Chugiak girls earn at-large berth to Class 4A state basketball tourney

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 15:15
  • Chugiak’s Hannah Russell shoots a reverse layup in last Thursday’s Cook Inlet Conference tournament win against Bartlett. In the background is the Bears’ Carrington Towns.
  • Chugiak’s Nicole Pinckney fights her way out of the tight Bartlett defense of Kendra Camell, left and Julia Tosi during the Mustangs’ win in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament last Thursday. Photos by Michael Dinneen for the Star

Following a lackluster win over Bartlett to open regional play last week, the Chugiak Mustangs waited until the fourth quarter of their second-round game with East to find their defense. When they did, the Mustang girls erased a 15-point deficit and gave the lady T-Birds all they could handle in an exciting 48-47 loss Thursday, March 10.

In a pair of regular season losses and a similarly disappointing first three-quarters of the tournament game against East, coach Ryan Hales said that the T-Birds had been doing whatever they wanted on the floor, just pushing his team around.  At halftime, he said the Mustangs “just decided they wanted to fight back.”

Junior guard Nicole Pinckney led all scorers with 31 points and grabbed five rebounds in the game.

With their 17-8 regular season record, the Mustangs earned an at-large berth to next week’s state tournament where they will open with a 9 p.m. game Thursday, March 24 against Ketchikan.  All games are at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA Campus.

All games are at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA Campus.

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