Noorvik boys win championship

Doyle Woody
Tikigaq's Heather Minnix is hugged by a teammate following the team's championship win in the girls' Division 2A prep basketball championship final Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska. At left is teammate Ooyuan Lane.
Michael Dinneen /
Cook Inlet's Meghan Powers drives past Tikigaq's Amanda Sage during the Division 2A prep basketball championship final Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Michael Dinneen /
At right, Cook Inlet's Nicole Moffis, middle, steals the ball from Tikigaq's Jasmine Tooyak during the girls' Division 2A prep basketball championship final Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska. Cook Inlet's Kelsie Leaf closes in at left.
Michael Dinneen /
From left, Tikigaq's Helen Minnix, Ooyuan Lane and Heather Minix celebrate their Division 2A prep basketball championship win Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Michael Dinneen /
At left, Scammon Bay's Aguchak knocks the ball away from Noorvik's Patrick Smith during their division 2A prep championship final Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. At right is Scammon Bays's Chance Hunter.
MICHAEL DINNEEN /
Noorvik's Elmer Armstrong III is pressured by the defense of Scammon Bay's Chance Hunter, left and Scott Kaganak during their division 2A prep championship final Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska.
MICHAEL DINNEEN /
Casey Sherman of Golovin drives to the basket against Nunamiutat the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Zaccharias Nay of Nunamiut is hounded by Golovin defenders at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Thomas Amaktoolik of Golovin shoots against Nunamiut defender Zaccharias Nay at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Zaccharias Nay of Nunamiut puts up a shot against Golovin at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Timothy Ahgook of Nunamiut has his shot stopped by Thomas Amaktoolik of Golovin, who earns a jump ball on the play at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Golovin claimed a 65-57 win to move on to the championship game.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Timothy Ahgook of Nunamiut has his shot stopped by Thomas Amaktoolik of Golovin, who earns a jump ball on the play at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Golovin claimed a 65-57 win to move on to the championship game.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
William Paneak of Nunamiut is defended by Casey Sherman of Golovin as he drives to the hoop at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kelsie Leaf of Cook Inlet Academy, right, hugs Sara Carl of Klawock following a semifinal game at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Cook Inlet Academy won 51-45 to advance to the 2A championship game.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Jill Carle of Klawock grabs a turnover but draws a foul from Keely Powers of Cook Inlet Academy at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. Cook Inlet Academy nevertheless prevailed in a tight game 51-45 to advance to the championship game.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Erin Soderberg of Klawock fires a jumper against Cook Inlet Academyat the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Megan Bauder of Cook Inlet Academy passes the ball against Klawock at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Klawock fans watch their Lady Chieftains battle Cook Inlet Academyat the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Meghan Powers of Cook Inlet Academy launches a shot against Klawock at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kelsea Wassillie of Newhalen smiles as she brings the ball up court against Fort Yukon at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Newhalen fans cheer their Lady Malamutes on to a 49-36 win over Fort Yukon at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Newhalen fans cheer their Lady Malamutes on to a 49-36 win over Fort Yukon at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ayla Rickteroff of Newhalen, right, protects the ball from April Peter of Fort Yukon at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Newhalen claimed a 49-36 win to advance to the finals.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kandace Carroll of Fort Yukon finds a tough road to the basket as Kelsea Wassillie of Newhalen defends at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. Newhalen won 49-36 to move on to the 1A championship game.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Mariah Peter of Fort Yukon stretches for a rebound against Newhalen at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ayla Rickteroff of Newhalen, left, draws a foul from Karissa Carroll of Fort Yukon at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ashley Sipary of Chefornak dribbles while pressured by Jessica Kuzuguk, left, and and Renee Kuzuguk of Shishmaref at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Emma Weyiouanna of Shishmaref puts up a shot against Chefornak at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Stacey Panruk of Chefornak draws a foul from Denise Fernandez of Shishmaref at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Renee Kuzuguk of Shishmaref puts up a shot against Chefornak at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Denise Fernandez of Shishmaref puts up a tough shot over Lovina Tunuchuk of Chefornak at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Chefornak moved on to the championship game with a 66-36 win.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Tikigaq defenders force a turnover by Nianiella Dorvall of Nikolaevsk at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Helen Minix of Tikigaq fires a jumper against Nikolaevsk at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Chelsea Tooyak of Tikigaq puts up a shot while defended by Serafima Kalugin, left, and and Nianiella Dorvall of Nikolaevsk at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Caroline Long of Tikigaq takes a moment before running a play against Nikolaevsk at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Nadejda Gordeev of Nikolaevsk puts up a shot from short range against Tikigaq at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Killina Klaich of Nikolaevsk launches a shot from the baseline against Tikigaq at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kayla Stafford of Nikolaevsk puts her body behind a full-court pass against Tikigaq at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Jasmine Tooyak of Tikigaq smiles as time runs out in a 57-26 win over Nikolaevsk to send the Lady Harpooners to the 2A championship game at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Tikigaq fans celebrate a 57-26 win over Nikolaevsk to move on to the 2A championship game at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Tuesday afternoon March 13, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Desiree Demit of Tok passes under pressure from Kayla Stafford, left, and Sophia Kalugin of Nikolaevsk in a 2A game at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Annaliese Thurneau of Tok scores an easy basket against Nikolaevsk following a turnover in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Tre Ann Ewan of Tok, right, tries a shot against Nikolaevsk defenders in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Serafima Kalugin of Nikolaevsk launches a shot at the buzzer to score two points and give her team an 18-17 lead over Tok after one period of 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
After a bounce, the ball finds the cylinder at the buzzer as Serafima Kalugin of Nikolaevsk scores to give her team an 18-17 lead over Tok after one period of 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Sophia Kalugin of Nikolaevsk has a rebound all to herself in a 2A game with Tok at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Megan Hickman of Nikolaevsk puts up a baseline jumper as Tre Ann Ewan of Tok moves over to defend in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kilina Klaich of Nikolaevsk tries an underhand runner in the lane in 2A action against Tok at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kilina Klaich of Nikolaevsk, left, and Sediree Demit of Tok chase after a loose ball in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ashley Sipary of Chefornak looks for help while defended by Josephine Nashookpuk, left, and Lavisa Ahvakana of Alak at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ardyce Nayakik of Alak (Wainwright) shoots over Chefornak defenders Vicki Wisean, left, and Andrea Tunuchuk in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Josephine Nashookpuk of Alak (Wainwright) drives to the hoop against Chefornak in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ardyce Nayakik of Alak drives past a Chefornak defender during 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Fans of Alak School of Wainwright support their team in a 1A game against Chefornak at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Stacey Panruk of Chefornak rolls to the hoop against Alak (Wainwright) in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Barrow cheerleaders support their Alak School neighbors of Wainwright in a 1A game with Chefornak at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Stacey Panruk of Chefornak gets a shot off ahead of defender Lavisa Ahvakana of Alak (Wainwright) in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The Chefornak bench pays attention as the Lady Shamans take a lead in overtime to claim a 46-45 win over Alak (Wainwright) in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Jay Jay Aguvluk of Alak (Wainwright) drives around Chefornak defender Stacey Panruk in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Evelina Ahmaogak of Alak (Wainwright), left, and Stacey Panruk of Chefornak vie for a loose ball in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Stacey Panruk of Chefornak drives through the Alak (Wainwright) defense during overtime at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Chefornak fans celebrate as the Lady Shamans claim a 46-45 overtime win over Alak in 1A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anthony Edenshaw of Hydaburg, left, looks to pass while defended by Patrick Smith of Noorvik during first-half 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
William Carle of Hydaburg throws up a runner against Noorvik in 2A boys action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Francis McKinnley of Hydaburg, left, drives to the basket against Noorvik defender Patrick Smith during 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The Kotzebue cheer squad roots for their Noorvik neighbors as the Bears face off with Hydaburg in 2A boys action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Donald Edenshaw of Hydaburg, right, blocks a shot by Danny Wells of Noorvik during first-half 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Despite this setback, Wells scored 32 points in the 68-54 Noorvik win.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Walter Tebbits of Noorvik, right, drives past Tariel Edenshaw of Hydaburg in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Dylan Keiffer, right, and his Birchwood Christian teammates exult as a last Bristol Bay shot misses the net to seal a 34-33 win in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Mike Rud of Birchwood Christian drives to the basket against Bristol Bay during second-half action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Birchwood Christian fans celebrate a second-half comeback against Bristol Bay for a 34-33 win in 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Everett Moorcroft of Bristol Bay, right, blocks a shot by Tyler Keiffer of Birchwood Christian during second-half action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Birchwood Christian rallied for a 34-33 win in the 2A game.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Mike Rud of Birchwood Christian is squeezed by Bristol Bay defenders Adam King, left, and Sergie Chukwak, right, during second-half action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Birchwood Christian capped a second-half comeback with a thrilling 34-33 win.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Chris Manning of Birchwood Christian lines up a baseline shot against Bristol Bay during second-half 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Sergie Chukwak of Bristol Bay fires a shot past Birchwood Christian defenders during second-half action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Everett Moorcroft of Bristol Bay puts up a shot over Chris Manning of Birchwood Christian during first-half 2A action at the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Fresh from 18 months in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Mike Tomlinson surprises his daughter Josey Tomlinson, an all-state soprano from North Pole High School, after she sings the national anthem to kick off the ASAA/First National Bank of Alaska State High School Basketball Championships Monday morning March 12, 2012 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. Tomlinson, stationed at Ft. Wainwright, arrived in Anchorage early Monday morning, in time to see his daughter perform at 8 a.m. and then walk up behind her as she watched the color guard retreat.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

The basketball game was tied, just 2.1 seconds remained, the Class 2A boys state championship hung in the balance and Elmer Armstrong was headed to the free-throw line Wednesday night inside Sullivan Arena.

"My legs were shaking,'' the senior guard from Noorvik confessed afterward.

From the waist up, though, Armstrong was serene, especially for a guy who had not been to the line all night.

"I'm a pretty good free-throw shooter, so I just stayed calm,'' Armstrong said.

Armstrong made both free throws, and once a desperation heave from beyond half-court by Scammon Bay's Hubba Jay Charlie slammed wide right off the backboard, Noorvik owned a 50-48 victory and another piece of hardwood hardware to add to its remarkable hoops history.

The Bears won their second Class 2A state championship, adding to their 2007 title, which came after six Class 1A titles in the 1990s and 2000s. In the last 27 seasons, the Bears have been in 11 championship games, winning eight of them.

Wednesday's game featured 15 lead changes and five ties in the second half alone. And after Noorvik hit a couple baskets in the opening sequences of the third quarter to cut Scammon Bay's lead to 26-24, the teams only once were separated by more than two points. That three-point lead for Scammon Bay, 35-32, bridged the third and fourth quarters but lasted only about 35 seconds.

"It was really intense,'' said Noorvik's Danny Wells, the Class 2A Player of the Year who led all scorers with 20 points. "There was a lot going on and the atmosphere was great, so it was a great championship game.''

Said Scammon Bay's Charlie, who led his team with 17 points: "It's hard to put into words.''

The first 31 minutes, 57.9 seconds of a 32-minute game featured back-and-forth battling. Noorvik raced to a 9-2 lead before Scammon Bay went on a 16-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to seize an 18-9 advantage. After Scammon Bay led 26-20 at intermission, Noorvik scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 27-26 lead.

After that, it was punch and counterpunch, punch and counterpunch.

Scammon Bay's Elliot Kaganak hit a lay-up with 1:03 left to forge a 48-48 tie, and Noorvik had possession and in-bounded the ball with 48.9 seconds left. The Bears looked for one final shot. The ball ended up in Wells' hands well above the top of the key with about 10 seconds to go. The Blackbirds had him double-teamed as he drifted to his left.

"I looked and there was about seven seconds left, and then I saw my teammate cutting,'' Wells said. "I passed it to him with confidence because he's one of the best free-throw shooters on the team.''

Scammon Bay, Charlie said, was intent on "just trying to defend as well as you can and don't let them shoot the ball.''

As Armstrong collected Wells' pass in the lane and drove to the basket, he was fouled by Justin Ulak, which earned Armstrong two free throws.

Scammon Bay called timeout before Armstrong's first shot. He swished it for a 49-48 Noorvik lead. Scammon Bay called timeout again. Armstrong's second free throw hit the back of the rim, bounced softly up and fell through for a 50-48 lead.

That capped Noorvik's 13 of 19 shooting from the free-throw line. Scammon Bay hit just 4 of 13 free throws.

The Blackbirds, who also received 11 points from Chance Hunter, inbounded from the end line and got the ball to Charlie, who launched a 55-foot prayer.

"I checked to see how straight it was,'' Wells recounted. "I saw it was crooked, and I just put my hands in the air because I knew it was going to miss.''

Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.

Scammon Bay (48) -- J. Ulak 8, Sundown 2, Hunter 11, J. Aguchak 2, S. Kaganak 4, E. Kaganak 4, Charlie 17.

Noorvik (50) -- Armstrong III 8, Hankinson 8, Tebbits 6, Wells 20, Ballot Jr. 2, Smith 6.

Scammon Bay 14 12 9 13 -- 48

Noorvik 9 11 12 18 -- 50

PHOTOS: State Basketball Championships
By DOYLE WOODY
Anchorage Daily News