The final score of Bartlett and East's Cook Inlet Conference showdown was more reminiscent of an NBA or college game than a high school game. So were Bentiu Panoam's 40 points for Bartlett.
The Golden Bears took down CIC top dog East 97-86 Wednesday at East in a high-flying boys basketball matchup. At halftime, both teams were on pace for 100 points — Bartlett led 51-50.
"We just kind of came out and tried to match their intensity," Bartlett coach Steve Drussell said. "It was a battle from start to finish.
"We're just lucky that the ball bounced our way tonight. Credit to East — great team, great coaching staff — they played really well today."
Bartlett led for most of the game, but most of the time only by a handful of points. The defining play came after East took its first lead on a 3-pointer by Alec Canete-Hall to go up 67-66 on the first bucket of the fourth quarter.
Following the trey, Panoam stormed down the other end of the court and flew in for a dunk to give the lead back to the Golden Bears. The dunk sparked a 12-0 run for Bartlett and gave the Golden Bears a lead they never relinquished.
Panoam scored 16 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter. He also hit four 3s in the first quarter to get Bartlett rolling.
"That's our captain. He's been the heart and soul of this team all season long," Drussell said. "As a team, we ride off his enthusiasm, his intensity."
For the Thunderbirds, Canete-Hall led the way with 23 points. Moses Miller added 20 and Carson Washburn contributed 18.
Bartlett's Ryan Trailer chipped in 19 points and Kaejae Mader poured in 14 on a night where the Golden Bears fell three points shy of the century mark.
Both teams raced up and down the court all game long. The ball was always moving.
"It just really came down to whatever team can execute better down the stretch," Drussell said. "We knew it was going to a dogfight. That's basically what it was."
Dimond 44, South 39
In a game where points were hard to come by, Eric Jenkins and Kylan Osborne reached double figures Wednesday to power Dimond's 44-39 win over South.
Jenkins scored 16 points and Osborne added 10 in the CIC game at South.
Jenkins hit five of six shots at the foul line, where Dimond outscored South 10-3. He also collected a team-high seven rebounds.
Alex Adams claimed scoring honors with 23 points and Jake Swenson grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for South.
West 68, Eagle River 37
Thirteen players contributed points Wednesday to help the West Eagles roll past Eagle River 68-37 in a CIC game at West.
Da'Zhon Wyche led the way with 12 points, Sean Duffy and Lyndon Prayer each added nine and Justin Tovio chipped in eight, with Prayer getting his points on three triples.
Bryson Rollman and Savion Wilson scored 10 points apiece for Eagle River.
Service 61, Chugiak 51
Nathan Fromm's hot hand helped Service stake an early lead in a 61-51 homecourt win over Chugiak on Wednesday.
Fromm scored nine points of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter of the CIC game to give the Cougars a 21-11 lead.
Service, which got another 10 points from Dominic Norman, never trailed after that.