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Story Last modified at 1:49 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eagle River boys taste hoops victory at home

Staff report


Eagle River senior Nate Yaw gets fouled as he attempts to split between Chugiak's Ben Perrell (5) and Colby Mitchell (23).

Open up the trophy case, Eagle River. The Birchwood Bowl is coming to Yosemite Drive.

Nate Yaw scored 28 points, Dominic Young added 22 and the suddenly explosive Wolves dominated down the stretch to take a 73-58 win for the first time over their cross-town rivals.

"Our last three years, they've beat us," said Yaw, a four-year starter playing in only his second game after coming back from knee surgery. "We wanted to come out strong and work as a team, and I think we did that."

Eagle River coach Craig Harrison said Yaw's dominant play came as no surprise to him.

"He makes my job a lot easier. He's quiet, he's subtle and he's the only four-year starter I have," Harrison said. "He's one of the top five players in the state."

The game was tied at 48-48 heading into the final quarter, but Eagle River finished the game on a 25-10 tear to pull away. Yaw had nine of those points, consistently converting feeds down low from Eagle River's guards.

"They must have wanted it more than us and they got it," said Chugiak captain Greg Ghramm, who had 10 points but went scoreless in the fourth.

Dylan Fullmer led Chugiak with 12 points, but the team's leading scorer, Colby Mitchell, was held to just 10 and failed to score in the fourth after fouling out.

Eagle River led 36-27 at the half, but the Mustangs stormed back in the third, getting seven points from Ghramm and six from Mitchell in the quarter to tie things up. But Ghramm said the team failed to keep up the defensive intensity after making its run.

"Once we started scoring, that should have been when we started playing harder on defense, too," he said.

Kelechi Madubuko had eight points for Eagle River, Kyle Taylor added seven, Branden Viotto had six and Kevin Waterman added two. Harrison added that he had "excellent floor play" from Steven Carlos.

Steven Puterbuaugh had seven points for Chugiak, which also got scoring from Nic Harris (6 points), Logan Johnston (6), Wayde Snell (3), Kevin Jensen (2) and Joe Trull.

The win means the coveted traveling trophy, a wooden bowl that's been sitting at Chugiak since Feb. 20, 2009, will be moving to Eagle River for the first time. But just because Eagle River now has the bragging rights, doesn't mean they'll be resting on their laurel, Harrison said.

"This is the Hatfields and McCoys," he said.


Chugiak 14 13 21 10 – 58

Eagle River 16 20 12 25 – 73

Chugiak (58) – Jensen 1 0-0 2, Johnston 2 0-0 6, Fullmer 4 4-8 12, Harris 3 0-0 6, Trull 0 2-3 2, Ghramm 4 0-0 10, Snell 1 1-3 3, Mitchell 4 3-5 10. Puterbaugh 2 3-6 7. Totals 21 11-23 58

Eagle River (73) – Madubuko 3 2-5 8, Viotto 2 0-0 6, Yaw 11 6-9 28, Young 8 6-7 22, Taylor 2 1-2 7, Waterman 0 2-2 2, Palmer 0 0-2 0. Totals 26 17-27 73.

Three point goals – Eagle River 4 (Viotto 2, Taylor 2), Chugiak 6 (Johnston 2, Ghramm 2, Mitchell). Total fouls – Eagle River 21, Chugiak 23. Fouled out – Perrell, Mitchell, James.



Jan. 25

East 71, Eagle River 61

Dimond 54, Chugiak 52 (OT)

Jan. 28

Eagle River 70, Thunder Mountain 61

Feb. 1

Eagle River 73, Chugiak 58

This article published in The Alaska Star on Thursday, February 3, 2011.