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Tuesday night high school basketball action around the Interior

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 8:06 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Seven weeks into the abbreviated high school basketball season, programs are starting to hit their strides as they approach championship season. Tuesday night featured six games around the Interior, highlighted by conference action from Fairbanks to Delta Junction.

*Note: The Aurora Conference Tournament is scheduled for March 11-13 at North Pole High School, while the Mid Alaska Conference is set to take place March 17-18 at the same location. The 3A and 4A State Tournaments are currently set for March 25-27 at various schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

West Valley @ Lathrop

For the fourth time this season, the West Valley Wolfpack and the Lathrop Malemutes collided on the courts, and for the fourth time this year, the West Valley boys bested the Malemutes.

It was the third quarter that defined this game, as Lathrop went toe-to-toe with West Valley during the other 24 minutes. Outscored 14-4 in the frame, Lathrop fell 62-47 to the Wolfpack, but not without a 16 point, 9 rebound-performance from senior Ben Kraska.

West Valley’s frequent flyer Judah Ward looked as if he was preparing for this Sunday’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, throwing down four jams - and nearly a fifth - on his way to 23 points. Point guard Stewart Erhart hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 17 points and six steals in the MAC victory.

In the girl’s contest, the Wolfpack held the depleted Malemutes to single digits in each quarter, as Lathrop was without one of their top players. The low post duo of Rachel Cockman (12 points) and Hadley Blasey (10) did enough damage on offense to lift West Valley to 37-24 win. Senior Tristian Martin, who recently signed to Allen Community College, did all she could for the Purple and Gold, scoring 18 points in defeat.

Lathrop visits the Eielson Ravens Wednesday, while West Valley takes on the North Pole Patriots Thursday.

Monroe Catholic @ Delta

It was a communal effort out of the Monroe Catholic basketball programs, as 23 different players scored between the two teams in a sweep Tuesday night.

The girls tipped-off first, where a 20-point opening quarter from the Rams was enough to propel them to a 50-20 win in Delta Junction. Shelby Eidenmiller netted eight points, while Katie Bast, Maggie Zaverl and Miranda Wilkerson each scored seven. Laurdes Lester paced the Huskies with seven points.

The Monroe boys saw 12 members in the box score, led by Tommy Bast’s 12 in a 70-18 Aurora Conference win on the road. Senior Quinn McHenry, who is headed Sonoma State’s Division II program next year, tallied nine points, while Malachi Bradley, Stephen Felix, Evan Puryear and Jack Mavencamp scored eight apiece.

Monroe will host Eielson Thursday, while the Huskies take on the Hutchison Hawks Saturday.

North Pole @ Hutchison

The North Pole girls added another ‘W’ to the win column Tuesday, defeating Hutchison 49-32 in an out-of-conference bout. The Patriots were led by a trio of double-digit scorers in Alicia Guzman (13), Laura Donovan (10) and Lia Castillo (10), just returned from the High School State Ski Championships last weekend. The Hawks were led by 13 points from senior Leigha Rosenthal.

The nightcap was a back-and-forth affair between the boys programs. Trailing nine in the second half, the Patriots came roaring back, led by Weston Vakhrushev, who scored 15 of his 20 points in the final two quarters. After handing over the lead, the Hawks turned up the defense, going into a full court press during the crunch time minutes. Exchanging turnovers for points, Hutch came out on top 62-53, led by 22 points from Ryan Young and 14 more from Evan Moss.

Hutchison welcomes the Valdez Buccaneers on Saturday, while North Pole hosts West Valley Thursday for a Mid Alaska Conference matchup.

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