CHS girls net first hoops win
Matthis, Scott lead late charge
Chugiak’s Madison McAleavey drives to the hoop against the Jaguars. Chugiak outscored Century 21-11 in the fourth quarter to pick up its first win of the season.
Led by a determined senior and an explosive freshman, the Chugiak girls basketball team dominated the second half to earn a 49-42 win over Century (Hillsboro, Ore.) Dec. 29 in the final game of the Doc Larson Roundball Classic in Wasilla.
“We just wanted to win a game at this tournament,” said Chugiak’s Kenzie Matthis, a senior guard who led all players with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Matthis teamed up with freshman guard Haley Scott (13 points, 6 rebounds) to take over down the stretch. Trailing 31-28 heading into the fourth quarter, the Mustangs finished on a 21-11 tear that began when Scott nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game. On the Jaguars’ next possession, Scott forced a turnover that led to a Matthis lay-up.
“Haley really sparked us,” said coach Ryan Hales.
A Century basket momentarily stopped the onslaught, but Scott answered with another bomb — which Matthis quickly followed with five straight points. When the dust settled, Chugiak was holding a commanding 41-34 lead thanks to a 13-2 run by its dynamic backcourt duo. Century never mounted a challenge.
Hales praised his team for its ability to finish the game strong — something the Mustangs hadn’t done in the first two games of the tournament.
“We finally put four quarters together,” he said.
Senior forward Sammi McMullen added nine points for Chugiak, which also got five points and nine rebounds from sophomore guard Brandy Bookout. The Mustangs held a 46-36 rebounding advantage and held the Jaguars to 26 percent shooting.
Chugiak opened the tournament with a 56-24 loss to powerhouse Wasilla, then collapsed in the second half to drop a 44-25 decision to West Valley. In that game, the Mustangs were outscored 25-6 in the second half, including a 12-1 third quarter.
Matthis said it was nice to be on the other side of things in the tournament finale.
“It’s kind of usually been the opposite for us,” she said.
Matthis said the team hoped to come out and make a statement in the second half against Century.
“We wanted to come back out with fire,” she said.
The Mustangs open their Cook Inlet Conference season Tuesday, Jan. 8 at Bartlett. Though the team enters its CIC season just 1-3 overall, Matthis said she thinks the squad is much better than its record indicates.
“I think we’re going to surprise some people,” she said.
Hales agreed, saying the holiday tournament gave his squad an experience to build on.
“I’m pretty encouraged,” he said.
Hales said he’s been most impressed by his team’s willingness to give maximum effort in practice.
“They work hard together,” he said.
MUSTANGS 49, JAGUARS 42
Chugiak 4 10 14 21 – 49
Century (Ore.) 9 8 14 11 – 42
Chugiak (49) – Samaniego 2 0-1 4, Bookout 1 3-4 5, Matthis 5 5-6 15, McMullen 4 1-2 9, Scott 5 3-7 13, Metcalf 0 0-3 0, McAleavey 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 9-17 49.
Century (42) – VanDomelen 0 3-6 3, Castaneda 2 1-2 6, Kenfield 0 2-2 2, Weber 2 2-8 7, Bevandich 2 1-2 5, Nakano 3 3-4 9, Ellis 5 0-1 10. Totals 14 12-25 42.
Three point goals – Chugiak 4 (Scott 3, McAleavey), Century 2 (Castaneda, Weber). Total fouls – Chugiak 23, Century 18. Fouled out – Bookout, VanDomelen.