Alaska sports notebook: Nanooks sign former ACS basketball standout; UAA and UAF volleyball players named to preseason all-conference team

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The trend of former Alaska high school basketball stars returning to their home state to extend their collegiate playing careers continued on Tuesday when the University of Alaska Fairbanks announced the signing of former Anchorage Christian School star Demarcus Hall-Scriven to its men’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-3 guard transferred from Skagit Valley College and is coming off a standout 2021-2022 season in which he earned all-conference honors after averaging 11 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.

“Offensively he is a dynamic wing that can play the point, and both wing spots,” UAF head coach Greg Sparling said in a statement. “He is very versatile and we look forward to helping Demarcus grow in all facets over the next couple years.”

[UAA sports notebook: Another local basketball star is coming home, and Elena Cano claims regional heptathlon title]

Hall-Scriven is the latest hoopster to return to the Last Frontier to play for one of the two University of Alaska Division II programs.

He joins Da’Zhon Wyche, formerly of West High, and former East standout Jaron Williams, both of whom signed with UAA, as recent and notable local products to come back to Alaska.

[Alaska sports notebook: UAA basketball announces return of Da’Zhon Wyche; Lars Arneson breaks record in Matanuska Peak Challenge]


In high school, Hall-Scriven led the Lions to a 3A state basketball championship in 2019 by sinking a pair of game-winning free throws with less than 10 seconds left on the clock.

Two Seawolves and one Nanook named to preseason all-conference volleyball team

Both of the University of Alaska volleyball programs were represented on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Preseason All-Conference Team announced Friday. UAA seniors Eve Stephens and Ellen Floyd were named to the team along with UAF sophomore Karli Nielson.

Stephens and Floyd are both coming off all-GNAC campaigns in 2021 and are multi-time all-conference honorees. Nielson is an ascending talent following a freshman season in 2021 where she recorded 149 kills in over 20 matches with just six starts and averaged 2.66 kills per set with a .209 hit percentage. She also logged 42 digs on defense while posting 23 total blocks on the season.

Local runners take top spots in weekend 5K races

The third annual Christopher Walden Mini Mountain and Race the Planes 5K races were contested this past weekend. Runners in one of the races competed in less than ideal weather conditions while others got a break from the rain.

Anchorage’s Julie Johnson and Ben Ward endured the rain and mud at the Hilltop Ski Area to finish first in the Mini Mountain. Johnson won the women’s division with a time of 21 minutes, 49 seconds while Ward recorded the best time in the men’s division and entire race overall with a time of 19:36.

A day later across town alongside Ted Stevens International Airport, the Race the Planes was held under much clearer skies and saw Michelle Isaev of Anchorage finish first in the women’s division in a time of 21:09. Hunter Aman of Ridgefield, Washington, recorded the top time in both the men’s division and overall with a mark of 17:58.

East stays on top and Colony rises in latest football rankings

The defending Division I state champion Bettye Davis East High football team remained in the top spot of the latest Alaska Sports Broadcast Network’s top five rankings after defeating Service 39-18 in Week 1. The biggest riser was the Colony Knights, who jumped from the fifth spot to the second after their 43-6 rout of South High. Previously second-ranked West High fell to the fifth spot after losing to defending Division II Lathrop 49-33.

Third-ranked Juneau-Douglas and fourth-ranked Bartlett remain in the same spots as they were last week and will face off in the state’s capital in Week 2 on Saturday. While the Golden Bears had a bye on opening weekend, the Huskies shut out the Dimond Lynx in a dominant 37-0 win.

The game of the week will take place in Palmer on Friday when East and Colony square off at 7 p.m. on the Knights’ home turf.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.