CIC HOOPS: Chugiak girls roll, Eagle River boys hang on in crosstown showdowns
What happens when Chugiak and Eagle River get together on a chilly winter night? Everybody wins.
The Mustangs and Wolves split a spirited doubleheader at the Wolves’ Den Friday, with the CHS girls rolling over their crosstown rivals 55-17 and the Eagle River boys taking a 47-45 thriller.
“You always look forward to this game,” said Eagle River’s Ryan Adkins, who scored a team-high 14 points to lead the Wolves. “To come out on top is a really good feeling.”
Chugiak led 24-19 at halftime but managed just five points in the third quarter as the Wolves seized control.
“We tend to play three quarters really well and lose steam,” said Chugiak coach Josi Schultz, whose team fell to 0-6 in the CIC.
The Mustangs had a chance to tie or win at the buzzer, but Jackson Wall’s 3-pointer came up short and the Mustangs weren’t able to get off a follow-up shot before time expired. The large Eagle River crowd stormed the floor in celebration of the win, turning the floor into a sea of red-clad teenagers.
Javan Walker scored 10 points for the Wolves, who improved to 1-4 in the CIC. Sterling Retzlaff and Bryson Rollman had eight each and Mason Piper added seven.
Jared Parks scored a game-high 17 points to lead Chugiak, which got nine from Jackson Wall, eight from Robert Sheldon and six from Owen Lewis.
Fans from both schools wore red to the games in support of the American Heart Association as part of an annual fundraiser held each year during the annual rivalry game at ERHS.
The big crowd made for a raucous atmosphere, which Schultz said was fun to be a part of despite the loss.
“I think it fires them up,” she said of her team.
And the first-year CHS coach promised her squad will use Friday’s loss as motivation when the teams rematch Feb. 26 on Birchwood Loop.
“Oh yeah,” she said. “It’ll be different next time.”
In the opener, the Chugiak girls wasted little time putting the Wolves away, racing out to a 15-2 lead after the first quarter and finishing the game with a running clock due to the mercy rule.
Eight different players scored for Chugiak, led by Cheyenne Young with 19 — including 16 of her team’s 25 points in the second half. Ari Lewis and Carol Houser scored six each for the Mustangs, who improved to 4-2 in the CIC.
Abby Jensen had six points and Grace Harder scored four to lead Eagle River, which dropped to 0-5 in the conference.