So close! Eagle River drops tight CIC game to South
A 20-point, fourth-quarter surge was enough for South Anchorage to prevent Eagle River’s girls from winning their first basketball game in more than two years.
The visiting Wolverines started the final quarter on a 14-0 run to defeat the Wolves 65-55 on Jan. 6. The loss dropped Eagle River to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Eagle River — which led the entire second and third quarters — couldn’t recover after losing standout Dana Panfil in the first minute of the second half, head coach Terra Bingham said.
“I think they got really rattled when Dana fouled out,” she said.
Despite only playing two quarters, Panfil scored 11 points. Samantha Coy paced Eagle River with 16 points followed by freshman Lauren Frost with 14. Freshman Sabrina Radliff finished with 10 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.
Not having played in many close games, Eagle River fell apart when South took a 51-49 lead with six minutes to play, Bingham said.
“It was nerves,” she said. “We’ve never been there before.”
Though the Wolves missed all seven fourth-quarter free throws, fatigue wasn’t a factor for the seven that saw playing time, Bingham said.
Mistakes were made, Bingham said, but every player made positive contributions.
“We saw amazing things,” she said. “We just need to play together.”
The Wolves’ play also caught the attention of the Wolverines’ coaching staff.
Bingham said South head coach Bonnie Gurney told her this year’s squad is the strongest Eagle River team she’s seen. Bingham agreed.
“This is totally the best I’ve ever seen them play,” Bingham said.
Playing a close game against South is a huge confidence boost to the team, Bingham said.
“Knowing we could have beat them, I know we can beat anyone,” she said. “We learned a lot. Hopefully, this gives my girls confidence knowing they can win.”
Chugiak 46, Service 38
Brandi Bookout and Jessi McMullen had 11 points each to lead Chugiak to a sloppy 46-38 win over Service on Jan. 6 at Chugiak.
Mustangs coach Ryan Hales said his team could have played better in moving to 2-0 in the Cook Inlet Conference.
“We just didn’t click tonight,” he said.
Hales praised his bench players — Bookout in particular — for helping the team win despite not being at its best.
“That’s the reason we won the game,” he said of his reserves.
Madison McAleavey added eight points for Chugiak, which also got four each from Jessica Tramp, Alistie Aguilar and Mina Sayer.
Lynx 66, Chugiak 45
Chugiak dropped its first CIC game of the season with a 66-45 home loss to Dimond on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The Lynx, who had four players in double figures, raced to a 40-25 lead at the half and never trailed in the game.
Alistie Aguilar led Chugiak with 14 points and Jessi McMullen added 10 points and nine rebounds for Chugiak, which fell to 2-1 in the CIC.
Erinn Scotland and Madison McAleavey added six points each for the Mustangs, who don’t play again until their Jan. 18 clash with Eagle River at the Wolves’ Den.
East 80, Eagle River 39
Dana Panfil’s 18 points and five rebounds weren’t nearly enough as the host T-Birds handed Eagle River an 80-39 CIC loss on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Freshman center Taria Paige was too much to handle, racking up 31 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the T-Birds.
Eagle River’s next two games are non conference match-ups against Grace and Seward this weekend. The Wolves host Chugiak on Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m.