We're one game into the Cook Inlet Conference boys basketball season, and things are already interesting.
Two teams that made it to the state tournament last season suffered home-court losses Monday on the opening night of action. Eagle River knocked off Dimond 49-45 at Dimond, and West outlasted Service 58-54 at Service.
Avoiding a similar fate was East, the defending state champ which opened at home with a comfortable 78-53 win over South.
East, Service, West and Dimond all represented the CIC at state last year.
West 58, Service 54
Deandre Wilson scored 10 points in the final quarter to power West past defending CIC champion Service 58-54.
West outscored Service 19-17 in the final eight minutes to preserve the victory.
Wilson and Brandon Huffman delivered double-doubles for the Eagles, with Wilson coming up with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Hoffman contributing 13 points and 11 rebounds. D.J. Harrison chipped in eight points and five steals.
Service, the runnerup at the state tournament, displayed a balanced offense led by 14 points from Reece Robinson and 10 from Nathan Ferguson. The Cougars, runnersup at last year's state tournament, led 25-23 at the half.
Eagle River 49, Dimond 45
Eagle River took the early lead and never trailed in its 49-45 win of Dimond.
The Wolves led 19-12 after one quarter and by as many as 11 points in the third quarter before Dimond closed the gap.
The win probably qualifies as an upset, given Dimond's track record, but it wasn't a complete surprise -- Eagle River beat Dimond in the first round of last season's CIC tournament.
Daniel Dirscherl tallied a team-high 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds for the Wolves. Eric Anderson added 11 points and three steals, and Thomas Jones chipped in nine points and seven rebounds.
Zach Deloney's game-high 19 points led the Lynx. Muhamad Cole added 15 points, and Austin Osborne was a defensive force with 10 rebounds, eight on the defensive end, and five blocks.
Bartlett 77, Chugiak 49
Led by Bradley Johnson's 19 points, Bartlett landed four players in double figures in a 77-49 road win over Chugiak.
Benti Panoam added 11 points and Marquis White and Payton Fullmer each added 10 for the Golden Bears.
Matt Oldenkamp and Jared Phearson scored 10 points apiece for Chugiak.
East 78, South 53
Defending state champion East opened the CIC season with a big win, using Desmond Johnson's 22 points to bury South 78-53.
Eudy Gomez added 12 points for the Thunderbirds.
Anchorage Daily News