Birchwood Christian’s boys became the first in school history to earn a Class 2A state basketball tournament berth with a thrilling 57-56 win over Effie Kokrine in the Central Interior Conference championship Saturday at Anderson School.
The Warriors held a 57-55 lead but committed a shooting foul as time expired, giving Effie Kokrine a chance to force overtime, assistant coach Brad Rud said. Effie Kokrine made the first free throw but missed the second, Rud said, giving Birchwood the win and the only Central Interior state berth.
West ended Chugiak's hopes of reaching the Cook Inlet Conference girls basketball tournament title game, handing the Mustangs a 44-40 defeat in the tournament semifinals Friday night at West High.
After trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half, Chugiak rallied to take a 30-29 lead into the fourth quarter. But the host Eagles outscored Chugiak 15-10 down the stretch to earn one of the conference's two automatic state tournament bids.
Chugiak High junior Alistie Aguilar leads the third-seeded Mustangs in scoring with 9.3 points per game and assists with 2.2 per game heading into the Cook Inlet Conference tournament, which started Feb. 29 and continues through the weekend at West High. Aguilar, 16, is the daughter of Misty and Alfonso Aguilar of Eagle River.
Chugiak’s girls will look to avenge their regular season finale loss to Bartlett today (Thursday, March 1) when the two square off in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament opener at 4 p.m. at West High.
The Mustangs’ lackluster performance led to a 37-34 loss to the Golden Bears on Feb. 24, Chugiak head coach Ryan Hales said.
“We just weren’t in the game,” he said. “We kind of went into the game a little overconfident.”