Sports

The Chugiak girls basketball team clamped down on defense to turn a close game into a runaway Tuesday on opening night of the 2018 Cook Inlet Conference basketball season.

After building a narrow 22-20 lead into halftime against West, the Mustangs allowed just two third-quarter points to run away with a 48-33 win over the Eagles.

Chasity Horn scored 17 points to lead Chugiak (1-0 Cook Inlet Conference), which got 13 from Eva Palmer and 12 from Patricia Houser.

Chugiak held West to just three field goals in the second half.

Eagle River stormed back from a two-goal deficit to earn a dramatic 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference hockey win Tuesday over East at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

Ty McEnanay scored the game-winner with 1:16 left off an assist from Michael Maddox to lift the Wolves to victory in their first game back from the holiday break.

Helen Wilson and Grace Gilliland are going back to Europe.

The local biathlon stars will represent the United States at the World Biathlon Championships in Otepaa, Estonia in February after stellar performances at the U.S. Youth/Junion Team Trials Dec. 28-29 in Coleraine, Minnesota.

Roger Spackman is stepping down, but he isn’t going anywhere.

After four years as the Chugiak High head football coach, Spackman resigned earlier this month — ironically, so he could focus more on coaching.

“Mostly it’s that I want to coach but not be a head coach,” said Spackman, who compiled a 25-14 record (.641 winning percentage) during his four seasons leading the blue and black — including back-to-back Railbelt Conference titles the past two seasons.

It’s no secret attendance at high school hockey games isn’t what it used to be.

Unless we’re talking Chugiak-Eagle River.

“It’s night and day, isn’t it?” said Chugiak head coach Rodney Wild after his hockey team pulled out a 3-2 Cook Inlet Conference nailbiter over its biggest rival in front of a spirited crowd inside the McDonald Center Thursday night.

A pair of local skiers are atop the Besh Cup standings after the first weekend of the statewide Nordic skiing race series.

Eagle River bowlers delivered a perfect day Thursday, Dec. 14 as the Wolves blanked Bartlett 35-0 in a pair of Anchorage Scholastic Bowling League matches held at Center Bowl in Anchorage. For the Eagle River girls, Allison Szewczyk delivered a match-high 190 to lead the win over the Golden Bears, while Joseph Herr rolled a 235 to lift the Eagle River boys to a shutout win. Chugiak’s girls also posted a shutout, knocking off South 35-0 behind a 201 from Jadyn Moore. The Chugiak boys were the only local team to fall, losing a 29-6 decision to South.

The 2017-18 high school basketball season officially got underway last week, with local teams already registering impressive early season wins.

The Chugiak girls opened the season by knocking off perennial powerhouse Wasilla in a Saturday, Dec. 16 showdown in the Mat-Su. The Mustangs rolled to a 30-13 halftime lead and hung on from there, getting a game-high 18 points from Chasity Horn to lead three players in double figures. Ariana Lewis added 11 points for Chugiak, which got 10 from Patricia Houser and six from Caitlin Wachmann.

Top-ranked South remained undefeated with a 5-1 Cook Inlet Conference hockey win over Eagle River on Thursday, Dec. 14 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

Five different players — Ryan Bailey, Cason Martin, Carter Eaton, Sam Jemmings and Hayden Fox — scored goals for the Wolverines (9-0), who got 17 saves from Zane Anderson.

Austin Linn scored the lone goal for Eagle River (3-6), which got 28 saves from Ryan Gray.

The Wolves are off until their crosstown showdown with Chugiak at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21 at the Mac.

Nobody ever said wrestling was easy; if they did, you’d know they never wrestled.

Minutes after losing the final match of his high school career, Eagle River’s Grant Burningham was still able to crack a smile despite sporting cuts to his forehead and lips.

“I feel pretty good,” he said after going down fighting in a 6-0 loss to Colony’s Trace Severson Saturday on Day 2 of the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Division I High School Wrestling Tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

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