Florida team hangs on to take tourney title at West

sports@adn.comJanuary 18, 2014 

Trandon Smith's putback with four seconds lifted the Dillard Panthers of Florida past Utah's Wasatch Academy 75-74 in Saturday's championship game of the eight-team Alaska Airlines Classic boys basketball tournament at West High.

Dillard survived a 32-point fourth quarter by Wasatch, which nearly came back from a 10-point deficit after three quarters.

The teams combined for 55 points in the final eight minutes and traded the lead four times.

With four seconds left, Dillard's Cedric Wright went to the foul line for a one-and-one. His shot clanged off the front of the rim and Smith swooped in for the rebound and the putback.

The outcome spoiled Wasatch coach Geno Morgan's homecoming. Morgan was a star guard for Alaska Pacific back in the 1980s and coached at East, Palmer and UAA during his 11 years in Alaska.

In the title game, Dillard landed four players in double figures. Tyson Grace led the way with 19, followed by Kelon Farrington (15), Wright (13) and Arthur Kennedy (13).

Cody Long sank four of eight from 3-point range en route to 32 points for Wasatch, which only placed six players in the scoring column. Geno Lozcando added 13 points and six steals, Alex Baptist came through with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Koby McEwen added 12 points.

In other games Saturday, a Texas team claimed third place and a pair of Class 3A teams got the best of a pair of Class 4A teams.

Christian Life of Houston routed Sitka 74-46 in the third-place game, while Anchorage Christian and Nome collected wins over West and Wasilla, respectively.

Christian Life's Chris Smith hit 14 of 20 shots on his way to a game-high 30 points to go along with six rebounds, six steals and six assists.

Coming up with a big game for Sitka was Brian Way, who pumped in 29 points on 12 of 27 shooting. Torrell Sutton added 18 points for the Wolves.

In earlier games, Anchorage Christian edged West 57-53 in the fourth-place game and Nome slipped past Wasilla 49-45 in the seventh-place game, giving the Class 3A schools bragging rights over their bigger Class 4A foes.

Levi Auble led ACS with 16 points and six rebounds, an effort that included three 3-pointers. Immanual Lopez contributed 12 points, five rebounds and four steals, and he hit all eight of his free throws to help ACS win the game at the foul line. ACS was 23 of 25 from the line, West was 3 of 7.

Deandre Wilson scored 17 points and Da'Zhon Wyche 16 for the Eagles.

In their win over Wasilla, the Nome Nanooks got a big boost from Cass Mattheis, who suppled 22 points and 11 rebounds. Klay Baker added 14 points.

Wasilla was led by Alex Baham (15 points) and Cash McGregor (10 points, 9 rebounds).

Alaska Airlines Classic
West High
Saturday's games

1st place -- Dillard 75, Wasatch Academy 74
3rd place -- Christian Life 74, Sitka 46
4th place -- ACS 57, West 53
7th place -- Nome 49, Wasilla 45

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