Spearman leads Mustangs to one-point win over rival Eagle River
Marquis Spearman drained a game-winning free throw with 7.7 seconds left in regulation to lift Chugiak’s boys past rival Eagle River 50-49 and claim the “Birchwood Bowl” traveling trophy Thursday, Feb. 16.
A missed first attempt and deafening noise from Eagle River’s fans weren’t enough to break Spearman’s concentration. Spearman said he didn’t let the pressure get to him after missing his first free throw with the game on the line.
“Just do it like practice,” Spearman said he told himself. “A missed free throw is a missed free throw. You just have to make one of them.”
Wolves’ leading scorer Shaquan Rhoades (18 points) threw up a desperation jumper from the right but missed as time expired.
Chugiak knew Rhoades would be Eagle River’s go-to man, Spearman said, so the team wanted to ensure he didn’t get a good look.
The Mustangs erupted in celebration after earning their first Cook Inlet Conference win of the season over their crosstown rival.
“The whole team is overjoyed,” Spearman said.
The win evened the season series at 1-1. Eagle River downed Chugiak 55-44 on Jan. 18.
This time around, Chugiak played better as a team, Spearman said.
The victory is a huge confidence boost to Chugiak, head coach Kevin Fullmer said.
“It’s a big deal for us,” he said. “I was really proud of them.”
Fullmer said the Mustangs are a different team from the beginning of the season.
“I wish our season started now because they’re ready to roll,” he said.
Chugiak hosts South on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. while Eagle River hosts West the same day and time.
Chugiak 50, Eagle River 11
Ten different players scored points for Chugiak as the Mustangs rolled to a lopsided 50-11 win over CIC rival Eagle River in the girls’ game.
Jessica Tramp led all Chugiak scorers with 13 points. Madison McAleavey chipped in eight points and Alistie Aguilar added seven.
Sam Coy paced the Wolves with six points followed by Lauren Frost with four.
The win gave Chugiak a sweep in the season series. The Mustangs earned a 64-25 win over Eagle River on Jan. 18.
Chugiak hosts South on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. while Eagle River hosts West the same day and time.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org