Chugiak boys knock off pair of Outside teams to take 3rd at West hoops tourney
Chugiak emerged from the toughest schedule of the Alaska Airlines Classic basketball tournament with some hard-earned hardware.
The Mustangs knocked off a pair of Outside opponents in three days to claim the tournament's third-place title.
Chugiak got 14 points from Terrance Coates, 12 from Hunter Harr and 10 from Tyler Trevino to claim a 54-49 win over Rufus King of Milwaukee, Wisc. The victory came two nights after Coates nailed a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer to give the Mustangs a 57-55 victory over British Columbia Christian Academy — a team featuring nine players 6-foot-5 or taller. .
"It was a big win, it was like David and Goliath," said Chugiak Jocquis Sconiers after his team's only loss of the tournament, a 63-43 semifinal setback at the hands of eventual tournament champions Riverview of Sarasota, Florida.
The tournament included a mix of Alaska and Outside programs and regularly features teams loaded with players bound for college basketball.
Defense was the key to Chugiak's success. The Mustangs held Rufus King without a double-digit scorer Saturday, and relentlessly denied the ball to B.C. Academy's best player, 6-foot-5 senior guard Keenan Dowell Thursday.
Things looked to be much the same in Friday's semifinal as Riverview took a 24-23 lead into the half. But the Mustangs finally ran out of gas down the homestretch, giving up a 16-0 run to start the third quarter and never again challenging.
Hunter Harr had nine points to lead Chugiak Friday night, followed by Tyler Trevino (8), Ty Carlos (7), Josh Wilson (6), Kade Worley (5), Karletty Faamatuinu and Coates (3 each); and Parker Stone (2).
Riverview got scoring from 10 different players and were led by 18 from tournament MVP Brion Whitley and 17 from A.J. Caldwell.
Riverview went on to run away with the tournament title Saturday night, again getting 18 from Whitely to down West, 86-54.
Chugiak returns to Cook Inlet Conference play on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. against Service at Service.