Halle Helmersen, Astoria
In the Pepsi Invitational in Anchorage, Alaska, the Lady Fishermen advanced to the championship game. Helmersen led Astoria in scoring in two of its three games, including 13 points in a 64-61 semifinal win over Barrow. In the championship game, the junior scored 24 in a loss to Anchorage Christian. “Halle played by far her best game of the season,” said Astoria coach Mike Jacobson, as Helmersen and teammate Brooklynn Hankwitz were named to the all-tournament team.
Eli Takalo, Knappa
In the biggest game of the season so far in 2A boys basketball, No. 3-ranked Knappa defeated No. 2-ranked Toledo in a semifinal game of Toledo’s “Beach Bash” Invitational on Jan. 3. The Loggers went on to win the tournament with a win over Harrisburg. Takalo hit a short game-winning jump shot at the buzzer to defeat Toledo, 78-76. He finished with 21 points, and was later named tournament Most Valuable Player, as Knappa jumped to No. 1 in the rankings, and improved to 10-0.