Golden Bears too much for Wolves
Bartlett ended Eagle River’s girls basketball season with a 60-37 win in the first round of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament Monday, March 4 at West High.
The seventh-seeded Wolves led after the first quarter and trailed by six at the half. But No. 2 Bartlett extended its lead to 11 after the third and pulled away in the final eight minutes.
“For three quarters we hung really well with them,” Wolves’ head coach Princella Jones said.
Lauren Frost paced Eagle River with 14 points. Samantha Coy and Shekinah Young scored seven apiece.
With the game still close, the Wolves lost one of their top offensive threats when Dana Panfil fouled out with 1:18 to play in the first half. Panfil let her emotions get the better of her and uttered an obscenity following her fourth foul and was given a technical, which ended her night.
The loss had a major effect on the game, Jones said.
“Had Dana stayed, the outcome would have been different,” she said. “It really took away from us when she fouled out.”
Eagle River is not the same team it was to start the season, Jones said.
“The last two weeks have definitely showed the hard work the girls put in has paid off,” she said.
“We’ve definitely grown as a team,” she said. “We definitely bonded.”
Overall, the season was a step in the right direction for the program, Panfil said.
One of five seniors, Panfil said she’ll miss her teammates.
“I’ll definitely miss the crazy practices we have,” she said.
The other departing seniors include Mikayla Smith-Douglas, Cecilia Bergqvist, Karolena Williams and Danielle Crow. Though she’s losing half her team, Jones said she’ll enter next season more prepared after having the summer to workout with next year’s squad.
“We’ll be ready,” she said.
Replacing a player like Panfil won’t be easy, Jones said, but she’s encouraged by the young incoming talent that will join her returners.
As for Jones, her first year running the program was enjoyable.
“I had a blast,” she said.
Chugiak’s No. 5 girls team played No. 4 South Wednesday, but a score was not available when the Star went to press.