A second-place finish in conference and third in state is less than the 18-11 regular season Chugiak Mustangs wanted, but still a strong finish overall, and their best result in many a year.

To get there, the Mustangs dominated in overtime of the third-place game against West Anchorage in the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 4A Boys Basketball State Championships.

Chugiak defeated the Eagles 62-54 for the second time in as many weeks in a playoff setting.

Chugiak alum part of DIII champs

The Chugiak SC 05g Thunder team traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the 2018 Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup tournament Feb. 23-25. Their tournament play started with an opening match vs. Real Henderson FC, a local team from Las Vegas. In 40-degree weather and 15 mph winds, CSC Thunder were able to put two shots in the back of the net and seal the win.

Later that same day the Thunder were matched against Lioness FC Toluca, a team from Mexico. Despite another match in freezing cold weather, team Thunder found its stride and won the second match 3-0.

The Birchwood Christian Warriors ran their winning streak to eight straight with a 60-30 win against James C. Isabelle High in the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 1A Basketball State Championships.

Led by seven seniors and making its first state appearance in five years, Birchwood Christian (20-3) is building on its perfect 14-0 conference season and its Peninsula Conference Tournament title.

Up next is Kipnuk today at 5 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA Campus.

Chugiak’s girls earned an at-large bid to the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships with a win in the third-place game of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament last Saturday.

The Lady Mustangs (18-6, 11-5) held off Bartlett for a 55-51 win led by 18 points from Eva Palmer and 11 from Chastity Horn. Both earned All-CIC team honors.

“They came out a lot stronger than we thought they would,” Palmer said. “They didn’t have anything to lose. I give them credit for giving us a run for our money.”

After knocking off West High with a buzzer-beating shot in the semifinals the night before, Chugiak couldn’t find the same magic against the Dimond Lynx last Saturday and fell in the Cook Inlet Conference championship by a final of 56-52 in overtime.

The runner-up finish in the CIC earned the Mustangs (18-11, 11-6) a berth in the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships and they’ll face West Valley next Thursday, March 22, at 3:30 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA campus.

Larry Daugherty, a two-time Iditarod contestant and oncologist at Alaska Cancer Treatment Center in Anchorage, went about his daily routine two weeks ago, unaware that he would be competing in Iditarod 2018.

“I told everyone I was not going to do it,” Daugherty said Friday evening before the ceremonial start in Anchorage.

“But I got a call from Jason Campeau,” who would not be able to run his team due to lingering effects of a concussion that inspired Daugherty to wear a helmet with the note “For Jason” on it.

Employing a stifling trap defense the Chugiak Mustangs held the visiting Eagle River Wolves scoreless for the entire first period of their Saturday night game. On most nights, that portends a good outcome.

This night however, would be different. The Mustangs (15-10, 8-5) led by a scant four points then, and coach Jocquis Sconiers was right to be worried. At the end of yet another pounding Mustangs vs. Wolves basketball game, the annual Birchwood Bowl trophy was being hoisted by the team in dark blue for the first time in quite a few seasons after a 38-31 victory.

The high school cross country skiing season wrapped last week in Fairbanks with local athletes from Chugiak filling up the top spots in the rankings as the girls took third and the boys fourth at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Nordic Ski State Championships.

Powerhouse West Anchorage once again swept both the boys and girls titles led by Cook Inlet Conference skimeisters Molly Gellert and Luke Jager.

Eagle River jumped on East for a 16-point halftime lead and held on for a 66-56 win last Thursday before falling at West over the weekend.

Ryan Adkins exploded for 25 points along with 6 rebounds and Bryson Rollman chipped in 10 for the Wolves against East. Aaron Davis led Eagle River in rebounds with 12 in the win.

For the opening four minutes of last Saturday’s basketball game at West, the Eagle River Wolves couldn’t find the bottom of the net and found themselves in an 8-0 deficit.