of the Sentinel Konah
Last week, the boys’ basketball team advanced to 9-2 in conference play, after defeating Glacier to secure the number one seed going into divisional play Thursday. The girls lost, however, dropping them to current number three seed in the west.
The boys’ win gives them a first round bye in divisionals, meaning they only have to win one game to advance to the state tournament next week.
Although new this year, the coaching staff isn’t worried about the new format.
“Divisionals is something that is and has been pursued by the coaches from the AA,” boys’ head coach Jay Jagelski said. “We believe the atmosphere and environment that a divisional tournament provides is a better experience than a one game playoff that has been used in the past. The players enjoy the ability to play in high stakes tournament regardless of record, and it is a great opportunity for communities to watch some great basketball and benefit economically.”
There are benefits and negatives with the divisional tournament Jagelski said.
“The benefit is, if you lose your first round game, you are not out of the tournament and still have a chance to qualify for the state tournament in a double elimination tournament.,” he said. “However, being a number 1 seed you do not have an automatic berth to the state tournament. The original one playoff format protected the number 1 and 2 seeds by giving them automatic berth to state. Now the both teams will need to win either one or two games in order to secure berth.”
According to Jagelski, leading up to the tournament, the boys’ team is focusing on how to improve each day, and focusing on their team, rather than worrying about the competition.
“We are a very competitive team that has had a good season so far,” he said. However we will be facing teams that are very familiar with us and will do everything they can to take away our strengths. We have to be a team that is confident and willing to take on the challenge of an environment that will be mentally and physically demanding for a three day tournament.”
Although coming off two disappointing losses, the girls’ team is still a strong contender for the state title.
Head coach Karen Deden said, “We are looking for leaders out of Kylie (Frohlich) and Jordyn (Schweyen) because they have been there before.I am so proud of the efforts of my team and the amount of work they put in to be the players they are. I feel privileged to be the Coach at Sentinel High School and coach the quality student athletes that I get to coach.”