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  • Kaje Rockwell

Northwest Territory Aces Basketball!

“Let the coaches coach, let the players play, and let the audience stay positive!”  The announcer’s gravelly voice boomed across the court, signaling the start of Wednesday’s female basketball game featuring Team Alaska vs. the Northwest Territories. The event led off with the cheering and chanting of the Northwest fans. The score for NWT doubled, then tripled to a score of 18. Team Alaska squeaked its way to a struggling score of six. 

The chanting in the stands dwindled until Alaska had its first free-throw of the period. Silent, they watched in hopeful anticipation, slowly breaking into a raucous drumroll. 

The Northwest Territory Team raised the score again, but two shots on a free throw earned two points for Alaska, a point to a shot! Both teams huddled together at the sound of the buzzer to pour cool water down their throats. Then back to the center, leaping ahead to the rest of the game.

Cheers and whistles greeted the end of the first period.  Hearty applause and feet drumming marked the second, saluting a powerful shot for Team Alaska! Knees bent, elbows out, she made her shot.  A score!  Three points clicked away for her team. But they would need much more to win. 

Towards the middle of the game, fans were struck by the emotional upheaval of pauses in play, standing in stark contrast with sudden bursts of energy from the players. 

Wild with energy, they finished the period, still light on their feet, ready for more. It was now 40 to 26.  Back at it again! It’s a frenzy towards victory. Offense is pitted against defense to the left and to the right.  We bubbled with excitement while Team Alaska regained its score, 20 points behind, but playing well & playing hard. 

The heat intensified. Chants for the Northwest Territories quickened, faster, faster, as the score of 59 overshadowed Team Alaska’s hard-fought 34.  A graceful shot through the hoop raised the score again for Northwest, now to 62.  A shot from the side hurls them on to 65! 

Straining ahead, red in their faces with aching feet and tousled braids, Team Alaska persevered. NWT secured the win at 73 to 39.  Both teams finished strong and can be proud of their hard work. 


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