Dillingham Lady Wolverines reflect on abrupt ending to the 2020 basketball season

Mar 19, 2020

"Knowing that it’s the last time everyone is going to be able to watch us — we fought hard," said Captain Abby Whitcomb, a senior, about the team's last game in front of a crowd. Whitcomb's last season of high school basketball ended suddenly, as ASAA cancelled the state tournament amid coronavirus concerns. 

The Lady Wolverines championship pose at Hooper Bay, Bering Sea Bash.
Credit Courtesy of Lindsay Layland

The 2020 basketball season came to an abrupt end for the Dillingham Lady Wolverines when the Alaska School Activities Association canceled this year’s state basketball tournament.

The Lady Wolverines’ final games were played in Anchorage last week in the Great Alaska Conference. Senior Abbey Whitcomb is team captain and point guard.

“We went in to play Unalaska, our last game with a crowd," Whitcomb said. "Knowing that it’s the last time everyone is going to be able to watch us — we fought hard. Then our next game, it was really different playing with no crowd.”

Lady Wolverines three seniors, from left: Abbey Whitcomb, Reagan Finkenbinder, Shania Johnson
Credit KDLG/Courtesy of Lindsay Leyland

They lost a hard- fought battle to Unalaska in the semifinals by seven points, bouncing back with a 30-point victory against their rival, the Bristol Bay Lady Angels.

But regionals were cut short following the cancellation of the state tournament. This is Whitcomb’s final season as a member of the Lady Wolverines. She says the way it ended was hard, but that she was grateful for her time with the team.

“It was a challenge at times to play and others it was really great," Whitcomb said. "I wouldn’t want any other team, or coach, ya know. The way it ended just really was a bummer. After four years of playing and giving my all, I’m thankful for everything we got to do together.”

The Lady Wolverines end their season with a 22-4 record. Head coach Lindsay Layland said she is thankful and proud of her team’s effort this year despite the shortened season.

From Left: Reagan Finkenbiner, Abbey Whitcomb
Credit Courtesy of Lindsay Layland

“I strongly believe that we are a team that would be competing in the state tournament tomorrow," Layland said. "So it’s really hard to have such an incredible season, with such an incredible group of young women who have fought so hard, and worked so hard for this kind of end result.”

Whitcomb and fellow senior Reagan Finkenbinder were also named to the 2020 Alaska Conference All-Tournament Team this week. Whitcomb lead the state in assists this season.

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200