin ice in search of emergent vegetation at the Kenai River Flats with Mt. Redoubt in the background. (Photo courtesy T. Eskelin/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Has spring sprung?

I have always found the arrival of spring to be championed by the first sightings of geese at the Kenai and Kasilof Flats

tease
Peninsula Piranhas win South Central Area Championships

The Peninsula Piranhas won the South Central Area Championships in Homer on… Continue reading

Lily Langham of Kenai Central High School and Brooklyn Larsen, Rylie Thompson and Ava Fabian of Soldotna High School, stand for a photo with their medals after competing in the USA Hockey National Championships as part of the Alaska All Stars 19U Division 2A hockey team. (photo provided)
Local skaters help Alaska All Stars to semis of national tourney

Four central Kenai Peninsula skaters were on the Alaska All Stars 19U… Continue reading

tease
SoHi girls win distance medley relay at Big C Relays

A number of Kenai Peninsula athletes nabbed top-eight finishes at the Russ… Continue reading

tease
Saturday: Brown Bears finish season with comeback victory in Fairbanks

The Kenai River Brown Bears finished their season with a 4-3 victory… Continue reading

tease
Friday: Ice Dogs hold off Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 2-1 decision to the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Most Read