Chugiak shakes off loss to Dimond to claim third place
A second-place finish in conference and third in state is less than the 18-11 regular season Chugiak Mustangs wanted, but still a strong finish overall, and their best result in many a year.
To get there, the Mustangs dominated in overtime of the third-place game against West Anchorage in the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 4A Boys Basketball State Championships.
Chugiak defeated the Eagles 62-54 for the second time in as many weeks in a playoff setting.
The Mustangs, who lost 51-30 in the semifinals last Friday to defending state champion Dimond, saw a 10-point fourth quarter lead disappear as West rallied to force overtime before righting themselves for a 62-54 victory.
Hunter Harr led the way with 15 points, Tyler Trevino sank 13, Lincoln Oldham dropped 11 and Derryk Snell put in nine. Anthony Jones followed with 8, Kade Worley 4 and Joe Groth 2.
Chugiak got to the foul line a whopping 32 times against West, converting 21 attempts, and forced 30 turnovers with Trevino collecting 6 steals in the game.
The 2-1 record in the state tournament left Chugiak 20-12 on the season.
Snell, whose buzzer-beater with less than a second left in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament semifinals sealed the state tournament berth, and Harr received All-Tournament honors for the Mustangs.
Groth came off the bench for Ty Carlos, who injured an ankle in the first half, contributing 3 rebounds, two points, a steal and an overall stabilizing influence on the floor, according to head coach Jocquis Sconiers.
The senior-laden team will leave Sconiers with much the same scenario as when he arrived four years ago: a young and inexperienced varsity as sophomore Austin Harr will be the lone returning Mustang.
A major contributor off the bench, junior Oldham is scheduled to transfer out with his family.
“We have a pretty good freshman class that has been playing JV, so we’ll take our lumps, but hopefully they have the same dedication and work ethic of those that are leaving us,” Sconiers said.
“We came from being the last seed in the entire state our freshman year,” said Carlos as he hobbled out of the Alaska Airlines Center. “It’s nice to be able to look back and see the progression. Hopefully, it’ll pave the way for the younger kids to come up.”
Under Sconiers, the Mustangs have come from a 2-10 season in 2014-15 to this season’s results.
“We came from finishing last amongst the 4A teams,” laughed Sconiers. “So I think we’ve shown some growth. We’re different from the other schools in the area who have a pool of kids to choose from,” he said.
“We get ‘em how we get ‘em and we try to raise ‘em up.”
Chugiak 30, Dimond 51
As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for. The Mustangs wanted this matchup badly, a game to avenge their Cook Inlet Conference championship overtime loss to the defending champion Lynx.
In the end, it was just too much Dimond, who extended a seven-point halftime lead into a 51-30 rout and a return to the state championship game with Wasilla Saturday night.
The Lynx trapped and pressured the Mustangs, who were 9 of 28 from the field and out-rebounded by a 39-24 margin.
Leading scorer and senior Derryk Snell summed it up by saying that, “we just didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to have, and we didn’t execute.”
“It was our fourth time playing Dimond… sometimes you just mess up, and that’s what we did.”
Chugiak 42, West Valley 38
The Chugiak Mustangs’ “Sweat Equity” motto was on display throughout the first round of their 42-38 win against West Valley.
After trailing by a point entering the fourth quarter, their dominant inside play and key offensive rebounding kept the Wolfpack at bay and set a return matchup with defending state champion Dimond on Friday at 5 p.m.
Hunter Harr, Ty Carlos and Lincoln Oldham combined for the final three Mustang offensive rebounds to seal the win after the team had given up a 21-16 halftime lead.
A strong start by the Mustangs had them up by a 16-7 margin after the first quarter, and 21-16 at the half, but as the third quarter played out, West Valley stormed back to take the lead by one.
The Pack could not hold on as the Mustangs outscored it 12-7 in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Trevino kept the outside pressure on as he made two of his four long-range attempts, and sank several free throws in the games final moments. He also led the scoring with 14 points.
Derryk Snell led the team in rebounding with 10; Carlos had 6 and Lincoln Oldham and Harr snagged 4 apiece. Carlos and Harr chipped in 9 and 8 points, respectively.
Called out for special praise was Lincoln Oldham, who coach Jocquis Sconiers said “really stepped up” with 6 points and 4 rebounds.
Oldham, for his part, said “I’m just trying to do my part.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled the names of Chugiak player Derryk Snell and coach Jocquis Sconiers.