It’s a good thing the daylight hours are getting longer these days, because someone shot the lights out Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
In the finale of a star-studded weekend, players put on a stunning offensive display as two teams made up of some of the best senior basketball players in Alaska combined to score 217 points in 40 frenzied minutes of play at the boys Class 3A/4A Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches Senior All-Star Game.
Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin returned from injury in trimphant fashion, helping the Australia women’s national basketball team to a 113-53 win over Mozambique on April 6 in the opening round of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
A naturalized Australian citizen, Griffin had been sidelined for several months with a hip injury, according to an account in the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog. She scored six points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished five assists in 19 minutes against Mozambique.
The start of the high school track and field season is always a slippery season. With outdoor tracks still covered in snow and ice, coaches have to scramble to get in workouts and figure out where their athletes will work best as the spring wears on.
“This year it seems we’re pretty far behind the others,” said Eagle River coach Matt Turner, who said his school’s track likely won’t be usable for at least another week or more.
“We’re never going to get out there,” Turner quipped.
Wrestling often comes in last to mainstream sports in most places, and not just in alphabetical lists. The crowds, funding and press coverage tend to trail more popular sports like hockey and football.
But in Chugiak and Eagle River, wrestling boasts a rich history and a thriving community rooted in the Chugach Eagles Wrestling Club, which has cultivated a line of Alaska state champions and Division I collegiate wrestlers dating back a quarter of a century.
Having just finished fourth in the state tournament with an impressive 66-47 win against West Anchorage in the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 4A Girls Basketball State Championships, sixth-year Chugiak coach Ryan Hales has reason to be optimistic for the future with his family of young athletes.
Sophomore and all-tournament selection Chasity Horn stayed hot throughout the tournament, finishing with 20 points against the Eagles last Saturday, which followed a career-high 30 against Ketchikan to reach the consolation bracket final.
The Chugiak SC 05g Thunder team traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the 2018 Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup tournament Feb. 23-25. Their tournament play started with an opening match vs. Real Henderson FC, a local team from Las Vegas. In 40-degree weather and 15 mph winds, CSC Thunder were able to put two shots in the back of the net and seal the win.
Later that same day the Thunder were matched against Lioness FC Toluca, a team from Mexico. Despite another match in freezing cold weather, team Thunder found its stride and won the second match 3-0.