Alaska News

Packed house sees West Valley nip West in hoops tournament

A huge crowd of West High students watched the West Eagles lose to West Valley in the final seconds of Thursday's first game at the Alaska Airlines Classic.

West Valley scored the game's final three points to win 53-51, disappointing a packed house cheering for the Eagles. West High has made it an annual tradition to allow students to watch the Eagles play in the game, which tips off at noon.

West Valley grabbed a 20-13 first-quarter lead but things were close at the end. Cornelius Mingo led the Wolfpack with 20 points and Dylan Erhart added 14.

Izaiaha King (12 points), Diondre McMorris (11) and Ayeul Dak (10) led the Eagles, who were playing for the second time in about 16 hours. On Wednesday night, West dropped a 68-65 decision to Bartlett in the tournament's first game.

In Thursday's other games, Planet Athlete of Phoenix — the 2016 Classic champion — steamrolled Service 83-41, the Columbia Eagles of Georgia romped past West Valley 85-51 and Bartlett took down Kodiak 46-38.

Planet Athlete only used seven players and three of them scored 25 or more points. Stephan Gabriel racked up 27 points and 11 rebounds and Devin Booker and Chase Thomas pumped in 25 points apiece.

Nine players scored for Service, which was led by Bryce Muller's nine points.

Planet Athlete was supposed to play Kodiak, but the Bears' flight to Anchorage was delayed and they couldn't make it to the 2:30 p.m. game. Service was brought in as a last-minute replacement, and Kodiak was rescheduled for Thursday's late game against Bartlett.

Bartlett trailed Kodiak 33-31 after three quarters but outscored the Bears 15-5 in the final eight minutes. Tsuginori Fudge scored six of his seven points in the fourth quarter to spark the Golden Bears.

In its second game of the day, West Valley faced a deep, well-balanced Columbia team that landed five players in double figures and had a couple of others with nine points. Markell Wills topped the Eagles with 13 points.

Mingo provided 16 points for the Wolfpack.

Wednesday's score

Bartlett 68, West 65

Thursday's scores

West Valley 53, West 51

Planet Athlete (Az.) 83, Service 41

Columbia (Ga.) 85, West Valley 51

Bartlett 46, Kodiak 38

Friday's games

2:30 p.m. — Bartlett vs. Columbia

4:15 p.m. — West Valley vs. Planet Athlete

6:15 p.m. — Kodiak vs. Columbia

8:15 p.m. — West vs. Planet Athlete