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Hot shooting lifts Monroe over ACS in 3A boys final

Doyle Woody
East's Jarred Laws, Service's Reece Robinson and East's Traveon Brackett dive after a ball. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Barrow Whalers fan Donald Adams is happy after the Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News East's Jarred Laws hugs a teammate after the game. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Ihro Raguindin passes the ball out of defense from East's Matthew Hardwick and Eudy Gomez. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Stephanie Nelson and Hilary Lowery, of the Barrow Whalers, race to the bench to celebrate with teammates as the defeat Anchorage Christian 69-59 to win the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News East's Jarred Laws and Desmond Johnson hug as the Thunderbirds celebrate the victory. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Frank Ostanik, head coach of the Monroe Rams, leaps into the arms of his players as as victory is assured with seconds remaining over Anchorage Christian, in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Monroe defeated ACS 60-52.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Service's Marques Robinson works around defense from East's Desmond Johnson. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Scooter Bynum, of the Monroe Catholic Rams, is tripped up by Jalen Terry, of Anchorage Christian, in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Monroe defeated ACS 60-52.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News East's Desmond Johnson lays the ball up. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Michael Hale,of the Monroe Rams, goes up to defend as Jalen Terry, of Anchorage Christian, goes for the basket in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Monroe defeated ACS 60-52.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
The Warriors celebrate their title. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The East bench hope for a three-point basket. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Jalen Terry, of Anchorage Christian, David Stepovich, of Monroe Catholic, Christian Nickerson, of Monroe Catholic, and Christano Lopez, of ACS, look for the rebound in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Monroe defeated ACS 60-52.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Defender Lynette Hepa, of the Barrow Whalers, towers over Michelle Coderre, of Anchorage Christian, as she looks for the basket in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Wasilla's Alysha Devine hugs a teammate after the game. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Service's Adam Klie tries to make a move down low. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
The Warriors greet their fans after the championship win. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Service fans get loud. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Wasilla's Alexis Imoe looks to inbound the ball. Alysha Devine is guarded by Dimond's Tara Thompson and Rohyn Huss. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Marques Robinson tries to pull the ball from East's Matthew Hardwick. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
East's Jarred Laws takes a shot over Service's Kylelle Brown. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Wasilla's Amanda Hutchins keeps the ball from Dimond's Sierra Afoa. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
East's Eudy Gomez tries to save a ball from going out of bounds. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
The Warriors celebrate their title. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Marques Robinson looks at the hoop under defense from East's Travon Brackett and Matthew Hardwick. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Wasilla's Kayla Dinkle, bottom, and Alysha Devine dive for a loose ball. Wasilla beat Dimond to claim the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Adam Klie takes a shot over Easts Eudy Gomez, but an offensive foul was called on the play. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Wasilla fans cheer for their team before tipoff. Dimond faced Wasilla for the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Sierra Afoa and Wasilla's Alysha Devine reach for the ball in the first half. Dimond faced Wasilla for the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Marques Robinson heads to the hoop as East's Travon Brackett defends. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jarred Laws, center, celebrates the championship with his teammates after the final buzzer. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Tara Thompson looks for a pass as Wasilla's Jenna Ford defends. Dimond faced Wasilla for the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Marques Robinson, left, and East's Xavier Johnson race for the ball. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News East circles together to celebrate their victory. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Karenna Liggon steals the ball from Wasilla's Alexis Imoe. Dimond faced Wasilla for the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
East's Jarred Laws tips a pass out of the air from Service's Haney Jacobo. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Thunderbirds celebrate as the final horn sounds. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Sierra Afoa, center, holds the ball from Wasilla's Savannah Burke, left, and Machia Towes. Dimond faced Wasilla for the girls 4A state basketball championship on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
East's Jarred Laws, center, reaches for a rebound. Service played East for the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
The Monroe Catholic Rams defeated the Anchorage Christian Lions 60-52 in the boys 3A Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013.
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News The Barrow Whalers defeated Anchorage Christian in the 3A girls Alaska State Championship basketball game at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday, March 23, 21013. Barrow defeated ACS 69-59. 130323
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News East coach Josh Muehlenkamp pumps his fist. East defeated Service to claim the boys 4A state championship title on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Marc Lester

The way Scooter Bynum approached Saturday afternoon, the past would not be prologue. His scoring deserted him in state championship basketball games the previous two seasons, sure, but he figured that did not serve as adequate reason to shackle his shot the third time around.

And so it was that Monroe Catholic's junior guard came out firing 3-pointers at Sullivan Arena, burying three in the opening minutes and giving the Rams an injection of confidence that spurred a 60-52 victory over Anchorage Christian School in the Class 3A boys title game.

In the third straight championship meeting between the teams, the Rams seized their second straight title.

Bynum kick-started a strong opening and the Rams never trailed after the first minute. When Bynum's shot proved smooth from the outset, the Rams and coach Frank Ostanik knew a repeat was probable.

"That's what sparked it all,'' said Monroe Catholic junior guard David Stepovich. "That gave us all confidence.''

For Bynum, Saturday was all about confidence.

"You've got to believe in yourself and in your game, and coach 'O' gives me that belief,'' Bynum said. "Confidence is everything. I came out and thought, 'I'm going to look for my shot and one of them is going fall,' and all of them did.''

Ostanik said seeing Bynum light it up early was a beautiful vision.

"We tease him,'' Ostanik said. "He really struggled in the first two (state championship games) and it wasn't indicative of how good he is. When he hit those shots, I knew at that point we were going to get a great game from him.''

Bynum scored 16 points to go with four steals and three assists.

Bynum helped propel the Rams to a 13-4 lead in the opening three minutes, when he drained three 3-pointers and Michael Hale made two lay-ups. The Lions, who beat the Rams for the title in 2011, never got closer than eight points in the first half and Monroe led 30-18 at the break.

But ACS winnowed the gap to 32-29 on Nathan Simmers' jumper from the lane midway through the third quarter. The Lions got the deficit down to 40-39 on Calvin Hoffman's baseline jumper with more than five minutes to go in the game.

Jalen Terry buoyed the Lions, scoring 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half and grabbing seven rebounds.

"We were down three, then down eight, then down one, then down eight,'' Hoffman said. "It felt like we couldn't get over the hump. I think we were a little anxious that we were in it.''

Hoffman, who finished with 14 points, said his team's determined rally stemmed from a halftime deliberation of its deficit.

"I said at halftime, 'If the game was over, would you be happy with how you played?' And we weren't, so we went out to do something about it.''

The Lions, who got three key steals from Immanuel Lopez in the fourth quarter, rushed some shots and committed some turnovers when they had the Rams in their sights.

The Rams, meanwhile, never surrendered the lead.

"I think ACS is almost invincible when they play with a lead,'' Ostanik said. "You're going to have to have the toughness to survive their runs, but we think at some point they're going to start forcing shots.

"Our kids persevered. They're exceptionally tough and they buy into what we do, and they're unselfish -- and I think all that comes from great parents.''

Down the stretch, the Rams relied on Stepovich, who made seven of eight free throws in the second half and 11 of 13 in the game on the way to a game-high 19 points.

In the last couple of weeks, Stepovich said, he has taken 300 free throws after practice wrapped, preparing for moments like Saturday.

"Shooting those free throws after practice paid off,'' he said.

ACS has four seniors and Monroe features two, making a fourth straight title game between the teams seem like a decent bet.

"We're looking forward to seeing them next year,'' Bynum said.

 

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

 

Bethel 67, Mt. Edgecumbe 55

Three players scored in double figures to lift Bethel to a 67-55 win over Mt. Edgecumbe in the third-place game.

Theodore Naneng led the way with 17, Carlie Romer added 14 and Taylor Hoffman 12 for the Warriors.

Donald Edenshaw's 14 points and John Peterson's 13 topped Mt. Edgecumbe.

 

Nome 47, Grace 44

Dominique Hall drained a 3-pointer with two seconds left to propel Nome to a thrilling 47-44 win over Grace Christian in the game for fourth place.

Hall finished with 11 points and teammates Klay Baker and Cameron Smith each tossed in 12.

Hans Karlberg, whose 3-pointer for Grace tied the game 44-44 with 50 seconds left, finished with 12 points. Kyle Markel added 11.

 

 


By DOYLE WOODY
dwoody@adn.com