Dillingham's dominance in the paint led to a 73-56 win over defending Class 2A state champion Hooper Bay on Monday at Sullivan Arena.
"It was part of our game plan," said senior Dylan Wassily, who pumped in a game-high 24 points.
Dillingham will meet Metlakatla in one of Tuesday's semifinals, with Glennallen and Bristol Bay battling in the other.
Trailing 26-25, Dillingham went on a 20-0 run to end the first half. Wassily scored half of those points that helped put the Wolverines up by 19 and the game out of reach.
"We executed on offense really well," Wassily said. "And we played locked-down D in the second half."
The latter was missing from Hooper Bay, coach Albert Green said.
"We just didn't have defense," he said.
Four Wolverines reached double figures. Along with Wassily, those included Caden Smeaton (16 points), Kenneth Savo (14) and Cole Schlagel (11).
Harold Hoelscher's 17 points paced the Warriors, who also got 11 points apiece from Morgan Lake and Francis Smith.
Dillingham was more prepared, Green said.
"They were ready," he said. "They were the better team."
Dillingham was the better shooting team, in particular, making 58 percent of its field goals.
Hooper Bay shot 41 percent from the field but was 5 of 21 on 3-point attempts.
Hooper Bay graduated seven seniors, including three starters, from last year's state championship team, Green said, and the Warriors will graduate another seven from this year's squad. Despite a first-round loss, Green was proud of Hooper Bay's effort.
"Even though it wasn't going our way, they tried," he said. "They never gave up. That's all you can ask for."
A big win was just how Dillingham wanted to start its quest for a state title, Wassily said. The Wolverines need to carry that momentum into the semis, he said.
"Rest up, and keep playing like we have been," Wassily said.
Metlakatla 55, Nenana 40
Metlakatla's two Tristans combined for 34 points to lead the Chiefs past Nenana 55-40. Tristan Alexander poured in a team-high 18 points and Tristan Winter scored 16 for Metlakatla, last year's state runner-up.
James Olin-Martin paced Nenana with 15 points while teammate Kynan Monroe added 13.
Shooting percentage was the difference. Metlakatla made 45 percent of its field goals while Nenana shot 26 percent from the field.
Bristol Bay 70, Unalakleet 53
Bristol Bay led the entire game en route to a 70-53 win over Unalakleet. Brydin Pacheco's double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) led the Angels.
Everett Moorcroft pumped in a game-high 20 points for Bristol Bay, which got 16 from Wyatt Babiak.
Tristan Ticket and Gage Ivanoff combined for 33 points for Unalakleet. Ticket owned the glass, hauling in a game-high 18 rebounds to go along with his 17 points.
Glennallen 61, Haines 44
Cameron Peters accounted for more than half of Glennallen's offense as the Panthers downed Haines 61-44. The junior guard racked 35 points and was 9 of 10 from the line. Jordan Sondergaard added 10 points for Glennallen.
Haines was led by Devin Light (15 points) and Justin Swinton (11). More than half of the Glacier Bears' points came from the bench.
Reach Mike Nesper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335
By MIKE NESPER