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Story Last modified at 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eagles snap Wolves' basketball winning streak

Alaska Star staff

Eagle River coach Craig Harrison believes this year's Eagle River Wolves squad is taking the steps that will eventually lead to success.

"This journey is a marathon, not a sprint," Harrison said after his team fell 87-61 to first-place West on Feb. 7 at Eagle River.

Though the Wolves were blown out by the high-flying Eagles, Harrison said the Wolves impressed him by not backing down against a difficult opponent.

"To my guys' credit, they kept fighting," he said.

The loss dropped Eagle River to 2-8 overall and 1-6 at the midway point of the Cook Inlet Conference season. But Harrison said the team is actually just starting to come together, and he thinks that the second half of the season will be a turning point for the Wolves.

"We're peaking at the right time," he said.

Senior captain Nate Yaw has only been back for a few games, but he's made a huge impact on the team already. Yaw scored a team-high 17 points against West, and the game was the team's first loss since he returned from knee surgery.

"He makes a world of difference to us," Harrison said.

Eagle River never challenged against West, which got 21 points from Devon Bookert and had three other players in double figures. The Eagles raced out to a 26-13 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.

"West is the kind of team where if you have a bad minute or so they can really fill it up," he said.

Dominic Young added 13 points for Eagle River and Branden Viotto scored 12 for the Wolves, who outscored West 39-37 in the second half.

"That shows my guys have a lot of fight in them," Harrison said.

Harrison believes that the Wolves are much better than their record indicates, and he keeps telling them they've got the ability to make a strong run once the postseason arrives.

"You've only got to be in the dance to have success," he said.


Feb. 7, Eagle River

West 26 24 22 15 – 87

E. River 13 9 14 25 – 61

West (87) – Panoam 6 2-4 14, Norman 2 5-7 10, Queen 4 5-8 14, Bookert 5 9-9 21, L. Brown 2 2-2 6, Browsen 0 0-2 0, Hernandez 4 0-2 8, Sharp 3 0-0 6, K. Brown 3 2-2 8. Totals 29 25-36 87.

Eagle River (61) – Viotto 4 2-2 12, Carlos 0 3-5 3, Yaw 6 5-6 17, Summers 1 2-2 4, Young 4 5-8 13, Taylor 4 5-8 8, Palme 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 17-23 61.

Three point goals – West 4 (Bookert 2, Norman, Queen), Eagle River 4 (Viotto 2, Taylor 2). Total fouls – West 14, Eagle River 26. Fouled out – Johnson, Madubuko.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, February 9, 2011.