The Rewind: Anchorage Wolverines sweep Fairbanks, Tour of Anchorage draws big crowd of skiers and local basketball teams head to regions on hot streaks

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 Dimond boys and girls basketball teams ended the regular season on hot streaks. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage hockey team won two of three games and the women’s basketball team got bounced in the first round of the 2023 GNAC tournament. In NAHL action, the Anchorage Wolverines avenged a sweep at the hands of an in-state rival by earning one of their own.

Headlines and highlights

The regular season portion of the high school basketball season came to a close this past week across the state and both of the Dimond varsity teams will be heading into the CIC tournaments on hot streaks and full of confidence after notching wins.

On Tuesday, the Lynx boys became the first team to beat powerhouse Bettye Davis East twice in a season in the past three years after the Lynx rallied from being down double digits to dispatch the Thunderbirds 41-38. They were led in scoring by sophomore Marek Hajdukovich with 13 points and ended the regular season with five straight wins.

“Last year we lost to them three times, so it was a little personal this year,” Hajdukovich said.

[Dimond High boys basketball rallies to complete sweep of Bettye Davis East in last-minute thriller]

On Friday, the Dimond girls avenged their lone conference loss of the season by beating West for the first time in two years, snapping the Eagles’ 16-game winning streak and extending their own roll to six straight in the process. The Lynx won 58-50 and were led in scoring by junior Maile Wilcox, who recorded a game-high 24.


“It feels good to end their winning streak and keep ours going,” Wilcox said. “It’s a huge kick-start for us. We needed this jump heading into regions, because we’re probably going to see them again.”

[Dimond High girls basketball snaps win streak of rival West to close out regular season]

In other 4A girls hoops action, the top two players in the state faced off for the second time in the regular season when Sayvia Sellers’ reigning state champion ACS Lions and Layla Hays’ 2022 state runner-up Wasilla Warriors met this past Tuesday in a Northern Lights conference clash. They each put on a show with Sellers, the 2022 Gatorade Player of the Year, recording a triple-double with 32 points, 10 assists and 10 steals while Hays recorded a double-double with 29 points and 17 rebounds. The Lions completed the season sweep of the Warriors and by pulling away in the second half for a 76-52 victory.

At the 3A level, both of the Grace Christian basketball teams ended the regular season on double-digit win streaks and will head into regions as heavy favorites to punch their tickets to state. The boys blew out Seward on Tuesday and completed the season sweep of Kenai Central on Friday for their 18th and 19th consecutive victories. In a three-day stretch, the girls also blasted Seward and completed season sweeps of Kenai Central and Nikiski to run their win total to 17 straight.

On the college hoops scene, the UAA women’s basketball team’s 2022-2023 season came to a disappointing end Thursday when it fell to Seattle Pacific University for the first time in their last nine meetings, losing 69-65 in the quarterfinals. The Seawolves were led in scoring and rebounds by GNAC Newcomer of the Year, junior guard Vishe’ Rabb, who recorded 16 points and six boards before leaving the game late with an injury.

[UAA women’s basketball falls to Seattle Pacific in opening round of GNAC tournament]

The UAA men’s hockey team is having a strong finish to its inaugural season since being fully reinstated, winning two of three games this past week. The Seawolves began by winning the final game in a three-game road series with Long Island University 5-3 on Tuesday. They followed it up by splitting a two-game home series with Arizona State University over the weekend. UAA was shut out 5-0 on Friday before bouncing back with a 4-3 victory on Saturday. The team had seven players record goals over the past week with Anchorage’s Maximilion Helgeson leading the way with four that included a pair in each victory.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks men’s hockey team completed its regular season with an 8-0 home win over Lindenwood University on Saturday. The victory pushed the Nanooks’ record to 22-10-2 and gave them the most wins by a UAF team since 2001-02. Eight Nanooks scored, which marked the first time since 2006 that the team scored eight goals in a game. UAF goalie Matt Radomsky stopped 19 shots to earn his 22nd win of the season. As an NCAA independent, the Nanooks will not compete in a conference tournament. But UAF’s season is still very much alive.

UAF is ranked No. 13 in the Division I Pairwise Rankings, a system which mimics the process for determining the teams in the NCAA men’s tournament. With 16 teams qualifying for the tournament, the Nanooks are in solid position for an at-large bid. The NCAA Ice Hockey Selection Show will be broadcast on March 19 at 2:30 p.m. Alaska time on ESPNU.

For the second weekend in a row, the Anchorage Wolverines faced off against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for a two-game series. After getting swept on the road last week, the Wolverines busted out their brooms to return the favor with a pair of convincing victories on Friday and Saturday. They had eight players score goals with Jackson Reineke and Revelin Mack tying for the team lead with three apiece.

“It was awesome and a good weekend all around,” Wolverines coach Evan Trupp said. “I was happy with the way our team played. We’ve been pretty good at home over the last two months.”

This past weekend’s performance was especially meaningful for the team and franchise as the players wore pink jerseys that would be auctioned off to raise money for the Aubri Brown Club which was started in memory of the sister of Wolverines forward, Gage Brown, who had to step away from the team this season to have shoulder surgery. Thus far, they’ve been able to raise more than $36,000 and counting with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the foundation.

“He was back in town with his mom, and it was cool to get him back up here and reconnect with the guys,” Trupp said.

The Tour of Anchorage brought hundreds of skiers to the local trails on Sunday, with a pair of repeat winners taking the 50K freestyle race. Thomas O’Harra and Rosie Frankowski won those respective races, with both earning titles in 2017 as well. Frankowski also won the 2021 Tour title.

[Hundreds of skiers, bikers take to Tour of Anchorage trails for annual race]

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Tobin Karlberg helped the Point Loma University men’s basketball team punch its ticket to the NCAA Division II West Regional tournament by winning the Pac West Conference Championship this past weekend. In the Lions’ 22nd and 23rd consecutive victories, the former Grace Christian prep star and UAA standout recorded a combined 15 points that included double-figures outing in the semifinals against Biola.

Anchorage’s Mia ‘Uhila has been a key contributor to the impressive run of the seventh-seeded Portland State University women’s basketball team in the Big Sky Conference tournament. The former Bartlett prep star and 2020-21 Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year for girls basketball came off the bench and pumped in 12 points in the Vikings’ 73-58 win over eighth-seeded Idaho State University on Saturday. She followed it up by scoring seven points in the team’s shocking 77-65 upset of second-seeded Montana State University on Sunday to help the team punch its ticket to Tuesday’s semifinal round.


Utqiagvik’s Kamaka Hepa helped lead the University of Hawaii at Manoa men’s basketball team over California State University in lopsided fashion Thursday 81-55. The former Barrow prep star recorded a double-double for the Rainbow Warriors by finishing second on the team in scoring with 17 points and tying for the most rebounds with a game-high 10.

Anchorage’s Isaiah Moses earned NJCAA Region 18 first-team honors after recording 20 or more points for the ninth time this season in the College of Southern Idaho men’s basketball team’s stunning 84-75 upset loss to Snow College on Thursday in the Region 18 Tournament. The former Dimond star and 2019-20 Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year for boys basketball led the Golden Eagles in scoring and assists with 25 points and four assists as they suffered their first loss of the season and had their 29-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Badgers.

Prior to her second-seeded University of Utah women’s basketball team getting upset in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament by eventual champion Washington State, Anchorage’s Alissa Pili was named the conference’s Player of the Year. The former Dimond High three-sport prep star led the Utes to their best finish and first share of the regular-season conference championship in program history.

[Anchorage’s Alissa Pili named Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Year]

Soldotna’s Galen Brantley III earned NAIA All-American honors, throwing a personal best mark of 54 feet, 9.5 inches in the shot put to take third at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships this past week in Brookings, South Dakota. The Dickinson State University junior was in fourth place after his first throw but bested and broke his own program record by 20.5 inches for his best finish at a national meet

Wasilla’s Darci Matson and Kaylee Merrill were recently voted Player of the Year and received first-team all-conference honors in their respective Division III hockey leagues. Matson of Aurora University was named Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year after recording 31 goals and 34 assists in 27 games while Merrill of State University of New York at Potsdam was named the Northeast Women’s Hockey League’s Player of the Year after producing 27 goals and 12 assists in 25 games.

The 2023 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships wrapped up Sunday, with a number of Alaskans representing Team USA over the nearly two weeks of competition. Alaska Pacific University ski team member Rosie Brennan finished in fifth place in Saturday’s 30K mass start classic race, missing fourth place by a fraction of a second with a time of 1 hour, 23 minutes, 15.8 seconds. It was Brennan’s best individual finish at worlds, which were held in Planica, Slovakia.

In the 50K men’s classic race on Sunday, a number of Alaskans were in the field. Scott Patterson finished 16th, followed by David Norris (22nd), Gus Schumacher (28th) and Hunter Wonders (31st). Patterson (15th) and Schumacher (19th) also notched top 20 finishes in the 15K freestyle. Jessie Diggins earned a historic win in the 10K freestyle last Tuesday, while Brennan was the second-fastest American, finishing 15th. Brennan’s best chance at a podium finish may have been in the 15K skiathlon on Feb. 25, but a broken binding pushed her back from the lead group and she finished 19th. Patterson was the top American in the 30K skiathlon, finishing 19th.


Last week’s results

Prep Basketball



Dimond 44, Bartlett 24

West 67, Eagle River 15

Chugiak 56, Service 38

Monroe Catholic 64, Ben Eielson 21


West 52, Chugiak 29

Dimond 63, East 30

ACS 76, Wasilla 52

Lumen Christi 38, Birchwood 19


South 63, Service 38


ACS 107, Palmer 25

Nenana 49, North Pole 15

Grace Christian 69, Seward 28

Lathrop 38, Monroe Catholic 32



Wasilla 58, Colony 42

Dimond 58, West 50

Bartlett 48, Chugiak 34

Grace 58, Kenai 35

Birchwood 47, Nanwalek 6

Service 35, East 31

South 70, Eagle River 18

Sitka 52, Redington 20

Chevak 64, Hooper Bay 57 (OT)


Grace Christian 63, Nikiski 23

Nome 42, Unalakleet 40



Dimond 71, Bartlett 44

West 71, Eagle River 56

Service 75, Chugiak 46

Yakutat 61, Angoon 33


Dimond 41, East 38

Kenai 62, Nikiski 38

Service 37, South 28

West 76, Chugiak 53

Thunder Mountain 64, Juneau 62

ACS 64, Wasilla 57

North Pole 75, Hutchison 34

Bartlett 54, Eagle River 50


Houston 86, Nikiski 42

Shishmaref 51, Stebbins 49

Selawik 44, Kivalina 31

Noorvik 37, Kiana 27

Mt Edgecumbe 79, Redington 43

Minto 75, Ft. Yukon 42

Monroe 54, Lathrop 44

ACS 61, Palmer 58

Grace 70, Seward 39

Juneau 73, Thunder Mountain 63


Dimond 81, West 69

Service 44, East 42

Kodiak 71, Ninilchik 64

South 54, Eagle River 47

Bartlett 66, Chugiak 41

Valdez 80, Delta 67

Colony 74, Wasilla 60

Nome 70, Unalakleet 64

Grace 57, Kenai 35

West Valley 73, North Pole 31

Sitka 51, Redington 32

Cook Inlet Academy 44, Lumen Christi 34


Birchwood Christian 37, Nanwalek 34

Noorvik 49, Selawik 41

Lumen Christi 37, Birchwood Christian 33 (OT)

Nome 90, Unalakleet 62

Palmer 55, Soldotna 51

Grace Christian 65, Nikiski 15

Kenai 71, Homer 34

Sitka 48, Redington 23

Valdez 86, Delta 44

Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches Power Rankings

4A Girls

  1. Anchorage Christian 20-2
  2. Wasilla 21-3
  3. Colony 16-6
  4. Thunder Mtn 17-7
  5. West 18-4/ Dimond 17-5

4A Boys

  1. Dimond 21-3
  2. West Valley 22-1
  3. East 20-4
  4. Monroe Catholic 17-6
  5. Colony 17-6 / Service 16-8

3A Girls

  1. Grace Christian 21-2
  2. Mt Edgecumbe 19-4
  3. Monroe Catholic 19-5
  4. Sitka 16-6
  5. Barrow 10-7

3A Boys

  1. Grace Christian 21-2
  2. Houston 20-4
  3. Nome-Beltz 20-2
  4. Mt Edegcumbe 18-5
  5. Valdez 16-7

2A Girls

  1. Tikigaq 16-5
  2. Craig 15-2
  3. Haines 14-3
  4. Susitna Valley 19-3
  5. Glennallen 18-5

2A Boys

  1. Ninilchik 19-5
  2. Tikigaq 14-7
  3. Hooper Bay 17-3
  4. Metlakatla 12-6
  5. Cordova 19-7

1A Girls

  1. Lumen Christi 19-5
  2. Shaktoolik 17-2
  3. Cook Inlet Academy 15-5
  4. Shishmaref 10-2
  5. Newhalen 19-3

1A Boys

  1. Scammon Bay 24-2
  2. Cook Inlet Academy 22-2
  3. Kake 18-0
  4. Nelson Island 17-3
  5. Newhalen 21-2 / Minto 14-2


Women’s Basketball


Seattle Pacific 69, UAA 65



UAA 5, LIU 3


ASU 5, UAA 0


UAA 4, ASU 3



BYU 196.350, UAA 190.125


Nebraska 197.500, Utah State 194.600, UAA 191.750



Anchorage Wolverines 6, Fairbanks Icedogs 3


Anchorage Wolverines 5, Fairbanks Icedogs 3

Fast Forward



2023 4A Cook Inlet Conference Tournament

March Madness has officially arrived on the Last Frontier as the prep hoops postseason is set to get underway this week across the state with regional tournaments. In Anchorage, the Cook Inlet Conference crown will be on the line with games starting Tuesday with a pair of matchups at Bartlett at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., one at South at 7:30 p.m. and another at Bettye Davis East at 6 p.m. After taking Wednesday off, it will pick back up on Thursday and run through Saturday night with the remainder of the games being played at West High, concluding with the championship game at 7:30 p.m.



UAA vs. Lindenwood @ Seawolf Sports Complex, Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 6:07 p.m.

The Seawolves inaugural season since being fully reinstated will come to a close this weekend with a two-game home series with the Lions. UAA will be looking to build off the momentum of winning three of its last five games.


Anchorage Wolverines vs. Minnesota Wilderness, Friday and Saturday 7 p.m.

After bouncing back with a two-game series sweep of Fairbanks, the Wolverines will be back on their home ice for a second straight weekend. As they continue to make a push for playoff positioning, the Wolverines will look to extend their winning streak against a Midwest Division opponent that they haven’t faced since November and winless against in four games this season.

“We haven’t played them in awhile, so coming off of back-to-back weekends of having that rivalry with Fairbanks, we’re going to have to find a little rivalry,” Anchorage head coach Evan Trupp said. “I think our guys play better with a little extra on the line.”

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.