The Rewind: CIC streaks snapped, Sellers explodes for 47 and Junior World Mushing Championships features record-setting performances

Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska’s world of sports.

On the high school sports scene, the top two boys basketball teams in the Cook Inlet Conference had their win streaks snapped and the reigning 4A Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year for girls basketball had a historic scoring performance. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team got back on track while the men’s team had its win streak snapped. Several youth mushers from near and far competed and excelled at the 2023 Junior World Mushing Championships.

Headlines and highlights

This past week was jam-packed with basketball action at both the prep and collegiate level but perhaps no matchup was as highly anticipated as the Cook Inlet Conference clash between Dimond and Bettye Davis East on Thursday night. While it wasn’t a high-scoring affair, it didn’t lack for excitement and resulted in the Lynx handing the 2022 state runner-up Thunderbirds a 45-44 loss, their first of the season.

[Dimond boys basketball stifles Bettye Davis East with strong defensive performance in CIC clash]

The victory snapped East’s win streak at nine while extending Dimond’s to 10. But the Lynx’s joy would be short-lived because on the very next night, they saw their streak come to an end as well in a stunning 54-48 road loss to West on Friday. The Eagles were led in scoring by senior guard Willie Zamora, who scored all 14 of his points in the first first half, most of which came in the first quarter.

In girls high school hoops action, the most notable performance of the week and entire season to date was that of ACS senior Sayvia Sellers last Monday in the Lions’ 87-46 win over Colony. The University of Washington signee outscored the Knights by herself with a career-high and school-record 47 points. She shot 17 of 27 from the field and sank a whopping nine 3-pointers. The lopsided win stretched the team’s win streak to 15 in a row and extended its historic winning streak against Alaska opponents to 110 straight games.

The Anchorage Scholastic Bowling League awards and honors were announced Thursday and were highlighted by Kendric Siders of Eagle River and Maia Struble of Dimond being named boys and girls bowlers of the year. Siders averaged a state-record score of 238 per match, finished in second place to teammate Connor Lanehart in the Boys Shootout, and made the Boys All Star Team. Struble led all girls with a season average of 199, came in first in the Girls Shootout, made the Girls All Star Team and was named the girls 2022 recipient of the Kogane Scholarship.


The home portion of the 2022-2023 schedule for both of the UAA basketball programs came to a close this past week as both the men’s and women’s team played on their home court and in front of the Seawolves faithful for the final time this season. Only one of the two found success at the Alaska Airlines Center by winning both of their matchups with GNAC foes while the other dropped back-to-back games.

Led by a pair of 20-plus-point performances by junior guard Vishe’ Rabb, the women’s team sent its seniors out on a high note by notching a pair of consecutive victories to snap a two-game skid and put itself in position to clinch a playoff berth with two games left to play.

“We love them, so we really wanted to leave it all out there,” Rabb said. “If we didn’t, we’d be doing our seniors a disservice.”

[UAA women’s basketball is ‘peaking at the right time’ following blowout win in home finale]

Her 49 combined points in the two games helped her earn Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.

Despite a pair of double-digit scoring outings by junior guard Tyson Gilbert that included tying his season-high of 18 points against Saint Martin’s on Thursday, the men’s team fell in each of its last two home games.

The UAA gymnastics team built off the momentum of winning its first meet of the season last Sunday to win a second straight this past Friday against Simpson. While the Seawolves’ win streak was short-lived after falling to Iowa State on Sunday, they still had several gymnasts post impressive performances. Senior Rachel Decious and sophomore Montana Fairbairn on beam in particular helped the Seawolves produce their second-highest score of the season.

The Anchorage Wolverines continued to build momentum this past weekend by sweeping the visiting Janesville Jets in a two-game series. They had nine players record goals in the two contests with forward Jackson Reineke leading the team with three, including the game-winner in overtime Friday night. After hovering around .500 for most of the season, last year’s Robertson Cup Finals runner-ups are positioned to punch their ticket to the playoffs for the second straight season with 16 games left to play. They are ranked fourth in the NAHL’s Midwest Division with a 21-17-6 record.

Last week was a big one for Reineke from start to finish, as he began the week on Monday by announcing he will be playing Division I hockey at Robert Morris University next season before going on to lead the Wolverines in goals scored against the Jets.

“I chose RMU because they have a great coaching staff and are in a unique spot where they have a history of success and built a well-respected program,” said Reineke in a statement. “That said, they’re in a spot where they need to rebuild a team from the ground up for next year, and I am very excited to be a part of that. It reminded me a lot of what we did with Anchorage last year.”

Young mushers from near and far congregated at the Alaskan Sled Dog and Racing Association’s relocated clubhouse and Tozier Track in Anchorage for the Junior Mushing World Championships this past weekend. The event ran from Friday through Sunday and featured competitors as young as 4 years old, a friendship that spans nearly a decade and several record-setting performances.

Jade Moser, Hunter Sterling, Eli Markley and Leonie Tetzner all set track records with Tetzner setting successive faster record-setting marks on each day.

[Hooked after one lap: Youth mushers compete at the Junior Mushing World Championships]

On the adult dog mushing scene, Kuskokwim 300 Delta Championship Series races took place over the weekend as well and the pairing of Raymond Alexie and co-musher Michael Larson comfortably claimed victory in Sunday’s February 50 Doubles Race. Alexie continued his dominant winning streak by finishing 24 minutes before second-place musher John George in the new event that requires participants to race in pairs.

Alaska stars shining Outside

Fairbanks’ Daniel Hornbuckle helped lead the Western Washington University Vikings to a 96-91 overtime victory over the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks last Thursday by recording a game- and season-high 26 points, seven of which came after regulation. The former West Valley standout finished 7-of-15 shooting from the field, was 8-of-9 on free throws and drilled four 3-pointers on nine long-range attempts.

Utqiagvik’s Kamaka Hepa came up clutch for the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team this past Saturday in the Rainbow Warriors’ 70-67 victory over Long Beach State. The former Barrow star scored a team-leading 19 points, the last two of which came on a pair of free throws in the final seconds to effectively ice the game.

Ketchikan’s Isaac Updike finished seventh in the men’s 3,000-meter final at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. this past Friday. He ran the 15 laps in a time of 8 minutes, 15.68 seconds to earn a top-10 finish after slipping to 11th in the field of 13 at one point in the race.


Last week’s results

Prep Basketball



ACS 87, Colony 46


Grace Christian 54, South 43

West 39, Chugiak 34

Colony 77, Palmer 32



Dimond 55, Bettye Davis East 35


West 65, Dimond 47

South 42, Bettye Davis East 29

Wasilla 60, Kodiak 12

Colony 59, Soldotna 28


Wasilla 56, Kodiak 12

Colony 57, Soldotna 37

Chugiak 53, Palmer 47




Colony 60, ACS 55


East 50, Service 30

Grace Christian 73, Wasilla 60

Colony 76, Palmer 39


Ninilchik 79, Homer 39

West Valley 75, Lathrop 35

Su Valley 35, Nenana 28

West 86, Chugiak 67

Klawock 70, Skagway 60

Cook Inlet Academy 73, Kenai JV 32


Cordova 73, Bristol Bay 13

Lathrop 54, North Pole 41

Houston 73, Sitka 65

Scammon Bay 93, Emmonak 63


Dimond 45, Bettye Davis East 44

Houston 62, Sitka 55

Cordova 57, Nenana 25

Eagle River 55, Lathrop 53

Thunder Mountain 61, Palmer 38

Ninilchik 78, Tri Valley 41

Gustavus 40, Hoonah 22

West Valley 52, Monroe Catholic 34


Thunder Mountain 64, Ketchikan 59

Houston 63, Mt Edgecumbe 54

Petersburg 70, Klawock 36

Nome 65, Barrow 43

Valdez 66, Hutch 25

Lathrop 71, Delta 49

West 54, Dimond 48

East 37, South 28

Bartlett 74, Chugiak 59

Kenai 58, Seward 29

Colony 73, Sohi 43

Wasilla 79, Kodiak 62

Monroe 70, Eagle River 38

Juneau 75, Palmer 46

Cook Inlet 84, Birchwood 38

Ninilchik 86, Cordova 64

Nenana 42, Bristol Bay 32

Nikiski 51, Redington 47


Houston 90, Mt Edgecumbe 66

Cordova 60, Tri Valley 47

West Valley, 64 Eagle River 21

Klawock 60, Unalska 53

Homer 61, Redington 28

Nome 62, Barrow 55

Ninilchik 100, Bristol Bay 48

Valdez 79, Hutchison 29

Colony 65, Sohi 53

Monroe 74, Delta 28

Wasilla 72, Kodiak 51

Ketchikan 58, Thunder Mountain 41

Shishmaref 79, Elim 23

Kiana 68, Aqqaluk 36

Haines 65, Craig 49

Unalakleet 58, Su Valley 57

Kotzebue 71, Bethel 62

Petersburg 58, Unalaska 34

Shishmaref 69, Teller 53

Cook Inlet 67, Nanwalek 20

Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches Power Rankings

4A Girls

  1. Anchorage Christian
  2. Wasilla
  3. West
  4. Colony
  5. Juneau Douglas/ Dimond

4A Boys

  1. West Valley
  2. Dimond
  3. East
  4. Colony
  5. Monroe Catholic / West

3A Girls

  1. Grace Christian
  2. Monroe Catholic
  3. Mt Edgecumbe
  4. Seward
  5. Kenai

3A Boys

  1. Grace Christian
  2. Houston
  3. Nome-Beltz
  4. Mt Edgecumbe
  5. Valdez/ Kenai

2A Girls

  1. Tikigaq
  2. Glennallen
  3. Craig
  4. Haines
  5. Susitna Valley

2A Boys

  1. Ninilchik
  2. Tikigaq
  3. Hooper Bay
  4. Metlakatla
  5. Cordova/Petersburg

1A Girls

  1. Cook Inlet Academy
  2. Lumen Christi
  3. Shaktoolik
  4. Newhalen
  5. Shishmaref

1A Boys

  1. Scammon Bay
  2. Cook Inlet Academy
  3. Newhalen
  4. Kake/ Shaktoolik
  5. Nelson Island Toksook Bay


Women’s Basketball


UAA 76, Saint Martin’s 63


UAA 80, Western Oregon 58

Men’s Basketball


Saint Martin’s 82, UAA 73


Western Oregon 74, UAA 69 (OT)



UAA 185.900, Simpson 181.425


Iowa State 195.525, UAA 192.500



Anchorage Wolverines 4, Janesville Jets 3 (OT)


Anchorage Wolverines 8, Janesville Jets 5

Fast Forward


Cross-Country Skiing

ASAA State Championships at Kincaid

The 2022-2023 high school cross-country skiing season will come to a close this week with the state championships that begin Thursday and run through Saturday. The three-time reigning champion Service boys and girls teams will be looking to claim their fourth in a row but West could pose the biggest threat to their reign after sweeping both team titles at the CIC championships.

Boys Basketball

West at Bettye Davis East, Tuesday 7:30 p.m.

The most compelling prep basketball matchup of the week will likely be the third meeting between these two crosstown rivals. This time around, it will be on the Thunderbirds’ home court, where the Eagles will be looking to build on the momentum of upsetting Dimond.



UAA Invite and NCAA West Regional Championships

The Seawolves host a pair of events at three locations in and around Anchorage this week for both alpine and nordic skiing. Their Invite began Monday and runs through Thursday with both nordic events taking place at Kincaid Park on Monday and Tuesday and the two alpine races on Tuesday and Thursday at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. The regional championships run Wednesday through Saturday with the alpine action taking place at Alyeska Resort and nordic races at the Government Peak Recreation Area.

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.