Connecting You With AK Athletes Outside the 907

The Alaska Sports Blog is sponsored by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and provides daily updates on local athletes outside the state. The blog was created in 2009 to fill a void of media coverage once Alaskans left the 907 area code. Former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and Alaska Press Club award winner Van Williams has been with the blog since the beginning and written more than 3,000 stories on over 500 Alaska athletes.

Follow us on Twitter @AKsportshall and Facebook.

Click here to read more about Van Williams and the Alaska Sports Blog.

January 18, 2017

Zoe Hickel hockey

Zoe Hickel

Anchorage’s Zoe Hickel assisted on a second-period goal that helped the Boston Pride beat the Connecticut Whale 4-0.

With the win, Boston improved to 9-0 in the National Women’s Hockey League.

It was the fifth assist and sixth point of the season for Hickel, of South High fame.

Two weeks ago, against Connecticut, the forward registered her first two-assist game.

The Pride are the defending Isobel Cup champions in the inaugural season of the NWHL.

Jordan Smelker hockey

Jordan Smelker

Boston features another Alaskan in Jordan Smelker of Anchorage.

Both players won the Cup last year.

Smelker, of Service High fame, owns 2-3—5 totals this season.

January 17, 2017

Da’Zhon Wyche

Road games bring out the best in certain players.

Da’Zhon Wyche of Anchorage played all 40 minutes and took over the offensive with a career-high 36 points as Laramie County beat North Platte 92-85 in Nebraska during JCCAA action.

Just a freshman, he sank 13-of-23 field goals and all six free throws.

The 5-foot-8 point guard went 4-of-10 from 3-point land and handed off four assists.

Wyche, of West High fame, has had other scoring games of 29, 28 and 21 points.

He is averaging 14.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 17 games.

Ramon Harris basketball

Ramon Harris

Anchorage’s Ramon Harris has found new life with the Grand Rapids Drive.

His scoring and rebounding averages have improved, he’s already hit a game-winning shot and recently he flirted with his career high for points.

The 6-foot-7 forward and fifth-year NBA D-League veteran pumped in seven 3-pointers on his way to scoring 21 points – two shy of his career high.

He’s now reached 20 points five times in 13 games since signing with Grand Rapids last month – he did not have a single 20-point effort in 12 games with his old team, the Iowa Energy.

Harris, of West High fame, has seen his numbers improve across the board with the change of scenery.

His minutes have gone from 18.1 to 26.8; his points per game from 6.3 to 8.5; his rebounds per game from 3.6 to 4.6; the number of 3-pointers from 16 to 25.

Harris, 28, is the all-time Alaska scoring leader in the D-League with 1,506 career points.

January 16, 2017

Lui Fa'amasino football

Lui Fa’amasino

When New Mexico State University offered Anchorage’s Lui Fa’amasino a football scholarship, the privilege of receiving a free education didn’t go to his head.

It went to his heart.

“I had a gut feeling since the day New Mexico State offered me that is was the right school,” Fa’amasino told me. “I always trust my gut feeling and run with those vibes.”

He will run out on the field this fall with the Aggies after accepting the offer to play football for the NCAA D1 school in the Sun Belt Conference.

Fa’amasino, of West High fame, said he instantly felt at home in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and that he really connected with the New Mexico State coaches on a personal level that played a huge factor in his decision.

“I figured if I was going to be somewhere for the next two years of my life I had to have that connection with my coaches and feel comfortable enough to talk to them about anything,” he said.

Fa’amasino is a 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker out of Los Angeles Harbor College, where he recorded 79 tackles in nine games and led the team with 4.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

He’s strong, smart and explosive enough to bust through the offensive line and destroy running backs and quarterbacks.

“My playing style complements what the program is looking for in a linebacker,” he said. “I believe with the help from the coaching staff my game will transition great here.”

Plus, he’s always hungry on the field.

“I’m a dawg, so regardless I’m going to eat out here.”

Fa’amasino hasn’t picked a major yet, but it won’t be football. He is eager to meet with his academic advisor to see what best fits into his busy schedule on the gridiron.

He plans to maximize his time on the field and in the classroom.

“Working towards and receiving a degree is huge,” he said. “I understand that there is life after football, so education is important. I am definitely going to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Fa’amasino’s take on life is a lot like the cerebral approach he brings to the football field. Even though he’s strong as an ox, he wants to outthink blockers as much as overpower them.

“At this level, it’s way more mental,” he said. “But I keep my mind stronger. Mindset is everything. When I figured that out, my game and life changed for the better.”

January 15, 2017
Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks single-handedly kept the Oregon Ducks in the game against No. 13 UCLA.

The Pac-12 freshman-of-the-year candidate produced nearly half of her team’s offense with a career-high 29-point performance in a 79-63 loss to No. 13 UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

The 6-foot-4 forward connected on 11-of-15 shots from the floor to raise her field-goal percentage to .702, lifting her into a virtual tie for the NCAA lead with West Valley’s Lanay Montgomery [.704].

Hebard, of West Valley High fame, bested her previous career high of 28 points and has now hit the 20-point mark five times in 18 games.

She grabbed nine rebounds to just miss a double-double.

Hebard leads the Ducks with 14.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game averages.

Her fabulous field-goal percentage is nearly better than her .732 free-throw percentage.

January 14, 2017

Tahna Lindquest swimming

Tahna Lindquest

Tahna Lindquist of Kodiak is having a sensational sophomore season with the University of Hawaii swim team.

She has posted four personal-best times, most recently in the 200-yard freestyle against Simon Fraser in Kihei, Hawaii.

Lindquist, of Kodiak High fame, clocked a time of 1:54.45 to finish second in the finals and best her previous PR of 1:56.31 set exactly one year to the day.

She also led off Hawaii’s victorious 400-yard medley relay team and won the 200 backstroke in 2:02.26, which wasn’t a PR but it was more than two seconds faster than the field.

Lindquist is one of the most versatile swimmers on the team, specializing in freestyle and backstroke but was good enough in the breast stroke and butterfly to compete in the individual medley.

She’s also competitive in events ranging from 50 yards to 500 yards, setting PRs in the 100 back, 200 back and 500 free.

In the 500 free, her time of 4:54.06 was the ninth best in school history.

January 13, 2017

Andrew Kurka handcycle

Andrew Kurka

Para-alpine skier Andrew Kurka of Palmer proved he’s still got it.

The 24-year-old picked up a pair of medals and beat a world champion in the first World Cup downhill races of the season in Austria.

Kurka, of Colony High fame, placed second to New Zealand’s world champion Corey Peters in the first men’s sitting race, but Kurka came back to win the second race after Peters failed to finish his run.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to really show up to the first speed World Cup of the season,” Kurka told me. “Earlier in the year at the first tech races I had some equipment issues and shock troubles on my mono ski. Once I got them resolved I knew I would be on the podium with the results of my training.”

The downhill races were originally scheduled on back-to-back days but pending weather forced the races to be held within a few hours of each other.

Kurka was prepared thanks to his tireless training and dedication to the sport.

“Keeping an open mind and being willing to learn even when things don’t go well helped me implement success at the next turn,” he said.

Staying in his Tessier adaptive seat and on his Volkl 218 skis also made a big difference for Kurka.

In a sport where success is separated by hundredths of a second, there’s a fine line between going from broke and not crashing.

“The fine line is something that is ever changing with ski racing. Experience and knowledge plays a big part into it,” Kurka said. “A big contribution to my success is the coaching staff of the US Para-Alpine team that’s helped me direct my abilities through my career and guide to me to continued success.”

January 12, 2017

Colter Lasher basketball

Colter Lasher

Anchorage’s Colter Lasher has etched his name in the history books after the Houston Baptist University senior forward recorded his 1,000th career point.

He is just the 20th Alaska basketball player to reach the marvelous milestone at the NCAA D1 level.

The 6-foot-7 swingman also became the first Houston Baptist player to join the 1,000-point club since 2011.

Lasher, of Dimond High fame, reached the milestone with his first bucket of the night on his way to scoring 19 points in an 89-79 loss to Central Arkansas in Houston, Texas.

“It was a great feeling,” he told me. “I was never able to achieve 1,000 points in high school, so it means that much more to me.”

Lasher is the 11th Alaska man to reach the milestone, and the third Anchorage player in three years, with Devon Bookert doing it last year at Florida State and Damon Sherman-Newsome the year before that at Colgate.

The 1,000-point club includes Alaska’s greatest players Mario Chalmers, Carlos Boozer and Trajan Langdon.

“It definitely makes everything worth it when you can be mentioned in the same group as players I’ve always looked up to,” Lasher said. “I do not think this makes me one of the best. I played with and against some great players when I was in high school that weren’t given a look because they were from Alaska.”

Lasher was in that boat himself at one time.

Unhappy with his college offers out of high school, he spent a year at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada, to increase his chances to sign with a D1 school. It worked.

“I think that my move to Las Vegas set me up to get an opportunity and I was able to take advantage of that opportunity,” Lasher said. “I was super lucky to land at a school that was building for the future and let me grow early in my career. I definitely made the right choice in schools.”

Alaska NCAA D1 Basketball 1,000-point Scorers
Men

1,974 Trajan Langdon [Duke, East High]
1,607 Chris Devine [Santa Barbara, Chugiak High]
1,506 Carlos Boozer [Duke, Juneau-Douglas High]
1,389 Damen Bell-Holter [Oral Roberts, Ketchikan High]
1,341 Mario Chalmers [Kansas, Bartlett High]
1,337 Andre Laws [San Diego, East High]
1,279 Kyle Bailey [Santa Clara, Lathrop High]
1,227 Jason Erickson [Montana State, Chugiak High]
1,120 Devon Bookert [Florida State, West High]
1,030 Damon Sherman-Newsome [Colgate, Bartlett High]
*1,017 Colter Lasher [Houston Baptist, Dimond High]
*Active

Women
2,033 Kelsey Griffin [Nebraska, Chugiak High]
1,766 Jeannie Hebert [Miami, Monroe Catholic High]
1,664 Talisa Rhea [Seattle, Oregon State, Juneau-Douglas High]
1,596 Andrea Lloyd-Curry [Texas, Sitka High]
1,519 Brit Jacobson [Kansas State, Chugiak High]
1,374 Molly Tuter [Arizona State, Soldotna High]
1,346 Chandice Cronk [Santa Clara, Wasilla High]
1,233 Jessica Moore [Connecticut, Colony High]
1,149 Natalie Jones [Arizona, East High]

January 11, 2017

Adam Klie basketball

Adam Klie

Anchorage’s Adam Klie isn’t just the best basketball player at NCAA D2 nationally ranked San Diego.

He might be the MVP of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

The 6-foot-4 guard is definitely a player-of-the-year candidate as he’s the best player on the best team in the conference.

Klie, of Service High fame, is averaging career highs across the board and ranks ninth in the league in scoring [14.1], 11th in rebounding [6.9] and second in assists [4.7].

He’s also seventh in minutes [32.7] and ninth in field-goal percentage [.456].

Klie recorded his first double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 52-47 win over Cal State East Bay that lifted San Diego to 13-2 overall and 8-0 in the CCAA.

He’s ironed out his free-throw stroke over the last four games, shooting a .697 percentage [23-of-33] to raise his season average to .607. He was a career .659 FT shooter coming into the year.

January 10, 2017

Brandon Pili football

Brandon Pili

Before he goes off to play college football, Brandon Pili of Anchorage will play in one last high school game.

He has accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Polynesian Bowl, Jan. 21 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“Getting invited to this was pretty exciting because it is the first-ever Polynesian Bowl so I will be a part of its history and foundation,” Pili told me.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior defensive lineman is a 4-star national recruit who has scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Colorado and others.

Despite some outstanding offers, he remains undecided.

“I haven’t really cut down the list just yet, but I know I will have to pretty quickly,” he said. “This game is mostly just for fun for me. I’m not looking for it to help my recruiting, but it would be cool to get a get more looks from other schools.”

Pili, of Dimond High fame, played his senior season at Westview in Portland, Oregon, and earned all-conference honors before coming back to Alaska to graduate with his class and spent time with family before leaving for college.

The Polynesian Bowl is part of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend. Past Polynesian College Player of the Year Award recipients and current NFL players Marcus Mariota and Ronnie Stanley will serve as team captains. They will select their players at a Draft Luau.

Each player will receive air fare to Hawaii, lodging, meals, ground transportation, Nike apparel, a Riddell helmet and shoulder pads. They will also participate in Polynesian cultural and educational activities throughout game week.

“This game means a lot to me culturally, and it does for my dad too,” said Pili, who departs Monday. “I’m excited to go to the Polynesian cultural center and see the Polynesian Hall of Fame.”

Football is a big part of his life, and his culture.

“Yeah Polynesians are naturally strong, and they are tough as well, and most of us are naturally just born for the game,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with our pride. Polynesians have a lot of pride and it drives them to never want to lose.”

Madison Morey hockey

Madison Morey

Merrimack College hockey player Madison Morey of Fairbanks picked a terrific time to find her scoring touch.

After the durable sophomore forward bagged her first two goals of the season in back-to-back games, including an OT winner, she was named women’s athlete of the week for her school in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Morey, of Lathrop High fame, scored her first goal in dramatic fashion in Merrimack’s first game of 2017, scoring the first game-winning goal of her career in overtime in a 2-1 victory over Vermont in NCAA D1 play.

The goal kept Merrimack’s all-time undefeated record intact against Vermont.

She scored her second goal the following day against Connecticut to improve her stat line on the season to 2-4—6 in 24 games.

Morey has played in all 58 games of her Merrimack career. She now has five career Gs.

January 9, 2017

Griffin Toomey football

Griffin Toomey

Saint John’s University senior punter Griffin Toomey of Anchorage played in the All-American Bowl and was part of the winning side.

Team Stars defeated Team Stripes 40-33 in an all-star game for NCAA D3 senior football players in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Toomey, of South High fame, averaged 46.5 yards on two punts, with an average hang time of 3.9 seconds. He also averaged 58 yards on a pair of kickoffs.

In his last season at Saint John’s, he recorded the third-best single-season punting average in school history with a 41.3-yard mark [35 punts for 1,445 yards].

Toomey ended his career second in school history with a 38.3-yard average on 163 punts, 59 of which were dropped inside the opponents’ 20-yard line [36.2 percent].

SJU ended the 2016 season ranked as high as No. 9 nationally and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs for the third consecutive season in 2016.

The Johnnies finished with a 10-2 overall record, including a 7-1 mark in MIAC play.

January 8, 2017

Desmond Johnson basketball

Desmond Johnson

His first game back on the basketball court was like a tune-up.

Now Anchorage’s Desmond Johnson is revved up.

With its star guard back in the starting lineup, South Mountain College College was hitting on all cylinders in a 99-96 win over Glendale Community College in Arizona.

Johnson, of East High fame, collected 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

He sank 8-of-14 field goals, but missed all three 3-point attempts. He also made 9-of-11 foul shots.

Johnson had 11 points in his first game of the season Dec. 30.

January 7, 2017

Jerica Nelson basketball

Jerica Nelson

What do you get when you cross Central Methodist University women’s basketball team with three Alaskans?

The upset of the year.

Alaskans Jerica Nelson of Kodiak and NeNe Hale and CeCe Cockerham of Anchorage combined for 40 points as 16th-ranked CMU knocked off fifth-ranked and defending NAIA national champion MidAmerica Nazarene University 77-74 in Fayette, Missouri.

Nelson, of Kodiak High fame, came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points on 3-for-3 shooting from downtown. She added five assists and a pair of steals.

The 5-foot-5 sophomore and UAA transfer has made her last four 3-point attempts after starting just 4-for-14 from long range.

Nelson leads CMU with 54 assists and 34 steals in 14 games.

NeNe Hale basketball

DaJonee Hale

Hale, of Houston High fame, scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

The 5-foot-8 junior started at guard and played 37 minutes.

Last year she was an NAIA All-American and this year leads the Heart of America Conference with a 20.2-point scoring average.

She also ranks fourth in field goal percentage [.500, 101-for-202] in 14 games.

Hale has had high scoring games of 37, 29 and 26 games this season and sits just 58 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point milestone. Right now she has 942 career points in 60 games.

Chamira Cockerham basketball

Chamira Cockerham

Cockerham, of West High fame, came off the bench to score a season-high nine points in 16 minutes.

She added five rebounds, a steal and an assist.

The 5-foot-10 junior forward made her living at the free-throw line, where she made 7-of-8 attempts.

Central Methodist [12-2] improved top 8-2 in conference, one game back of league leaders Baker University and MidAmerica Nazarene.

Tre’shawn King-Dunbar basketball

Tre’shawn King-Dunbar

The Notre Dame de Namur men’s basketball team pushed the leaders of the Pac West Conference to the brink, thanks to Tre’shawn King-Dunbar of Anchorage.

The senior guard delivered team-high totals of 22 points, four assists and three steals in a 77-72 loss to Dixie State in Belmont, California.

King-Dunbar, of Bartlett High fame, pumped in 15 points in the first half as Notre Dame de Namur carried a 39-32 lead into halftime.

The 6-foot-1 starter sank 6-of-11 field goals and 6-of-7 free throws.

He sank a pair of foul shots to give the Argonauts a 69-67 lead with 3:14 left.

King-Dunbar is averaging 15.8 points in eight games for the NCAA D2 school.

January 6, 2017

Connor Looney basketball

Connor Looney

His 3-point shot was off and he attempted only one free throw, but Connor Looney of Palmer still managed to reach the 20-point plateau.

The senior guard used a marvelous 8-for-11 shooting on midrange shots to help him score 13 of his 20 game-high 20 points in a 76-58 victory over Azusa Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Looney, of Palmer High fame, sank 9-of-17 shots from the field and added three rebounds, three assists and a steal.

The 6-foot-2 starter ranks second on his team and 12th in the Pac West Conference with a 15.9-point scoring average through 14 games.

Looney is fifth in the conference in field goal percentage [.513], eighth in 3-point percentage [.391] and sixth in free throw percentage [.840].

Hawaii Pacific [14-1] is tied for first place in the NCAA D2 Pac West with Dixie State and Cal Baptist.

Emmie Jennings swimming

Emmie Jennings

She might have been swimming on the Boise State B squad, but Eagle River’s Emmie Jennings brought her A-game to the NCAA D1 tri-meet in Los Angeles, California.

The sophomore turned in a terrific performance in the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay, where she helped the Boise State B team earn the third-fastest time among the 11 squads and beat UCLA’s B team and the Kansas A team.

Jennings, of Chugiak High fame, also participated in the 100 butterfly, 50 free and 200 medley relay.

She was sixth out of 14 starters in the 50 free with a time of 24.05 and eighth out of 13 starters in the 100 fly in 58.45. Her 200 medley relay team finished sixth.

January 4, 2017

Jeff Overbaugh football

Jeff Overbaugh

The NFL season didn’t feature an Alaskan for the first time since 1988, but Jeff Overbaugh of Anchorage could start a new streak next year.

The 23-year-old rookie long snapper signed a future contract with the Denver Broncos and will be officially added to the roster when the new league season begins in early March.

“It is still be to determined when we are going to start OTA’s but it will be somewhere around the middle of April,” he told me.

Overbaugh, of Service High fame, spent part of the preseason with the Los Angeles Rams and played in three exhibition games before being released on the eve of the season opener.

Lots of players cut from the active roster are kept for the practice squad, but not long snappers, so he was basically out of luck.

But he wasn’t out of the game entirely.

The former San Diego State star – who for his four-year career converted all 510 snaps on punts, PATs and field goals – stayed in southern California to work out with a pair of former NFL kickers to remain ready for his second chance.

“I have been working out with John Carney and Mike Husted for the entirety of the season,” he said.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Overbaugh worked out for the Broncos earlier this season but did not sign. He’s happy to be back with the team he rooted for as a kid in Alaska.

“I am absolutely a Bronco fan,” he said. “I always enjoyed watching Chris Kuper play for the Broncos as I was growing up.”

Kuper, of course, is from Anchorage and part of a small fraternity of Alaskans that played in the NFL. From 1989 to 2015, the league featured at least one player from the 907.

January 3, 2017

Levi Auble basketball

Levi Auble

Biola University sophomore Levi Auble of Valdez is part of a second unit that’s playing like first class.

The level of play hasn’t dropped off when the reserves come in for Biola, which is 14-1 and owns a 23.5-point scoring margin.

Auble, of Anchorage Christian School fame, is one of nine players averaging 15 minutes per game for the Eagles of Los Angeles, California.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore small forward is scoring 3.7 points and grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game.

Last month, he collected a career-high 11 rebounds against West Coast Baptist for his first double-digit performance.

Before that he pumped in a career-high eight points against Pomona-Pitzer. He scored seven points two weeks ago and last week he collected six points, four rebounds, a block and a steal in an 88-56 win over Fraser Valley.

Auble has been at his best near the basket, where he has scored 41 of his 56 points off free throws and two-point field goals. His signature play has been the baseline dunk.

January 2, 2017

Lawjen Ashmore basketball

Lawjen Ashmore

After playing sparingly last season for Gallaudet University, Lawjen Ashmore of Fairbanks came back for her junior season fired up to play basketball.

The 5-foot-7 forward has started all eight games and is among the rebounding leaders for the NCAA D3 Bison of Washington, D.C.

Ashmore, of West Valley High fame, has seen her playing time increase from 7.4 minutes in 19 games last year to 29.5 this season.

Her production in the frontcourt has spiked, the biggest jump coming with her rebounding average going from 1.7 to 6.8.

She is averaging 4.3 points on 33 percent shooting.

In the last game before the holiday break, Ashmore accumulated eight points, six rebounds and four assists in a 69-65 loss to Susquehanna.

Founded in 1864, Gallaudet is the nation’s leading university for the deaf.

The school has a proud sports history. It’s the birthplace of the football huddle, when the players gathered to avoid opponents from stealing plays by reading his hand signals.

In 2014, Ashmore helped the U21 USA women’s basketball team win the World Deaf Championships in Turkey.

She also runs track for Gallaudent as a sprinter.

December 31, 2016

Jack Heun Mixed Martial Arts MMA

Jake Heun

Even in defeat, Palmer’s Jake Heun reminds us how tough he is.

The 29-year-old suffered his first loss by knockout in 16 career professional fights after his mixed martial arts bout was stopped at World Series of Fighting 34 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Ten-win fighter Smealinho Rama of Greece won by strikes after the referee called for the TKO at 3:30 of the second round.

Heun, of Palmer High fame, saw his record drop to 10-6 since turning pro in 2011 after finishing his football career at the University of Hawaii.

For five years, nobody could knock this guy out.

This was Heun’s sixth appearance in the World Series of Fighting, falling to 3-3 with the premier promotion.

Of his 10 career victories, four have come via knockout by the one they call ‘The Honey Bear.’

December 30, 2016

Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Ruthy Hebard was ready for today’s game against nationally ranked Washington Huskies.

Apparently, the rest of the Oregon Ducks were not ready to play.

The 9th-ranked Huskies won all four quarters en route to a 99-77 victory on the Ducks’ home court, wasting a wonderful 25-point effort from the fabulous freshman from Fairbanks.

Hebard, of West Valley High fame, sank 11-of-14 field goals and all three free throws.

The 6-foot-4 forward went 5-for-5 from the floor in the first half and scored 12 points in nine minutes. Yet Oregon trailed 51-39.

Hebard kept it going in the second half and never let up. Three times in the third quarter her layup pulled the Ducks within 11 points. They would draw no closer.

The Huskies are led by future WNBA lottery pick Kelsey Plum, who poured in 44 points.

Hebard continues to lead the Ducks in scoring [14.6] and rebounding [8.4] in 13 games.

She leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 2 nationally in field-goal percentage at .752. West Virginia’s Lanay Montgomery leads the NCAA at .759.

Colter Lasher basketball

Colter Lasher

The basketball hoop must look the size of a hula hoop to Anchorage’s Colter Lasher these days.

The Houston Baptist University senior is shooting a staggering field-goal percentage [.634, 33-for-52] over his last four games.

The 6-foot-7 forward made 7-of-11 shots and finished with a game-high 22 points as the Huskies beat Sam Houston State 79-65 in the Southland Conference opener in Huntsville, Texas.

Lasher, of Dimond High fame, sank 4-of-6 3-pointers, all four free throws and added three rebounds and two blocks.

Check out his recently shooting clinic:

8-13 FG vs. Indiana
12-18 FG vs. Arlington Baptist
6-10 FG vs. Northwestern
7-11 FG vs. Sam Houston State

Lasher leads Houston Baptist and ranks ninth in the conference with a 15.7 scoring average in 11 games. He is shooting .485 on the season, coming off 47 percent last year.

December 29, 2016

Dajan Treder wrestling

Dajan Treder

Anchorage’s Dajan Treder of the University of Jamestown continues to wrestle at a high level.

The reigning NAIA All-American recorded a runner-up finish in the 116-pound women’s division at the United States Senior Nationals in Las Vegas.

In reaching the finals she earned a berth to the World Team Trials in April.

“The last two years Dajan has really made a jump,” Jimmies women’s wrestling coach Tony DeAnda told The Jamestown Sun. “She’s started to figure things out. I’m really happy with her progress.”

Treder, of West High fame, lost in the national finals by a 10-0 technical fall to Whitney Conder of the U.S. Amry. Conder is a three-time U.S. World Team member and won all of her matches by 10-0 technical fall.

Treder beat Mayra Ramirez by a 12-0 decision in the first round. Then she defeated Cassidy Jesperson of Aries Wrestling Club 10-0 to advance to the finals.

“Dajan has continued to improve and to her credit she wrestled really well,” DeAnda said.

December 28, 2016

Dane Kuiper basketball

Dane Kuiper

A pattern is developing with Wasilla’s Dane Kuiper and the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore started his third straight game and reached double figures for the third time in his last four games as the Lobos opened Mountain West Conference play with a 78-73 victory over Fresno State at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kuiper, of Wasilla High fame, finished with 10 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal in 22 minutes before fouling out.

All of his points came in the first half when helped supply a 36-34 cushion.

He made the first jump shot he took 63 seconds into the game, which got him going because he was in rhythm the whole half. He made two free throws then knocked down back-to-back 3s to push the lead to 27-15.

Kuiper is averaging 10.5 points over the last four games.

In 10 games this season he is scoring 5.9 points in 14.9 minutes per contest.

New Mexico is 8-5 overall, 3-1 when Kuiper is in the starting lineup.