Chugiak girls make state after capturing third at CIC

Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 16:17
  • Chugiak’s Patricia Houser drives to the hoop during their semifinal game against East High. Houser had 11 points in the game. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinneen)
  • Chugiak’s Eva Palmer drives past East’s Kimora Nicdao during the Lady Mustangs’ 56-46 Cook Inlet Conference tournament semifinal loss to the Thunder Birds last Friday March 9. Palmer was named to the All-CIC team. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinneen)
  • Chugiak’s Chastity Horn fends off the defense of East’s Skye Miller during the Lady Mustangs’ 56-46 Cook Inlet Conference tournament semifinal loss to the Thunderbirds last Friday March 9. Horn was named to the All-CIC team. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinneen)

Chugiak’s girls earned an at-large bid to the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships with a win in the third-place game of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament last Saturday.

The Lady Mustangs (18-6, 11-5) held off Bartlett for a 55-51 win led by 18 points from Eva Palmer and 11 from Chastity Horn. Both earned All-CIC team honors.

“They came out a lot stronger than we thought they would,” Palmer said. “They didn’t have anything to lose. I give them credit for giving us a run for our money.”

Looking ahead to the state tournament next week, the girls open with Wasilla Thursday, March 22, 8 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA Campus.

After creaming South High 50-29 to open the CIC last Wednesday, March 7, Chugiak faced a one-point deficit to open the second half against East in the semifinals.

But a subpar performance in the third quarter led to a 17-point deficit they were unable to overcome in a 56-46 loss to the T-Birds.

In the third they scored only four points and committed numerous fouls, turnovers and passing errors. Coach Ryan Hale thought his team played well in the first half, but that effort didn’t carry over to the third period.

“We just took the third quarter off,” he said.

A fourth-quarter surge brought the Mustangs within 10, but no closer.

Palmer led with 12 points; Patricia Houser had 11, Chastity Horn had 10 and Caitlin Wachman 8. Cheyenne Young and Ari Lewis chipped in 3 and 2 points, respectively.

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