by Tommy Wells
Wally Flynn, Dennis Panruk and Jackie Wassillie all turned in outstanding performances this past weekend and helped the Chefornak Shaman fight their way to the consolation finals at the 2017 ASAA Class 1A State Basketball Championships.
Chefornak went 2-2 in the tournament which was held March 15-18 at the Alaska Airlines Center and the Wells Fargo Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
King Cove managed to claim a narrow 50-38 come-from-behind decision in the consolation finals on Saturday.
Chefornak jumped out on top early against King Cove. Backed by shots from Flynn and Wassillie, the Shaman built a slim 10-9 lead in the first quarter.
King Cove caught fire from there, however. The T-Jacks reeled off 18 points in the second and 12 more in the third quarter and raced to a 39-27 cushion at the start of the final frame.
Wassillie finished as Chefornak’s top scorer by netting 12. Flynn added 10.
The Shaman had no trouble scoring points on Friday en route to notching a 60-48 victory over Anaktuvuk Pass in the semifinal round. They poured on the defense and reaped the benefits.
Chefornak broke open a close 24-23 halftime lead with a dominating second half. The Shamans outscored Anaktuvuk Pass by a 36-25 clip in the final 16 minutes.
In the win, Wassillie, Panruk and Flynn all scored into double figures. Wassillie was among the more dominant players on both ends of the court, pouring in 12 points and 11 rebounds. Panruk and Flynn scored 20 and 16, respectively.
Chefornak opened the tournament with a tough 51-25 loss to Hydaburg on Wednesday. The Shaman struggled from behind the three-point line in the contest, hitting just two of their 20 attempts.
Panruk led Chefornak’s efforts against Hydaburg with 11 points. Wassillie added seven points and a team-high 11 boards.
The Shaman rebounded from their play-in round loss on Thursday with a 65-55 win over the Alakanuk Braves. In the win, Panruk and Alakanuk’s Jamal Alstrom and Michael Ayunerak turned in three of the tournament’s top performances. All three notched double-double outings. Panruk paced Chefornak with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Alstom netted 23 points and 20 boards, while also grabbing six steals. Ayunerak had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Flynn led all scorers with 28 points. Wassillie and Jody Agimuk added 12 and 11 rebounds.
Alakanuk fell into the consolation round with a 55-43 loss to eventual Class 1A state runner-up Gambell in the opening round on Wednesday.
Despite the loss to Gambell, the Braves picked up solid play from Ayunerak, who tallied 10 points and five assists. Gregory Ayunerak tacked on nine points and seven boards, while Alstrom tallied eight points and 10 rebounds.
Aniak and Scammon Bay also competed in the tournament. The Halfbreeds suffered a 51-41 loss to Ninilchik in the first round. They suffered a 71-49 setback to Tanana in the first round on consolation action.
Against Tanana, Braden Dallman pumped in a team-high 16 points, while Justin Ward added eight points and 11 boards. Matthew Morgan and Ray Turner tallied nine and seven, respectively.
Despite 18 points from Theodore Sundown, Scammon Bay suffered a 66-39 loss to Klawock in the first round. They suffered a 73-45 setback to King Cove in their next outing.
Sundown led SBHS in scoring against King Cove with 10 points. Teddy Charlie and Jackson Charlie added six each.