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Lathrop Girls win the MAC, advance to State Tournament

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 10:10 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A cross-town rivalry, two evenly matched teams, and berth to the Alaska High School Basketball State Tournament on the line; not much more you can ask for in the Mid Alaska Conference Championship game between the Lathrop Malemutes and the West Valley Wolfpack Thursday night.

The contest lived up to the hype with lead changes, triumphs, defeats, all that come with March Madness.

The West Valley Girls controlled the game early, knocking down shots, moving the ball and securing rebounds on their way to a 15-7 at the end of one quarter. Lathrop senior Tristian Martin drilled a corner three-ball on the first possession of the second quarter, setting the tone for the comeback effort. The Malemutes went on to score 12 unanswered points to give them the lead..for good..as Lathrop held on for a 66-61 victory over their biggest foes.

“Man, what can I say? I am very proud of my teammates, very excited for us,” said Martin after the victory. “We’ve had a lot of obstacles in our way this season due to COVID and us not having everybody every game, but I’m just glad that tonight we were able to fight, put every bit of everything in our body to win this game.”

Martin poured in a game-high 26 points, while sophomore standout TT Tagovailoa dropped 20 points propelling the Malemutes to the State Tournament for the first time since 2017. Down the stretch, Lathrop nailed clutch free throws as West Valley had to play the foul game. On the night, the Malemutes went 15-22 from the charity stripe, with seven of the makes coming in the final quarter.

The win for Lathrop did not come without an effort from the Wolfpack, who outscored the Malamutes in the second half. Senior Rachel Cockman, the future Western Colorado Mountaineer, scored 21 points, while Hadley Blasey added 15 in defeat.

MID ALASKA ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM (SEASON)

MVP - Tristian Martin - Lathrop

Torrin Johnson-OatesLathrop11
TT TagovailoaLathrop10
Rachel CockmanWest Valley12
Ali MayWest Valley12
Alicia GuzmanNorth Pole10

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