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Mingo drops 40 points as West Valley boys, girls basketball celebrate senior night

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:30 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - It had been over five years since the West Valley boy’s basketball program saw a performance as they did Tuesday night. Cortarius Mingo celebrated senior night in jaw-dropping fashion by scoring 40 points in a 85-24 Mid Alaska Conference win over the North Pole Patriots. Doing most of his damage from three-point territory (8-10 3FG), Mingo scored 28 of his points in the first half as part of the first 40-point performance out of the Wolfpack program since Daniel Hornbuckle in January of 2016.

While Mingo stole the show, West Valley also honored Ben Foshee, Braidyn Garcia, Dylan Lapp and Judah Ward before to the game.

Mingo (16-21 FG) added seven rebounds and four steals, while Lapp and Ward had nine and eight points respectively. Junior guard Tyriq Luke contributed 17 points off the bench. The Patriots were led by 10 points from Weston Vakhrushev, while Alex Garcia added eight.

Wolpack Girls Remain Undefeated

In a night of honoring seniors, the West Valley girls also recognized Rachel Cockman, Ali May and Kiaira Szmyd prior to tip-off. The Wolfpack came away with a 49-34 win over North Pole, led by 13 points from May.

“It has been awesome,” said May of being able to play out her senior year. “I played volleyball earlier this year and for us, there was no spectators around, so this is awesome to be able to have spectators and have our family and friends come watch.”

Szmyd echoed the gratitude of being able to compete in her final season of high school basketball.

“It makes me really happy because this is a game that really brings people together, and it has always brought people together, no matter what, so to have this chance to do something like this makes me really happy.”

Cockman, who signed to Western Colorado’s Division II Basketball program, finished with 11 points in the senior night victory. From Cantwell, Cockman has been accepted by her teammates in Fairbanks since joining the program.

“A lot of credit goes to my parents for just giving me the opportunity to come here,” said Cockman after the game. “But the coaches are awesome, the teammates are awesome and it is a great place to be and if anyone is looking to transfer from 1A, this is a great school.”

Both West Valley programs will compete in the Joe T. Classic February 18-20 hosted by Lathrop High School. Along with the Wolfpack, the four-team tournament will feature the boys and girls programs of the Monroe Catholic Rams, the Grace Christian Grizzlies and the host Malemtues.

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