Eagles fly past Mustangs
Chugiak girls basketball to lose five seniors
Chugiak senior Kenzie Matthis puts up a shot against West on March 6. She is one of five seniors the Mustangs are losing.
West High ended Chugiak’s season with a 75-53 win in the first round of the Cook Inlet Conference girls basketball tournament March 6.
Inconsistency — which has plagued the Mustangs all year — led to the season-ending loss, senior Andre Samaniego said.
“At times, we weren’t completely together,” she said. “This entire season has been a rollercoaster with how we’ve worked together.”
After taking a five-point lead through the first eight minutes, Chugiak was outscored 28-9 in the second quarter. The sixth-seeded Mustangs responded with an 18-point third quarter, but No. 3 West squashed any hopes of a comeback with 20 points in the final period.
Chugiak’s 32 percent shooting percentage was also to blame, Sammi McMullen said.
“A few of our shots didn’t fall,” she said.
The Mustangs needed better rebounding, Kenzie Matthis said.
“We definitely didn’t box out,” she said. “Everybody was guilty of it.”
Committing four more turnovers than West and surrendering 16 steals didn’t help, either, Matthis said.
“It’s a possession game,” she said.
Playing on West’s home court gave the Eagles an advantage, Matthis said.
“It’s always hard winning on the road,” she said. “It’s not an excuse, you still have to play your hardest.”
Samaniego paced Chugiak with 14 points. Brandy Bookout (13 points) and Haley Scott (11) also reached double digits for the Mustangs.
Chanel Bookert scored a game-high 19 points to lead West. Shiccia Harris-Grant and Alistie Aguilar chipped in 13 points each for the Eagles.
Just a year ago, Aguilar scored nearly half of Chugiak’s points in a 44-40 loss to West in the conference semifinals. Seeing her former point guard in an Eagles uniform was awkward, Matthis said.
“It was definitely weird playing against her,” she said.
After upsetting No. 2 Bartlett, West fell to top-seeded Dimond 76-49 in the championship Saturday, March 9.
Despite not qualifying for state for the second straight year, McMullen said her final high school season was enjoyable.
“It was a good team to end on,” she said. “We all had our little nicknames.”
McMullen is one of five seniors graduating from this year’s team. The others include Matthis, Samaniego, Madison McAleavey and Carley Metcalf.
Like McMullen, Matthis said she’ll miss the lightheartedness in the locker room.
“Our team is a very joking team,” she said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.