West Valley and Lathrop pick up early season basketball wins

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:49 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The West Valley Wolfpack and the Lathrop Malemutes picked up wins on Tuesday as they hosted some either Interior, Alaska programs. The Wolfpack took down the Hutchison Hawks boys varsity program, Lathrop boys won over Eielson and the girls team routed Hutch.

West Valley vs. Hutchison Boys Varsity

The West Valley Wolfpack took on the Hutchison Hawks with their second home match in a row. The Wolfpack were coming off a dominant win over the Eielson Ravens, and followed that up with a 71-44 win over Hutch. Stewart Erhart had his best game of his young career, as the sophomore guard scored 20 points including a 13 point performance in the third quarter. The offense and defense were in harmony from the start, as West Valley led 28-10 after the opening frame.

“These guys came ready to go,” said West Valley Head Coach Colten Growden. “We got outside a little bit in the off-season. We did a lot of skill development. Once team practice started up, they were hungry. They were ready to get up on the court and get after [it].”

Ryan Young led Hutch with 16 points, but it wasn’t enough to offset West Valley’s pressure throughout the night. West Valley senior Judah Ward throw in his usual blend of athletic plays on his way to 14 points.

“We just pass the ball well and play great as a team.” said West Valley junior Tyriq Luke.

Hutchison now prepares for series with the Valdez Buccaneers while West Valley prepares for the Mt. McKinley Bank Holiday Classic at Monroe Catholic High School from Thursday through Saturday.

Lathrop vs. Eielson Boys Varsity

The Lathrop Malemutes opened their season with a convincing victory over the Eielson Ravens during the annual Silent Night game. The Malemutes silenced the Ravens on their way to a 65-22 win thanks in large part to the defense. Both Ben Kraska and Earl Parker did their part to limit Eielson’s chances on offense by creating turnovers. Kraska also added a three-point shot to his arsenal, scoring 15 points on Tuesday.

“It felt good running with my boys again,” said Lathrop senior Ben Kraska. “Just getting that ball rolling and getting the drills going. Being with the team, everyone working together as a family.

Parker is part of a youth movement for the Purple and Gold, and he showed his talents with impressive steals and rebounds against Eielson’s front court.

“It’s great to be out here, it’s great to work hard and have fun.” said Lathrop sophomore Parker.

Eielson now prepares for a match-up tomorrow night against the North Pole Patriots while Lathrop will prepare for the Holiday Classic at Monroe Catholic High School.

Lathrop vs. Hutchison Girls Varsity

The Lathrop Malemutes opened their season with a dominant victory over the Hutchison Hawks, as Tristian Martin and T.T. Tagovailoa combined for 37 points as the Purple and Gold won 66-17. Hutch had no answer for Lathrop’s speed, as they struggled to maintain Lathrop’s defense from picking up steals, especially in the first half.

Lathrop will take that momentum to the Holiday Classic while Hutch will take on Valdez for a two-match series.

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