Connecting You With AK Athletes Outside the 907

The Alaska Sports Blog provides daily posts on Alaska athletes doing great things at the professional, international and collegiate level outside the state. The blog was created to fill a void of coverage once Alaskans left the 907 area code. Since 2009 former Anchorage Daily News Sports Editor Van Williams has written more than 2,300 stories on over 300 Alaska athletes.

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

March 3, 2015

Gabi Fenumiai basketballSaturday evening started with Peninsula College in Washington honoring Gabi Fenumiai of Juneau for breaking the school’s career rebounding record.

It ended with the 6-foot power forward showing off her long-range jumper.

Fenumiai sank her first and only 3-point attempt in two seasons with the junior college to highlight an 87-20 rout of Shoreline, which finished the game with four players on the court.

The Alaskan finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds as Peninsula won its ninth straight game and clinched the NWAC North Region championship.

“I asked my coach if I could take a 3 for my Sophomore Night. At first she said she didn’t know because she didn’t want it to be a circus,” Fenumiai told me.

She got the green light at halftime and then got her opportunity early in the second half.

“I just pulled up and prayed it went in – and it swished!” she said. “The whole crowd went crazy and my team went even crazier. I think I watched the film back 10 times just to watch our bench’s reaction.”

Fenumiai was honored earlier that night for breaking the school’s all-time rebounding record. Actually, she crushed it. She has 515 compared to No. 2 Danielle Larson’s 382. Both players are from Juneau.

“Breaking that record is funny because I personally know Danielle and she told me she doesn’t care what records I break as long as it isn’t hers,” Fenumiai said. “I just laughed and told her I couldn’t promise anything.

“But I can’t take all the credit for breaking it. I had such a support system from my teammates and coaches that pushed me and challenged me to be the best I could. They knew my ability and wouldn’t allow me to fall short or take a play off, so I have to give major credit to them.”

This season she is averaging 8.8 rebounds. Last year, though, she pulled down 11.65 rebounds – the sixth best single-season total in the NWAC since 2009.

“Ever since I started playing I knew rebounding was part of my identity as a basketball player,” Fenumiai said. “And as I developed I realized that a rebound means another possession for us and it ends an opponent’s possession. As a competitive person, who wouldn’t want that for their team?”

March 2, 2015

Zoe Hickel hockey

Zoe Hickel

University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey star Zoe Hickel of Anchorage saw her college hockey career come to an end when the Bulldogs lost 2-1 to Bemidji State in Game 3 of their WCHA playoff series.

It was a bad ending for a good player.

Hickel, of Service High fame, amassed 46-47—93 totals in 138 career games. The senior was team captain this season for a 20-win club.

The 5-foot-6 forward was recently named to the U.S. National Team that will compete at the world championships later this month in Sweden. This is the start of the Olympic cycle for the next Games.

Hickel is also a finalist for the NCAA Humanitarian Award. An avid volunteer in youth sports, she created the Great Alaska Girls Hockey Showcase in Alaska and also organized the SHARK kids healthy lifestyle program in Minnesota.

March 1, 2015
Sagan Osborne baseball

Sagan Osborne

Anchorage’s Sagan Osborne today had his best baseball moment in two years, and he got to enjoy it with three other Alaskans on the field.

Osborne’s one-out single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning ended Treasure Valley’s 6-5 win over Dawson in JC action in Oregon.

He entered the game as a defensive substitute at third base in the top of the seventh as Treasure Valley looked to close out a three-run lead.

“I wasn’t even going to hit,” Osborne told me.

But Dawson rallied for three runs to force the bottom half of the inning. Then Treasure Valley loaded the bases with one out to bring Osborne to the plate.

“We are a stacked team and I hadn’t got much playing time over the weekend,” he said.

He came in cold and walked off red hot.

Osborne, of Dimond High fame, drove a soft line drive to right field to plate the winning run and beat a Dawson team with three Alaskans in the lineup.

“That made it extra special,” Osborne said.

Dawson [Mont.] had three Service High alums in the field when Osborne got his hit – Jake Ridley at third base, Conner Melton at catcher and Ryan Caron in right field.

“It’s definitely awesome to see another Alaskan being successful,” Ridley told me, “but a loss still hurts either way.”

For Osborne, the game-winning base hit was his first hit in college. It’s a long time coming for a promising high school player that started his journey two years ago at Utah Valley State before coming to Treasure Valley.

“It was a huge weight off to come through and help this team win,” he said. “I’m just thankful to be in this great program and I really see it as my second chance to prove myself.”

Adam Manzer baseball

Adam Manzer

Adam Manzer of Anchorage has returned to college baseball with a bang.

The junior outfielder at NCAA D2 Sonoma State in California is hitting .333 in his first six games after sitting out last season as a transfer from College of Marin.

He slugged his first home run for Sonoma State in a 4-3 loss to Chico State and owns a .411 on-base percentage.

Manzer, of West High fame, was an all-star catcher in high school but now is a versatile outfielder for the Seawolves; he has already played defense in left, center and right field.

Two years ago, Manzer hit a career-high .279 in 32 games for College of Marin. He was one of the league’s hottest hitters in the final 12 games when he hit .373.

kelsey_griffin_basketball_action4Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin will shoot for 3 Sunday.

Already a two-time WNBL champion, the third-year Bendigo Spirit forward will go for the three-peat Sunday against the Townsville Fire in a rematch of the 2014 and 2013 title games.

Bendigo reached the Australia’s Grand Final after beating the Sydney Uni Flames 85-77 today and now aim to become the first team in 20 years to win three consecutive WNBL crowns.

Griffin, of Chugiak High fame, scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and handed off a season-high 6 assists.

The 6-foot-2 Alaskan has reached double figures in every game but one since Thanksgiving. She leads her team in scoring [16.3] and rebounding [9.0].

Griffin is also a two-time Grand Final MVP.

February 28, 2015

Damon Sherman-Newsome Basketball

Photo by Mitchell Layton

Twenty years ago the state of Alaska didn’t have a single NCAA D1 men’s basketball player with 1,000 points.

Today we have 9.

Anchorage’s Damon Sherman-Newsome joined the select club today with 11 points for Colgate University in a 61-55 win over Leigh that secured the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Patriot League tournament.

The 6-foot-5 senior guard now has 1,003 career points in three seasons at the D1 level.

The 1K milestone didn’t go unnoticed by Sherman-Newsome.

“It means everything. I try to carry Alaska everywhere I go. To be able to do that, to accomplish that, to show people that we can play basketball because still don’t think we can. It’s huge,” he told me. “I think it’ll help younger kids in Alaska. They will see that it can be done.”

Sherman-Newsome, of Bartlett High fame, admitted that he wants to be considered among the best players in Alaska history. He took a different path than most.

He wasn’t a player of the year. He wasn’t highly recruited. He went to a JC as a freshman.

But now he’s part of a hoops hierarchy.

“Honestly that was always my goal, to even be in that conversation to be considered one of the better players,” he said. “Now I can say it and I have proof to back it up.”

NCAA D1 Basketball 1,000-point Scorers from Alaska
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]
*1,003 Damon Sherman-Newsome [Colgate, Bartlett High]
*Active

Women
2,033 Kelsey Griffin [Nebraska, Chugiak High]
1,766 Jeannie Hebert-Truax [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]

Marion Woods Nordic Skiing

Marion Woods

University of Vermont nordic skier Marion Woods of Anchorage finished third in the women’s Skimeister standings after two days of racing at the NCAA East Regional at Lake Placid.

The sophomore finished fifth to earn all-region honors in each of the two disciplines to help defending NCAA runnerup Vermont win the team by an impressive 219-point margin.

Woods, of South High fame, seems to be peaking at just the right time with the NCAA Championships next week. This was the third time this winter she has placed in the top 10 in both races on a single weekend.

In the outsprinted a teammate to get fifth in the women’s 5K skate race, finishing in 16:13.6. She crossed fifth in the 15K classic in 53:51.

Stephanie Kirk Cross Country SkiingVermont’s Stephanie Kirk of Anchorage was also a double all-region recipient.

The junior is also shining bright, with this being her third straight double top-10 weekend performance.

She earned a bronze in the 5K skate race with a third-place finish in 16:09.9. She was tenth in the 15K classical in 54:17.6.

On the men’s side, Anchorage’s Silas Talbot of Dartmouth College continues to have a stellar senior season on skis.

Silas Talbot Nordic Skiing

Silas Talbot

He was the third Alaska skier this weekend to earn all-region recognition in both races with a fourth-place effort in the men’s Skimeister chase.

Talbot, of Service High fame, has finished in the top 10 in nine of 10 races this winter.

He was fifth in the men’s 10K skate race in 28:44.5 and sixth in the 20K classical race in 1:00:21.2.

Last year at the NCAAs, Talbot just missed making All-American by finishing 11th in the 20K freestyle race.

February 26, 2015

Kevin Rima basketball

Kevin Rima

Northwest Nazarene University’s Kevin Rima of Fairbanks is the school’s greatest rebounder in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

He currently ranks 15th in GNAC history with 620 rebounds and could potentially move up four spots in his final college game Saturday. The senior needs 10 to move into 11th all alone.

The 6-foot-7 post player ranks ninth in league history with 248 offensive boards.

There’s more.

Rima, of Hutchison High fame, also has a chance to move up the school’s points list. He recently surpassed the 1,000-mark milestone and could move into 6th place with 18 points Saturday. He currently has 1,050 points.

He scored 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting in tonight’s 91-67 win over Montana State Billings.

This season Rima ranks eighth in the league in field-goal percentage [.573] and No. 1 in offensive rebounds [2.8].

February 25, 2015

Damon Sherman-NewsomeDamon Sherman-Newsome of Anchorage delivered another signature moment in this his best college season.

The 6-foot-5 senior guard bagged a team-high 28 points on superb shooting as Colgate beat Lafayette 95-83 in Pennsylvania as the Raiders matched a program record with their 11th win in the Patriot League.

It was his first 20-plus scoring night since scoring a career-high 30 points in January. He is now just eight points shy of reaching 1,000 career points in his three years at Colgate.

Sherman-Newsome, of Bartlett High fame, sank 9-of-13 shots from the floor, 3-of-6 from behind the 3-point line and 7-of-9 free throws.

He has now reached double figures in a team-best 25 of Colgate’s 30 games so far this season. The team will wrap up the regular season Sunday against Leigh with a Patriot League No. 1 seed on the line.

Pauline Tufi softball

Pauline Tufi

The greatest softball player in Alaska history played her own version of home run derby recently for Louisiana Tech.

Sophomore slugger Pauline Tufi of Anchorage crushed a pair of home runs in a 10-6 win in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Lamar. She finished 3-for-3 and showed incredible power to all fields.

In the first inning she hit a line-drive, solo home run to right field. In the fifth, she launched a two-run bomb that traveled approximately 275 feet to left field.

This 5-foot-10 infielder has three homers in 14 games. Last year she hit four in 52 games and drove in 34 RBIs to break a 25-year-old freshman school record.

Tufi, of West High fame, is durable, having started all 66 games of her NCAA D1 college career, and versatile. She also pitches and has racked up a 14-11 career record in the circle.

February 24, 2015

Aminata Cole BasketballShe stands 5-foot-11, but to opposing shooters Aminata Cole of Anchorage must seem seven feet tall.

The Southwestern Oregon College sophomore center leads the Northwest Athletic Conference in blocked shots after swatting a career-high 8 shots against Chemeketa.

Cole, of Dimond High fame, also scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to just miss a triple-double.

She leads the NWAC with 3.2 blocked shots per game. She’s had four or more in 9 of 21 games and a total of 20 in just the last three games.

She succeeds due to terrific timing and awesome athleticism.

Cole is making a run at NWAC South Region MVP honors this season, ranking in the top 5 in four different categories:

NWAC Women’s Leaders
4th Points 18.4
3rd Rebounds 9.8
1st Blocks 3.2
4th FG% .590

February 23, 2015

Kelsey Griffin BasketballIf Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin and the Bendigo Spirit are going to win their third straight WNBL title in Australia, they must win their next game.

The Spirit got thumped 82-63 by the Townsville Fire and now face the Sydney Uni Flames this weekend for a right to face Townsville in the March 8 Grand Final.

Griffin, of Chugiak High fame, has been the Grand Final MVP in each of the last two years and she looked the part in the early stages against Sydney.

The 6-foot-2 Alaskan poured in 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and an assist in the first half as Bendigo erased a 10-point deficit to take a 39-38 lead at halftime.

The good times didn’t continue, though. The Spirit managed just 7 points in the third quarter and Griffin managed only two points in the second half.

She finished with 21 points, 9 rebounds and a season-high 4 steals. She has scored 20 or more in nine of the last 16 games.

In three games against Sydney this season, Griffin has averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds. Her team is 2-1.

February 22, 2015

Adam Klie basketballJust a sophomore, Adam Klie of Anchorage is already the best player for the University of California San Diego men’s basketball team.

His stats don’t lie.

Klie leads the team in scoring average [12.2], rebounds [122], steals [28], free-throw attempts [110] and field-goal percentage [.591].

The 6-foot-4 guard pumped in 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to match his season high in a 72-58 win over CS Dominguez Hills.

Klie, of Service High fame, ranks third in the California Collegiate Athletic Association in field-goal percentage and has 554 career points in just two seasons.

UCSD is tied for third in the CCAA at 13-7 with two games left in the regular season.

February 21, 2015

Max Karnos BaseballHe wasn’t perfect, but Western Nevada College pitcher Max Karnos of Anchorage might as well have been for six innings against Southern Idaho.

The sophomore right-hander faced the minimum 18 batters as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, a walk in the third inning erased by a double play.

Karnos lost the no-no but won his third decision, highlighting Western Nevada’s 12-0 win. The 6-foot-4 ace improved to 3-1 and lowered his ERA to 0.87 and extended his shutout streak to 15.1 innings.

“Honestly I wasn’t nervous because I just wanted our team to get the win. It would have just been a bonus for the no-hitter,” he told me.

“Throughout the whole game I gave a little peak up at the scoreboard to see how hard I was throwing, so yeah I was well aware I was throwing a no-hitter.”

The win snapped Western Nevada’s five-game losing streak, the team’s longest since 2007.

Karnos was determined to end the skid.

He retired the first six batters before walking the leadoff hitter in the third, but he was removed after the next guy grounded into a double play. Karnos maintained a clean sheet through six innings, throwing just 76 pitches.

He allowed back-to-back singles to open the seventh, breaking up his no-hitter.

No worries, though.

Karnos, of South High fame, struck out the next batter before getting the next guy to ground into a double play to preserve his clean sheet.

Karnos hasn’t given up a run since his first start Feb. 1.

“The seven shutout innings was a great consolation,” he said. “I was really happy that all my pitches were working well.”

Derrick Wilson BasketballDerrick Wilson of Anchorage showed how valuable he is to the Marquette University men’s basketball team by never coming off the court in an 87-76 loss to sixth-ranked Villanova in Wisconsin.

The senior guard played all 40 minutes for the second time this season, and posted season highs with 10 points and 8 assists.

Running the point, he committed just one turnover. One!

Wilson, of East High fame, is one of the top defensive guards in the Big East Conference.

Yet even he marveled at Villanova.

“They’re a great offensive team,” he told reporters. “Obviously, that’s why they’re ranked in the Top 10 in the country. That’s a team that’s tough to defend.”

Wilson is averaging 5.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 26 games.

February 20, 2015

Jack Heun Mixed Martial Arts MMA

Jake Heun

Anchorage’s Jake Heun will return to the World Series of Fighting promotion when he takes on fellow light heavyweight Teddy Holder of Tennessee on March 28 in Arizona.

It’ll be the third mixed martial arts fight for the 27-year-old Alaskan in the last eight months; he won the previous two.

Heun [7-3] won his WSOF debut in July of last summer. Four months later he jumped to the Absolute Fighting Championship series and posted another victory.

“I’m glad they let me fight outside of the contract to stay busy,” he told me.

That said he’s definitely happy to be back with the WSOF, which has a TV contract with the NBC Sports Network.

“It’s always better to be on TV, bro,” said Heun, a former football player for the University of Hawaii.

Heun, of Palmer High fame, has won five of his last six fights and is training with American Top Team, one of the best in mixed martial arts.

He will face an opponent in Holder [8-1], who is yet to have a pro fight go beyond the first round. This guy is all or nothing.

“He’s a brawler with big power, but he’s sloppy,” Heun said. “I’m gonna pick him apart, get him out of his element and then finish him.

“I don’t think he’s ever fought anyone on my level and I have no problem showing him what it’s like to fight a real athlete.”

February 19, 2015

Sam Wicks swimming

Sam Wicks

Boise State University swimmer Samantha Wicks of Anchorage twice broke her own school record and won a silver medal in the 200 IM on Day 2 of the Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships in Texas.

She swam a 1:58.44 to post the fastest time in qualifying in the morning then dropped the record to 1:58.06 in the final, finishing second after she was caught by Nevada’s Yawen Li near the halfway point of the race.

“If you’d have told me that it would’ve taken a one-fifty-seven-five to win this year I wouldn’t have believed you, so it was great to see them feed off of each other and race well,” Boise State coach Kristin Hill told the school’s website.

“Sam beat her entry times by eight-tenths by the end of the night, which was phenomenal, and her time should be good enough to get her invited to the NCAAs as an individual. It would’ve been great for her to win but when someone beats you going that fast there’s not a lot you can do.”

Wicks, of East High fame, set three school records at last year’s conference championships, in the 50 back [24.95], 100 back [53.08] and 200 medley relay [1:37.75].

On Day 1 of this year’s meet, she was part of a 200 medley relay team that set another relay provisional standard in 1:38.11. That time was good enough for a second-place finish, barely over a half-second behind winner San Diego State.

“Sam Wicks led off the 200 medley relay faster than she’d ever been before, and they got second and swam hard,” Hill said.

February 18, 2015

Devon Bookert BasketballFlorida State University basketball player Devon Bookert of Anchorage shot the ball beautifully in a 69-60 win over visiting Boston College in a key ACC win.

The 6-foot-3 guard made 6-of-7 field goals for a season-high .857 shooting percentage on his way to scoring 18 points. That’s his third-highest point total in 21 games this season.

He was 4-of-5 from 3-point range and ranks eighth in the ACC with a .517 long-range shooting clip.

Bookert, of West High fame, was so good he converted a rare 4-point play after he drained a 3-pointer while being fouled and then sank the free throw.

Twice he had a steal and fastbreak layup, showing off his all-around game.

Bookert is averaging 10.6 points with a season high 23 against Duke and 22 against South Florida. He’s also had 7 or more rebounds four times and 5 or more assists five times.

February 17, 2015
Hannah Souders track

Hannah Souders

Hannah Souders of Anchorage is rewriting the record book for the University of Portland women’s track and field team.

The junior sprinter earned a share of her third relay school record over the weekend at the Husky Classic in Seattle as Portland won the distance medley relay in 11:36.66 for an indoor school record.

Souders, of Service High fame, ran the 400 meters and clocked a leg time of 58.6.

The distance medley relay is unlike most conventional relays in the sense that each member runs a different distance – 1,200, 400, 800 and 1,600.

She is also part of the 4×400 relay team that holds the indoor record of 3:56.89 set last year. She’s also part of the 4×100 relay that holds the outdoor record of 47.8 set last year.

Souders also ranks fourth on the school’s all-time outdoor list in the 100 [12.54] and eleventh in the 200 [25.78]. On the all-time indoor list, she ranks fifth in the 60 [8.09] and seventh in the 200 [26.43].

February 16, 2015

Tyler Thompson BaseballIt seems like these days all Tyler Thompson of Anchorage does is win games with base hits.

The Pacific Lutheran University baseball player doubled in the game-winning runs to beat Corban University in each of the last two days in Oregon.

“In big situations it’s been nice to come through,” he told me. “I’ve been trying to figure out my swing at the plate lately and it’s finally starting to come around.”

The junior infielder started both games at third base against Corban. He hit near the bottom of the lineup but stepped up when it mattered most.

On the first day he went 1-for-3 with a two-run double in the fourth inning that served as the game-winner in a 4-1 win.

The following day he delivered a two-out, two-run double to provide a 3-2 lead in an eventual 4-2 win. It was his only hit of the game.

“It’s a big spot. You relax and let it all go,” Thompson said. “I just try to do what I always do and try not to get my emotions running too high and just go up there and act like it’s the first inning, no pressure.”

Thompson, of Dimond High fame, is hitting .292 in six games this year for the NCAA D3 school in Tacoma, Wash.

It’s a stark contrast to last year when he hit .211 in 38 games.

“I was barreling up balls and hitting them hard. They just weren’t falling for base hits,” he said. “Maybe I guess hitting later in the order I will get fastballs, so I’ve been trying to take advantage of those pitches.”

It may have not always looked pretty, but Thompson ranked second on the team with 3 HRs and 16 RBIs. So he’s got a knack for coming through in tight situations.

Today’s win against Corban was especially sweet for Thompson because Anchorage’s Garrett Brown pitched well for PLU in his second start of the young season.

Brown, of Service High fame, allowed just two runs over 5.2 innings.

Thompson’s game-winning hit saved his buddy from taking a loss on his pitching record.

“I play third base so to be right there next to Garrett, it’s awesome,” Thompson said. “He’s been throwing pretty well for us. He’ll be a big part of the team this year. It’s nice to get a win for him.”

February 14, 2015

Jalil Abdul-Bassit Basketball
Anchorage’s Jalil Abdul-Bassit used a smoking hot first-half shooting effort to carry him to a career-high 24 points for the University of Oregon.

The 6-foot-4 guard started the game and wasted no time finding his rhythm, sinking six 3-pointers in the first half.

He finished with seven 3s as UCLA locked him down in the second half during a 72-63 Bruins win in California.

Abdul-Bassit, of West High fame, also blocked two shots for the third time in 25 games this season. He now has 10 blocks after having none all of last year.

The senior sharpshooter leads Oregon and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with a .432 3-point shooting percentage.

Silas Talbot Nordic Skiing

Silas Talbot

Three Anchorage cross-country skiers were among the fastest at the annual Middlebury College Winter Carnival in Vermont.

Silas Talbot of Dartmouth College nearly won the men’s 10-K classic race, finishing second among 68 finishers with a time of 26:13.

The senior standout turned in another top-10 finish with a ninth-place showing in the 10-K skate race in 26:20.

Talbot, of Service High fame, also finished second in the classic at the Vermont Carnival. Overall this season he has seven top-10 finishes in eight college races.

Stephanie Kirk Cross Country SkiingOn the women’s side, Stephanie Kirk and Marion Woods of the University of Vermont each piled up points in both disciplines to help the Catamounts win their 20th consecutive college carnival.

Kirk, of South High fame, finished fourth in the 10-K classic in 31:55 and outsprinted a skier from Bates College at the line.

The junior also was sixth in the 5-K freestyle in 16:32.

It was her second consecutive weekend with double top-10 performances.

Last year she was named to the EISA All-East First Team and competed for the U.S. at the Junior World Championships in Italy.

Marion Woods Nordic Skiing

Marion Woods

Woods, of South High fame, registered two top-10 finishes at a single meet for the second time.

The super sophomore was ninth in the 10-K classic in 32:27 and placed seventh in the 5-K skate race.

Last year she also raced at Junior Worlds and claimed a fifth-place finish at the U.S. Junior National Championships.

February 13, 2015

colter_lasher_basketballAnchorage’s Colter Lasher recorded 16 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists for Houston Baptist in an effort every bit as good as the numbers.

The 6-foot-7 forward was especially productive in the later stages of the game when his team needed a lift during a 77-66 victory over A&M Corpus Christi during NCAA D1 men’s basketball action in Texas.

First he made a 3-pointer and layup as part of a 10-2 run that helped provide a 49-48 lead with 10:25 to play.

A few minutes later he converted back-to-back layups for a 59-56 lead. Then he sank two free throws with 5:19 left to make it 61-58.

Lasher, of Dimond High fame, is enjoying a sensational sophomore season with the Southland Conference squad.

He is averaging 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists in 21 games. He’s also got a 25-point game to his credit.

Hannah Mattson BasketballUniversity of Portland sophomore Hannah Mattson of Fairbanks put on a free-throw shooting clinic against Pepperdine.

She sank a career-high seven free throws on her way to scoring a season-high 9 points in a 76-72 loss during West Coast Conference women’s basketball action in California.

Mattson, of West Valley High fame, helped Portland nearly rally from a 13-point deficit with 3:23 to play.

The Alaskan was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to pull her team within 73-70 with 31 seconds left.

Then the 5-foot-9 guard sank two more foul shots to make it 74-72 with 18 seconds left.

Mattson is averaging 17.6 minutes and has scored 72 points in 17 games. She had started eight straight games until recently.

February 12, 2015

Damon Sherman-Newsome basketball

Damon Sherman-Newsome

As the snow was falling outside of Boston University, Anchorage’s Damon Sherman-Newsome was making it rain inside the gymnasium.

The Colgate University senior scored his team’s first seven points to open the second half and fuel a 76-69 victory that kept the Raiders in first place in the Patriot League.

Sherman-Newsome finished with 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting to push the Raiders to 9-4 in league, the first time the team has won nine league games since 2003.

Colgate still has five games left in Patriot League play.

The 6-foot-5 guard has reached double figures in 22 of 26 games this season to pave the way for a career-high 14.9 scoring average.

He is closing in on 1,000 career points, needing just 70 with a handful of games left. That would put him in exclusive company among Alaskans at the NCAA D1 level.

Top Alaska NCAA D1 Basketball Scorers
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]
938 Tony Reed [Montana, East High]
*930 Damon Sherman-Newsome [Colgate, Bartlett High]
904 Doron Perkins [Santa Clara, Bartlett High]
868 Nick Billings [Binghamton, Kodiak High]
848 Cameron Rigby [Bradley, San Diego, Bartlett High]
823 Will Egolf [Bradley, Juneau-Douglas High]
796 Marcus Watts [McNeese St., Chattanooga, Bartlett High]
*741 Devon Bookert [Florida State, West High]
704 Kevin Winford [Eastern Washington, Bartlett High]
681 Muff Butler [New Orleans, East High]
583 Chris Toomer [Liberty, West High]
*Active