A much taller Glennallen team was in control most of the way Wednesday as the Panthers comfortably won their first Class 2A boys state basketball title 59-39 over Dillingham at Sullivan Arena.
Glennallen's height -- its starting five are all 6-foot or taller -- was the difference, said Deon Lopez, coach of the Wolverines, who have just one starter over 6-foot.
"Their size advantage allowed them to get rebounds and gave them second, third chance opportunities," he said.
Glennallen head coach James Fields agreed.
"Our size is what did it," he said.
Shooting 30.2 percent from the field didn't help, either, Lopez said.
"None of our shots were dropping," he said.
The Panthers' aggressive defense frazzled Dillingham, Lopez said.
That's something Glennallen stresses every game, senior Aaron Miller said.
"Defense has always been something we focus on," he said. "Defense is where our game lies. That's why we won."
Outrebounding the Wolverines 35-21 helped too.
"We hustled and got rebounds," Glennallen junior Cameron Peters said. "That's our game."
Glennallen, which led nearly the entire game, took a 27-16 lead into halftime. The Panthers made it a 20-point game, 44-24, by the end of the third quarter.
Miller paced Glennallen with a double-double, 14 points, 10 rebounds. Peters and William Enders scored 12 points apiece to give the Panthers three players in double figures. Jordan Sondergaard and Brent Sampson, who had 10 rebounds, each added nine points for Glennallen.
Senior Dylan Wassily scored a game-high 15 points for Dillingham, which got eight apiece from Cole Schlagel and Kenneth Savo.
Minutes after earning the school's first championship, the accomplishment was still sinking in for the Panthers.
"It's pretty crazy knowing we're the best in the state," Peters said.
Tristan Winter scored the winning basket with 18 seconds left, lifting Metlakatla past Bristol Bay 51-49 in the third-place game.
Winter finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Tristan Alexander supplied 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Chiefs, who warded off a fourth-quarter comeback by Bristol Bay.
Brydin Pacheco's nine points and 10 rebounds, Miles King's 12 points and Wyatt Babiak's 11 points paced Bristol Bay.
Tristan Ticket powered Unalakleet's 67-53 victory over Nenana in the fourth-place game with 19 points, 24 rebounds and six steals.
James Martin gave Nenana a boost with 18 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
Reach Mike Nesper at email@example.com or 257-4335. Sports editor Beth Bragg contributed to this report.
By MIKE NESPER