Dimond ends Chugiak's boys basketball season
Chugiak’s boys hung with top-seeded Dimond for three quarters, but the Lynx pulled away in the fourth to win 51-34 in the opening round of the Cook Inlet Conference basketball tournament Feb. 29 at West High, ending the Mustangs’ season.
Dimond won the CIC championship 64-51 over No. 3 Bartlett on March 3.
A 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Dimond a six-point lead heading into the final quarter against Chugiak. The Mustangs went more than six minutes without a point in the fourth until Marquis Spearman made a free throw. Dimond held Chugiak to just two fourth-quarter points.
Matt Oldenkamp paced Chugiak with nine points and 11 rebounds. Skyler Fullmer and Payton Fullmer each chipped in seven points.
The Lynx are playing the best basketball of anyone in the state, Mustangs’ head coach Kevin Fullmer said.
Fullmer said Chugiak battled Dimond for a full 32 minutes.
“They went the whole game fighting till the end,” he said. “It was a good team effort.”
Dimond, which hauled in 15 more rebounds than Chugiak, owned the glass, coach Fullmer said.
Defensively, the Mustangs were solid, coach Fullmer said.
“Our team defense was good,” he said.
Chugiak didn’t let Dimond dictate the game, coach Fullmer said.
“We wanted to spread them out and play our game, not their game,” he said.
Coach Fullmer said he was proud his team carried out its game plan and had a chance to come out on top.
“We were in the hunt,” he said. “We wanted to keep it close and try and win at the end.”
Chugiak, which won just two conference games all year, has made massive strides since the beginning of the season, coach Fullmer said.
“Our basketball IQ has really climbed,” he said. “They’re a great group of guys.”
Chugiak will lose six seniors. Those include Spearman, Steven Puterbaugh, Ryan Harris, Travis Craig, Wade Snell and Luke Plumb.