West's Alaska Airlines Classic basketball tournament tips off Thursday

High school boys basketball teams from Louisiana, Alabama and Florida will be in Anchorage for the Alaska Airlines Classic tournament at West High this week, ready to take on local teams and hoping to see some snow.

Hummer limousines picked up members of the teams from Outside late Wednesday night and took them to The Hotel Captain Cook.   

"They are getting the royal treatment," said West athletic director David Williamson.

Many of the players have never seen snow, Williamson said, and are hoping to see some fall before they leave.   

Defending Class 4A state champion Dimond will join Eagle River, Service, West and Thunder Mountain in representing Alaska in the tournament.

Action begins in front of the West student body Thursday at 12:15 p.m., when West takes on a team from Northwood, La. Play concludes with a championship game Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Eagle River may have drawn the toughest assignment in the Thursday's first round. In the last game of the day, the Wolves will face a team from Sagemont, Fla., that returns four starters to a squad that finished runner-up in the Florida state tournament last season. Sagemont won a state title in 2011.

The Sagemont team isn't scheduled to arrive in Anchorage until around 4:30 p.m., Thursday, meaning players will practically get off a plane and go straight to a game at 7:45 p.m. That doesn't mean Eagle River will find much advantage against a travel-weary opponent, however. 

"Sagemont has seven Division-I caliber players," Williamson said. "They're gonna be the team to beat." 

Service's first game will be against an undefeated team from Hoover, Ala., that Williamson said is 17-0.

Dimond and Thunder Mountain will face off in the first-round's only game involving two Alaskan teams.


Alaska Airlines Classic

Thursday's games

12:15 p.m. -- West vs. Northwood, La.

4:15 p.m. -- Dimond vs. Thunder Mountain

6 p.m. -- Service vs. Hoover, Ala.

7:45 p.m. -- Eagle River vs. Sagemont, Fla.




Bartlett 58, Thunder Mountain 51

Bartlett rallied late to pull away and beat visiting Thunder Mountain 58-51 in a nonconference boys basketball game Wednesday.

T.C. Stanley led the Golden Bears with 19 points, with Bradley Johnson adding 14 and Iziah Sherman-Newsome hit for eight points. 

Matt Seymour topped Thunder Mountain scorers with 16 points.