4A boys: East bests Palmer on first round

Jeremy Peters
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Barrow defeated Seward 50-30 in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated Thunder Mountain boys 60-56 in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Juneau-Douglas cheer squad performs as the Crimson Bears take on Wasilla at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Savannah Burke of Wasilla goes up for a shot against Juneau-Douglas during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Gabi Fenumiai of Juneau-Douglas scores over Cassidy Edwards of Wasilla during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Marissa Brakes of Juneau-Douglas goes to the basket around Jenna Ford of Wasilla during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Alexis Imoe fires a shot from the corner against Juneau-Douglas during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Marissa Brakes of Juneau-Douglas escapes pressure from Wasilla defenders to pass the ball during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Kayla Balovich of Juneau-Douglas grabs a rebound despite interference from Machia Towes of Wasilla during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Emily Winters of Juneau-Douglas launches a shot against Wasilla during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Daniel Head of Nome and Augustus Simmers of ACS reach for a rebound during action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Jenna Ford of Wasilla puts up a shot against Juneau-Douglas defender Kaitlin Fagerstrom during action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Calvin Hoffman of ACS dribbles between Nome defenders during action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Jalen Terry of ACS goes up for a shot against Nome during action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Dominique Hall of Nome battles ACS defenders to put up a shot during action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nome fans encourage their team in a game with ACS during action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
The Colony High Knights defeated the West High Eagles 44-35 in 4A Alaska state Championship girls basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Lynette Hepa, of the Barrow Whalers, blocks the shot of Jasmine Perea, of the Seward Seahawks, in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. Barrow defeated Seward 50-30.
Bob Hallinen
Dana Chrestman, of the Barrow Whalers, goes up to block the shot of Jasmine Perea, of the Seward Seahawks, in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. Barrow defeated Seward 50-30.
Bob Hallinen
Hunter Eisenhower, of the Colony High Knights, makes a move with the ball as Vili Tupou, of Thunder Mountain, defends with Nathan Unbarger, of Colony being defended by Ben Jahn, of Thunder Mountain. Colony went on to a 60-56 win over the Thunder Mountain Falcons in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
Colony High Knights head coach Tom Berg talks to his players during a time out as the Knights are on there way to a 60-56 win over the Thunder Mountain Falcons in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena.
Bob Hallinen
David Stepovich of the Monroe Rams, blocks the pass of Hans Karlberg, of the Grace Christian Grizzlies, as he tries to get rid of the ball from the floor in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. The Rams defeated the Grizzlies 50-29.
Bob Hallinen
Tyler Wells, of the Monroe Rams, goes out of bounds chasing a loose ball against the Grace Christian Grizzlies in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. The Rams defeated the Grizzlies 50-29.
Bob Hallinen
Frank Ostanik, head coach of the Monroe Rams, yells out instructions to his team against the Grace Christian Grizzlies in 3A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. The Rams defeated the Grizzlies 50-29.
Bob Hallinen
Theyyoung Pauy, of the West High Eagles, and Izzy Tweed, of the Colony Knights, go for the ball in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. The Knights defeated the Eagles 44-35.
Bob Hallinen
Shiccia Harris-Grant, of the West High Eagles, drives past Audrey Michaelson, of the Colony Knights, in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. The Knights defeated the Eagles 44-35.
Bob Hallinen
Jennifer Solano, of the Colony Knights, gets her hands on the ball as she and teammate Audrey Michaelson and West High's Shemeah Keisala-Jones, Chamira Cockerham, and Alistie Aguilar go for the ball in 4A Alaska state Championship basketball on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Sullivan Arena. The Knights defeated the Eagles 44-35.
Bob Hallinen
Jasmine Bourne of West Valley tries to split Dimond defenders during fourth-quarter action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Hannah Mattson of West Valley loses the ball while defended by Ione Fischer of Dimond during fourth-quarter action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Caitlyn Brice and her West Valley teammates absorb a tough 42-41 loss to Dimond at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Dimond celebrates escaping with a comeback 42-41 win over West Valley at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The ball gets away from Theresa Sample of West Valley, left, as she is defended by Tara Thompson of Dimond during fourth-quarter action at the 4A girls state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Dimond fought back to claim a 42-41 win.
Erik Hill
Leo Ford of Mt. Edgecumbe, left, challenges Jacob Perez of Valdez for the ball during first-half action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Valdez fans cheer on their Buccaneers during first-half action against Mt. Edgecumbe at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Donald Edenshaw of Mt. Edgecumbe puts up a shot against Valdez during first-half action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Mark Morry of Mt. Edgecumbe is tightly defended under the basket during first-half action against Valdez at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The Valdez cheer squad encourages the Buccaneers during first-half action against Mt. Edgecumbe at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Alan Fisher of Mt. Edgecumbe avoids drawing a foul while defending Alec MacDonald of Valdez during first-half action at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Alex MacDonald of Valdez hauls in a full-court pass during first-half action against Mt. Edgecumbe at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The Mt. Edgecumbe cheer squad encourages the Braves during first-half action against Valdez at the 3A boys state basketball tournament Thursday March 21, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill

East seniors Jarred Laws and Xavier Johnson each scored 17 points Thursday and the Thunderbirds collectively scrapped and hustled their way into the semifinals of the Class 4A boys basketball tournament with a 68-61 win over Palmer.

"It's a good moment for the seniors," Laws said "We're enjoying it."

Though the score was relatively close throughout, East's defense consistently made things difficult for the Moose and helped set up plenty of easy buckets at Sullivan Arena.

Johnson and his sophomore brother Desmond Johnson (nine points) repeatedly harassed the Palmer guards and came up with several key plays to help seal the win.

The brothers' biggest highlight came when Desmond made one of his team-high three steals near half court and flipped a no-look pass over his head toward a streaking Xavier. The wide open fast break looked like it might end with a dunk from Xavier, but he settled for a soft layup over the front of the rim to put East up 57-45 with just more than four minutes to play.

The Johnson brothers spend a lot of time talking about basketball after each game and scheming ways to improve, Desmond said, and that creates a bit of an extra special connection between them on the court.

"It's fun playing with him, my brother," Desmond said. "When he's open, he's open and when you see him you hit him."

Palmer senior Connor Looney led all scorers with 32 points on 10 of 22 shooting, consistently breaking East's defensive pressure and showing off a soft shooting touch from all over the court. Looney briefly left the game with a leg cramp in the final minute, but returned in time to bank in a 3-pointer from the top of the key with six seconds to play, making the score 66-61.

"We played our hearts out," Looney said. "There were key possessions we needed to take care of the ball and we didn't do that."

East, which finished second to Service in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament earlier this month, has had an up-and-down season, but East coach Josh Muelenkamp said he thinks the Thunderbirds put together a solid game Thursday.

Matthew Hardwick added 13 points for the Thunderbirds and Austin Huss contributed 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds

"First game in state for these kids and they played pretty well," Muelenkamp said. "They didn't rely on threes, they attacked the basket and when they play defense in a collective group, they can be pretty good in spurts."

 



Service 65, Dimond 46

In a rematch of last season’s state title game, top-seeded Service let eighth-seeded and defending champion Dimond hang around until halftime, but eventually put the hammer down in a 65-46 victory. 

The Cougars, led by 22 points from Adam Klie, led from the outset and outscored Dimond 41-29 in the second half. Marques Robinson kicked in 20 points for Service and Amu Aukusitino scored 13. 

Dimond’s Damon Cikanek knocked in 5 of 6 shots from beyond the arc to finish with 22 points and Payton Lauwers added 12. 



West 57, Lathrop 55

The West Eagles survived a fierce Lathrop comeback to win 57-55, getting the winning basket from Theo Oghide with 1:35 remaining.

West led 41-30 at halftime, but the Malemutes turned things around with a 18-6 third quarter. Tremon Washington and Gabriel Cunningham combined for 15 points and Kyle Carlson buried a 3-pointer with four seconds to lift Lathrop to a 48-47 lead -- its first of the game -- going into the fourth quarter.

Oghide, a 6-foot-7 junior, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Markiss Ailey added 15 points and seven points for the Eagles. Seven players had steals for West, which harassed the Malemutes for 12 steals and benefitted from 20 turnovers overall.

Cunningham's 15 points and Washington's 13 led Lathrop.

 

Colony 60, Thunder Mountain 56

Colony's free throws warded off Thunder Mountain's 3-pointers in the final three minutes of Colony's thrilling 60-56 victory.

The Knights sank 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch, getting six from Joe Gray and four from Damien Fulp, to offset Thunder Mountain's 3 of 4 shooting from 3-point range.

Matt Seymour's trey for Thunder Mountain cut West's lead to 58-56 with five seconds left. The Falcons fouled Gray right away, and the senior guard hit both free throws to cement the win.

Gray pumped in a game-high 23 points, making all nine of his free throws and draining four of five from 3-point range. Fulp finished with 11 points and four assists, Hunter Eisenhower scored 13 points and Nathan Umbarger collected eight rebounds for Colony.

Seymour fueled the Falcons with 19 points and eight rebounds, Sam Jahn scored 13 points and Ben Jahn 10.

The game was decided at the foul line, where Colony was 20 of 22 and Thunder Mountain was 9 of 16.

 

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335. Sports editor Beth Bragg contributed to this report.

 


By JEREMY PETERS
jpeters@adn.com