Chugiak's Kelsey Heller (above) drives to the basket past Bartlett's Kelly Rypkema during Bartlett's 48-36 win in the third/fifth place game in the Maroon Bracket of the Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout on Feb. 5 at Dimond High. Chugiak's Mackenzie Matthis (above, right) tries to drive past Bartlett's Bobbi Britt during Bartlett's victory at the Shootout. Matthis scored four points for the Mustangs.
STAR PHOTOs by Matt Tunseth
After playing five games in as many days, the Chugiak girls basketball team could be forgiven if they needed a day off.
"We were a little tired, but more mentally tired I think," said Chugiak junior guard Mollie Matthis after the Mustangs fell 48-36 to Bartlett in their final game of the Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout on Feb. 5.
The Bartlett loss came about 17 hours after the Mustangs endured a draining 41-37 loss to Point Hope in the semifinals of the tournament's Maroon bracket on Feb. 4.
"We just had a definite lack of emotion for sure," said Chugiak coach Ryan Hales.
Chugiak led 9-6 after one quarter against the Golden Bears, but a 20-5 Bartlett run in the second proved to be the difference-maker. Hales said the loss was a disappointing one for Chugiak which beat Cook Inlet Conference rival Bartlett in their previous meeting this season because it gave the Golden Bears a possible leg up in the teams' next meeting.
"The thing I hate is you give them hope," he said.
Bobbi Britt scored 15 points and Tiffani Pollard added 13 for the Golden Bears, which won despite shooting just 34 percent from the floor.
"Defensively, I think we're pretty strong," Hales said.
But the Mustangs had trouble all afternoon finding the bottom of the net, and didn't get a single player into double figures. Matthis led the team with nine points, while Kelsey Heller and Jessica Tramp each added five.
"We just couldn't get anything going," Hales said.
The loss put a sad face on what could have been a positive tournament for the Mustangs. After dropping into the Maroon bracket with a tight 36-34 loss to Lathrop, the Mustangs rallied with an easy 44-25 win over Nome to advance into the semifinals.
There, they ran up against a Point Hope team that benefited from some friendly whistles. Though they hit four fewer field goals than Chugiak, Point Hope attempted 35 free throws, making 18. Chugiak, meanwhile, went a modest 9-for-15 from the line.
"I didn't think we were that much more aggressive than them," said Hales, whose team was whistled for 24 fouls compared to just 15 against Point Hope.
Tramp led Chugiak with 12 points in the game, while Kelsey Heller, Alistie Aguilar and Tracie Haken each added six and Mollie Matthis had five.
After watching his team go just 1-3 in the tournament despite allowing an average 37.5 points per game, Hales said he feels like the Mustangs just need to gain some confidence on the offensive end of the floor.
"Right now we're at a point where we're waiting for one of our teammates to step up," Hales said. "We have to realize the time is now, we can't keep waiting."
South girls 61, Chugiak 32
Heidi Pichler and the South girls basketball team came out hot and never cooled off on Feb. 7, routing Chugiak 61-32 at South.
Pichler nailed her first 3-point attempt of the game as the Wolverines raced out to a 12-3 lead after one quarter of play. Chugiak never recovered, as Pichler led all scorers with 22 points and the Wolverines went 23-of-35 from the free throw line to send Chugiak to its third Cook Inlet Conference loss of the season.
Jessica Tramp scored 11 points to lead Chugiak, which trailed 25-12 at halftime. Madison McAleavey came off the bench to add six points for Chugiak, which also gt four each from Mollie and Mackenzie Matthis.
The loss dropped Chugiak to 5-10 overall and 4-3 in the CIC.