Chugiak boys win consolation championship
Close games educational for Mustangs, coach says
Chugiak’s Ryan Harris puts up a shot against Haines during the Service Tip-Off Tournament on Dec. 15. The Mustangs lost 38-35. Chugiak rallied for back-to-back wins over Pt. Hope and West Valley to claim the tournament’s consolation championship.
STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER
Chugiak’s boys basketball team rebounded from an opening-round loss to win the consolation championship at the 32nd Annual Cougar Tip-Off Tournament at Service High on Saturday, Dec. 17.
The Mustangs, led by Marquis Spearman’s 11 points, edged West Valley 49-48 in the consolation championship. Steven Puterbaugh and Skyler Fullmer each had 10 points for Chugiak.
Service defeated Eagle River 77-30 to claim the championship. East Anchorage downed Haines 74-52 in the third-place game.
In the consolation championship, the Wolfpack cut Chugiak’s nine-point, halftime lead to five after three quarters of play. West Valley outscored Chugiak 13-9 in the final eight minutes, but the Mustangs hung on for the win.
Spearman, who was named to the all-tournament team, led Chugiak with 14 rebounds. Puterbaugh was also named to the all-tournament team.
Chugiak started the tourney off with a 38-35 loss to Class 3A Haines on Dec. 15. Spearman paced the Mustangs with 10 points and Puterbaugh had nine.
Chugiak followed the close loss with a 75-23 dismantling of Point Hope — the three-time defending Class 2A state champions.
Spearman scored a team-high 17 points. Skyler Fullmer had nine points followed by Payton Fullmer, Matt Oldenkamp and Luke Plumb with eight apiece.
Puterbaugh led Chugiak with 15 rebounds.
Though Chugiak head coach Kevin Fullmer said he’s always happy to get a win, the team benefited more from its two tight games.
“You learn more from close games than you do from blowouts,” he said.
Coach Fullmer said he was pleased with his team’s ability to control the glass.
“Our rebounding is looking good,” he said.
Though the 6-foot-8 Puterbaugh is Chugiak’s lone returner with significant varsity playing time, the rest of the team displayed good hustle in the season’s first games, coach Fullmer said.
“They all showed a lot of willingness to try,” he said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or email@example.com