Sports

The Chugiak varsity basketball teams doubled down on impressive wins Saturday night as the home squads played aggressive defense against their Bartlett visitors.

In the opening game, the girls stifled their Golden Bear opponents early, coasting to a 35-9 first-half margin then withstanding a second half rally to end their game with a comfortable 56-37 win.

Eagle River uses big third quarter to pull away from Soldotna

The Wolves outscored the Stars 21-4 in the third quarter to pull away for a nonconference basketball victory last Thursday night in Eagle River.

Although SoHi connected on 10 3-pointers, Eagle River held the Stars to just one made field goal in the third quarter, while getting 9 points from Jacob Thompson. Thompson finished with 21 points, while teammate Ryan Adkins hit five three-pointers to also score 21.

Chugiak center Daniel Casey won the opening faceoff and without taking a stride fired the puck at the Service net for the first shot game Monday night.

The puck bounced off Cougar goalie Kevin Taunton and skittered harmlessly away. That was as about good as it got for the Mustangs in the opening period of their first round of the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs.

Aaron Davis and Jacob Thompson led the Eagle River Wolves to a third-place finish at the Dean Cummings Tournament in Delta Junction last week.

Before losing to eventual tournament champion Valdez 55-48 in the semifinals on Friday, the Wolves blew out Galena 66-48 and then handled Nome 67-52 after a huge third quarter in the consolation game.

Thompson averaged 16.6 points per game over the three-day tourney, with 21 against Galena and 17 in the third-place game versus Nome.

Star staff report

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The Chugiak Mustangs toppled conference rival and powerhouse Anchorage East High 58-46 on Monday night in front of an electrified home crowd.

It was the first time in four years for the Mustangs to defeat East, which has a student population double the size of Chugiak’s. The Mustangs now sit at 9-3 overall and 2-1 for the Cook Inlet Conference.

Despite playing 10 games in the last 12 days, the Mustangs drove the pace throughout the night and challenged East’s defense with stellar passing and teamwork.

With a full slate of preseason tournaments now complete, local prep basketball teams are settling in for the regular season. Cook Inlet Conference play began the week after teams returned from holiday break, with each team set to play 14 conference games (two against each of the CIC’s other seven teams) between now and the end of February.

Here’s a rundown of each of the four Class 4A varsity teams from Chugiak-Eagle River

GIRLS

Chugiak looks to reload with new talent

Chugiak’s Miles Dennis and Max Beiergrohslein went 1-2 Saturday to lead the Mustang boys to victory at the Chugiak Stampede Nordic ski races at the Bartlett High trails.

Dennis finished the 10-kilometer classic style course in 27 minutes, 2.7 seconds to beat his teammate by nearly eight seconds. Service’s Alexander Maurer was third. Michael Earnhart was seventh, Brian Wing finished ninth and Michael Connelly was 12th for the Mustangs, who beat second-place Dimond by more than two minutes.

Eagle River’s Nick Carl finished 18th to lead the Wolves.

Though she’s a gifted multisport athlete, Bekah Smith’s biggest strength might be what’s between her ears.

“She is very deliberate in her attention to detail,” said Smith’s club volleyball coach Rachel Vandermartin during a National Letter of Intent signing ceremony Jan. 11 in the Chugiak High library.

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.

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