Geno Morgan's Utah team survived a furious fourth-quarter comeback by Christian Life of Houston on Friday to advance to the championship game at the Alaska Airlines Classic boys basketball tournament at West High.
Wasatch Academy of Mount Pleasant edged Christian Life 74-71 after squandering a seemingly comfortable lead in the semifinal game.
In the other semifinal, Dillard (Fla.) rolled past Sitka 78-38.
Wasatch, coached by Morgan, a former head coach at East High and Palmer, owned a 19-point lead after three quarters. But Christian Life scored 34 points in the fourth quarter to make it a one-possession game.
Cody John poured in 25 points and Koby McEwen tossed in 21 for Wasatch. Geno Luzcando furnished 12 points, eight rebounds and six steals.
Chris Smith (18 points, 8 steals), Austin Mention (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Omosa Ogunsuyi (16 points) led Christian Life.
In the other semifinal, 14 players posted points for Dillard in the win over Sitka.
Tyson Grace led all scorers with 20 points for the winners. Jordan Wright added 11.
Sitka got a boost from Tevin Bayne (12 points), A.J. Inman (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Brian Way (10 points).
In consolation play Friday, Anchorage Christian pummeled Wasilla 74-45 and West stopped Nome 66-58.
West needed a big fourth quarter to get past Nome, which led 53-49 after the third quarter. The Eagles outscored Nome 17-5 in the fourth quarter.
West was led by Deandre Wilson's 17 points and seven rebounds and Da'Zhon Wyche's 17 points and four steals.
Cass Mattheis (16 points) and Tyler Eide (15) topped Nome.
ACS landed five players in double figures in its win over Wasilla. Levi Auble led the way with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Calvin Hoffman contributed 12 points, six assists and five steals. Others scoring in double figures were Immanual Lopez (15), Bobby Wilson (12) and Nate Simmers (12).
Cameron Brown's 15 points and Cash McGregor's 11 points and seven rebounds paced Wasilla.
Alaska Airlines Classic
West 66, Nome 58
ACS 74, Wasilla 45
Wasatch 74, Christian Life 71
Dillard 78, Sitka 38
1:30 -- Nome vs. Wasilla (7th place)
4 p.m. -- West vs. ACS (4th place)
4:45 p.m. -- Christian Life vs. Sitka (3rd place)
6:30 p.m. -- Wasatch vs. Dillard (1st place)
Anchorage Daily News