Anchorage — The defending champion Newhalen girls were among 16 Class 1A basketball teams to earn victories Saturday in the first round of the Alaska School Activities Association state tournament. South and West High each hosted four girls games and four boys.
Saturday's winning teams advance to a championship bracket and will begin battling for a state title at Sullivan Arena on Monday. Saturday's losing teams move into a single-elimination consolation bracket and will play at West High on Monday.
The Newhalen girls rolled to an 81-36 win over Golovin in an early game at South High, highlighted by 21 points apiece from Ayla Rickteroff and Kelsea Wassillie.
The Klawock boys, led by 23 points from Tyrus Morgan, turned in one of the biggest wins of the day, downing Russian Mission 75-36 at South High.
The narrowest victory on the girls side came from Aniak, Trisha Morgan pumping in a team-high 15 points to help edge Noorvik 48-46 in a late game at West High.
The Scammon Bay boys also escaped with a two-point victory, slipping past Alak 53-51 in a late game at South High. Hubba Jay Charlie led the way for Scammon Bay with 20 points.