Chugiak makes state tourney after buzzer-beating win in semis
After knocking off West High with a buzzer-beating shot in the semifinals the night before, Chugiak couldn’t find the same magic against the Dimond Lynx last Saturday and fell in the Cook Inlet Conference championship by a final of 56-52 in overtime.
The runner-up finish in the CIC earned the Mustangs (18-11, 11-6) a berth in the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships and they’ll face West Valley next Thursday, March 22, at 3:30 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA campus.
Several of the Mustangs expressed a desire to play the Lynx (26-1, 16-1) again in the state tournament, including coach Jocquis Sconiers.
“Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see them again,” he said.
The Mustangs placed three players on the All-Conference team: Ty Carlos, Derryk Snell, who hit the game winner the night before against West, and Hunter Harr.
Tyler Trevino led the way for the Mustangs against Dimond with 11 points; Hunter Harr had 10, Lincoln Oldham scored 8, Ty Carlos 7, Derryk Snell and Josh Wilson both scored 6 and Anthony Jones 4.
The Mustangs spent most of the first half altering shots with the taller Lynx in their faces and trudging to the lane as Chugiak committed 10 fouls. Dimond’s Evan Hoosier was especially effective in the middle of the key on defense.
Still, the Mustangs opened the second half with only a four-point deficit. But the Lynx used a full court press to create a pair of turnovers and increase their lead to seven after only two minutes.
Battling back with outstanding defensive play, the Mustangs trailed by only one as the fourth quarter opened, tied the game late at 45 and defended well in the final seconds when Dimond had the last possession.
Overtime, however was all Lynx as they made a dozen trips to the foul line, converting nine times and dropping a three-pointer.
“It was hard,” Carlos said. “We did everything we could, but it didn’t turn out the way we wanted. But we can’t complain. Hopefully, we’ll come back down and see them again.”
Snell beats buzzer
As the Alaska gridiron player of the year who spent a good portion of his career in opponents’ end zones, Derryk Snell is no stranger to clutch situations.
With Friday’s CIC semifinal playoff game at West tied at 43 and less than a second remaining in the game, Snell delivered yet again for the Mustangs as he grabbed a rebound and dropped an 8-foot fadeaway dagger through the hearts of the West High Eagles, giving his team a berth in Saturday’s final with the Dimond Lynx.
Snell wasn’t the only Mustang to step up for the Mustangs on this night. Ty Carlos sacrificed the body to the tune of earning five charging fouls before his sixth attempt was called for blocking and he fouled out in the final minute of play.
The defensive nature of this game showed in the scoring as no Mustang player scored in double digits. Anthony Jones led the way with 9; Tyler Trevino had 8, Josh Wilson and Ty Carlos 6 each, Hunter Harr and Derryk Snell 5 apiece and Lincoln Oldham and Kade Worley both chipped in 3.
After an 8-7 first quarter, the game opened up while the Mustangs managed to keep the taller Eagles off the boards. In one key sequence, Hunter Harr laid in a bucket after teammates captured two offensive rebounds and the Mustangs led 22-19 at the half.
The Eagles opened the second half with a couple of steals and scores to lead by five, and it took Carlos taking a charge and Tyler Trevino with two consecutive steals and scores to grab the momentum back and lead by seven at the end of three.
West fought back to tie the game in the fourth quarter, and with time nearly gone, Oldham found himself at the foul line with two chances to chances to break a tie with 0.9 seconds left and his coach imploring him to “take his time.”
After the second of two misses by Oldham, Snell found a way to the ball and got up his buzzer-beating shot, setting his teammates and fans ablaze with joy and a date with Dimond for the championship Saturday night.
Head coach Jocquis Sconiers expressed his happiness in his team’s performance in the locker room
“I’m just so happy for these kids, it’s been four years, and they’ve been fighting and fighting. Our sweat equity has finally paid off. Tonight’s a special night,” he said.
Eagle River earns honors
The Wolves’ season ended in the first round of the CIC with a 79-62 loss to East last Wednesday.
Still, Eagle River’s improvement this season was recognized with All-Conference selections for Ryan Adkins and Aaron Davis, who had 23 points against East, and Coach of the Year for Bob Adkins.
Adkins led the turnaround for Eagle River this year with a 12-12 regular season record and 6-8 in the CIC compared to a 6-15 overall mark and 2-13 in conference last year.