Connecting You With AK Athletes – For 10 Years Strong!!
For the last 10 years, the Alaska Sports Blog has provided daily updates on local athletes all over the world. The blog was created Aug. 24, 2009 as a way to fill a void of media coverage of Alaska athletes once they 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 4,000 stories on over 1,000 Alaskans.
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After he worked his way into the starting lineup, Da’Zhon Wyche of Anchorage is now working the opposition.
The University of Texas at Tyler men’s basketball transfer started his second straight game and put up season best numbers in an 83-75 win over Jarvis Christian in the Lone Star State.
Wyche, of West High fame, logged 30 minutes, scored seven points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished six assists and made three steals.
The 5-foot-10 junior is averaging 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in seven games with the NCAA D2 team.
Wyche spent his first two seasons at Laramie Country, a junior college where he averaged 18.7 points in 48 career games.
He needs 64 more points to reach 1,000 for his college career.
Derrick Wilson of Anchorage is thriving in the Swedish Basketball League.
Even if his team isn’t.
Despite playing for a last-place club, Wilson’s performance has been top shelf.
The 6-foot-1 guard ranks top-10 in the league in points (18.9/5th) and assists (5.0/7th) through 14 games with Stockholm-based Djurgarden.
Wilson, of East High fame, carried his team to wins during a tough 2-12 start.
In the first win, he had 35 points and seven assists.
In the second win, he contributed 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Wilson, 27, is a former starter with Marquette University who is in his fourth season of pro ball in Scandinavia after spending the first three years in Denmark.
With three starters from Alaska leading the way, the Spokane Community College men’s basketball team won the Red Devil Classic in Longview, Washington.
Anchorage’s Kaeleb Johnson earned a spot on the all-tournament team and reached double figures in the championship game as Spokane beat Lower Columbia 67-62.
Anchorage’s Jaron Williams scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter to give Spokane the lead for good at 64-62.
Sitka’s Jamal Alstrom is the third starter from the 907.
Together, they helped Spokane hand Lower Columbia its first loss of the season and extended Spokane’s tournament championship streak to three years.
Johnson, of East High fame, collected 11 points, four rebounds and two steals in the title game.
The 6-foot-3 freshman pumped in 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the semifinals.
Williams, of East High fame, averaged 8.3 points per game in the tournament and shot 86% from the free-throw line.
The 6-foot-4 freshman had a season-high 13 points in the first round.
Alstrom, of Mt. Edgecumbe High fame, has been one of the best all-around players on the team this season.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore ranks second on the team in steals (2.4) and assists (2.8) and is third in rebounds (4.4). He is scoring 5.6 points per game.
Alstrom also is one of only three players to start all five games.
Bethany Carstens of Kenai isn’t just the best 3-point shooter for the Chicago State University women’s basketball team.
She ranks No. 3 in the Western Athletic Conference at 49%.
The freshman guard was especially hot in a 96-65 loss to Cal Santa Barbara at the Nugget Classic in Reno, Nevada, where she went 4-of-7 from deep and finished with a team-high 20 points.
Carstens, of Nikiski High fame, matched her season high in points and set season highs for 3s and percentage.
The 5-foot-9 guard is averaging 11.6 points per game in eight appearances.
Anchorage’s Alissa Pili showcased her all-court skills in the University of Southern California women’s basketball team’s 60-57 win over Alabama during the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 6-foot freshman scored 11 points, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and was the only player in the game to register a blocked shot, steal and offensive rebound.
Pili, of Dimond High fame, also iced the victory by sinking 4-of-4 free throws in the final 25 seconds.
She had six points, two rebounds and a steal in the fourth quarter.
Pili has two double-doubles in seven games and is averaging 9.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and shooting 71% from the foul line.
Big man Austin White of Ninilchik had a big second half to lead the Treasure Valley Community College men’s basketball team to a 75-74 comeback win over Blue Mountain CC in the NWAC.
The 6-foot-8 transfer collected nine points and nine rebounds in the second half on his way to a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double.
White, of Ninilchik High fame, has scores in double digits in all five games.
The 2017 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year is shooting .481 from the field, including 12-of-24 from 3-point land.
White ranks second on Treasure Valley (4-1) in scoring at 14.4 points per game.
Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman has more saves than any NCAA D1 goalie in the country.
And it’s not even close.
The University of Maine netminder has turned aside 489 shots – 70 more than the second-highest total.
Swayman also ranks No. 2 in minutes (903) and No. 8 in save percentage (.937).
The junior has posted an 8-5-2 record this year and owns 37 wins for his career.
Sadie Maubet Bjornsen
Anchorage’s Sadie Maubet Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team picked up a bronze medal in the women field at the Ruda Classic Sprint in Finland.
Her remarkable route to the finals included a second-place showing in her semifinal heat, which is even more impressive when you consider she was forced to overcome lingering tendinitis in her feet
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect,” she said. “I knew I had strengthened my brain, but it is hard to know what to expect when you are doing less than ideal training to try to survive.”
The Alaska Pacific University alum outsprinted Norway’s Ane Appelkvist to reach the podium in the 1.4-K sprint race.
Maubet Bjornsen also earned a silver medal at Ruda Classic Sprint in 2017.
She credited her new wax technician Erik Bjornstad for setting her up for success.
“Enormous shout out to our team and my new wax tech for some amazing skis. I couldn’t have run up that hill the way I did today without those,” she said. “I was excited to see what we could put together in our short ten days of working together.
“All the stars aligned and I had an incredible day.”
While most of us feasted on a Thanksgiving meal, Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks ate up the Oklahoma State defense.
The University of Oregon women’s basketball star pumped in a game-high 30 points to go with a career-high 18 rebounds to propel the No. 1 Ducks to an 89-72 win at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
Hebard, of West Valley High fame, made 13-of-15 field goals and 4-of-6 free throws. Eight of her boards were on the offensive end. She added a pair of assists.
The 6-foot-4 senior is averaging career-best numbers in five games with 22.4 points, 14.2 rebounds, .758 field-goal percentage and .750 free-throw percentage.
Jeremiah Bailey of Fairbanks logged a career-high 44 minutes for the University of the Pacific men’s basketball team in an 82-76 triple-overtime loss to Boise State.
The 6-foot-6 junior scored eight points and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds off the bench.
Bailey, of Monroe Catholic High fame, is averaging 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in nine games.
He is tied for second on his team with seven 3-pointers.
Baseball season is over in the States, but things are just getting started in the Australian Baseball League.
Anchorage’s Jonny Homza signed with the Auckland Tuatara, the only team from New Zealand in the league.
He has played defensively at catcher and third base and also saw time at designated hitter.
Homza, of South High fame, delivered his first base hit with a double.
He also scored a run as Auckland beat the Perth Heat 5-2.
The third-year pro this summer played for Class-A Tri-City of the San Diego Padres organization.
Led by Anchorage’s Amu Aukusitino, the Colorado State University-Pueblo defense dominated Augustana in a 17-0 victory that moved the team to 11-1 on the year.
The senior defensive back was all over the field in accumulating six tackles, interception, tackle for loss and fumble recovery.
Aukusitino, of Service High fame, has picked off a pass in four of his last five games and his four interceptions are tied for the team lead.
CSU-Pueblo is ranked No. 9 in NCAA D2.
The six tackles are the second most in 21 career games. Last week he had a career-high eight tackles.
Anchorage’s Jordan Todd is putting in strong post work for the College of Southern Idaho women’s basketball team.
The 6-foot-1 freshman has posted three double-doubles in the last five games and leads her team with 8.8 rebounds per game and a .683 field-goal percentage.
Todd, of ACS fame, ranks third with a scoring average of 11.8 points per game.
Her breakout performance of 16 points and 14 rebounds came last week against Southwestern Oregon.
Senior Trevor Osborne of Anchorage matched his best offensive effort in Whitman College’s 94-78 win over Sul Ross State in Forest Grove, Oregon.
The 6-foot-2 guard tied his career high with 20 points and six 3-pointers.
Osborne, of Grace Christian High fame, is the school’s all-time leading 3-point shooter at .445 percent.
He also ranks No. 5 in career makes (171) and No. 6 in career attempts (384).
Over his sophomore and junior seasons he made a 3-pointer in 31 consecutive games.
Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin reached a major milestone in spectacular fashion.
The veteran 6-foot-2 forward scored 19 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished three assists to lead the UC Capitals to an 84-66 win over the Perth Lynx in Australia.
Griffin, of Chugiak High fame, has now amassed 4,017 career points since turning pro in 2010.
The former Nebraska All-American has played in Australia (2,543), Hungary (378), Israel (295) and the WNBA (801).
She is believed to be the highest scoring women’s pro player from Alaska.
Griffin’s 801 points in the WNBA is the most by an Alaskan, edging Palmer’s Jessica Moore (644).
Griffin is also the only Alaskan to score 2,000 career points at the NCAA D1 level.
Jacob Calloway of Juneau came to Switzerland as a sharpshooter, but he can do other things too.
The 6-foot-8 rookie just missed his first double-double with 10 points to go with season highs in rebounds (9) and assists (3) in a 74-62 loss to the Geneve Lions.
He has reached double figures in eight of his first nine pro games with Pully Lausanne of the Swiss Basketball League.
Calloway, of Thunder Mountain High fame, leads his team in scoring at 17.3 points per game.
He also leads his team in field-goal percentage (.581) and 3-point percentage (.441) and is No. 2 in free-throw makes (26) and attempts (37) and third in percentage (.703).
Good things happen when Anchorage’s Sasha Saccheus, D’Shanna Schuster and Kianna McWhite are on the court for the Southeastern Community College women’s basketball team.
The shooting stars from The Last Frontier have accounted for 63% of the 3-pointers (32/51), 46% of the free throws (48/105) and 42% of the total points (256/614) in nine games with the Iowa school.
Saccheus, of Bartlett High fame, is a freshman starter who just netted a season-high 23 points in a 75-66 win over Black Hawk College-Moline.
The 5-foot-8 guard finished 8-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point land.
This was her fourth straight game in double figures and fifth time in the last six games.
Saccheus ranks third on her team in scoring at 10.9 points per game and leads the team with 14 3s and an 80% free-throw percentage.
Schuster, of Dimond High fame, is a freshman starter who is fifth on the team with 10.3 scoring average.
The 5-foot-6 guard has reached double digits five times, highlighted by her season-high 18-point effort against Lewis & Clark CC in an 89-87 double OT loss.
She is averaging 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and ranks second on the team with 13 3s.
McWhite, of Bartlett High fame, is a freshman reserve who has emerged as the first option off the bench.
The 5-foot-9 guard is averaging 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds.
She has provided a post presence with 27 free-throw attempts, second most on the team. Her 16 makes are the second most.
Bella Hanson of Eagle River and Tristen Tolan of Anchorage each delivered points in the first period to power the No. 3-ranked Elmira College women’s hockey team to a 7-0 win over Utica College.
Hanson set up the first goal and Tolan scored the second to get the party started for the Soaring Eagles, who improved to 4-1 this year.
This was the first time both Alaskans registered a point in the same game.
Hanson, of West High fame, is a junior defenseman.
This was her first assist in five games this year and fifth in 27 career games.
Elmira is 24-3 over the last three years when Hanson gets on the ice.
Tolan, of South High fame, is a junior forward who is putting up career-best offensive numbers.
She has accumulated nine points in five games with four goals and five assists.
Tolan came into this season with 9-5-14 scoring totals in 56 games.
Last year, Elmira won 24 games and advanced to the NCAA D3 national championship game.
Anchorage’s Clair DeGeorge set up the only goal of the game to help the Bemidji State women’s hockey team beat Minnesota State Mankato 1-0 on the road.
The junior forward assisted on Lydia Passolt’s game-winning goal just 50 seconds into the second period in the WCHA contest.
Bemidji State is 4-2 when DeGeorge registers a point.
The Alaskan ranks second on her team with seven points in 14 games on a goal and six assists.
DeGeorge has posted 17-35-52 scoring totals in 87 career games.
Gage Ivanoff of Unalakleet went off in the first half to help the Cypress College men’s basketball team stay undefeated in the California Community College Athletic Association.
The 6-foot-4 sophomore pumped in 10 points in 12 minutes as Cypress carried a one-point lead into halftime en route to a 59-57 win over Santa Barbara.
He finished with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots for Cypress, which improved to 4-0.
Ivanoff, of Unalakleet High fame, is averaging 16.5 minutes on a team that has 10 players logging double-figure minutes.
Even on a crowded roster, he has stood out.
Ivanoff leads the team with a .529 shooting percentage and four blocked shots.
The NWAC volleyball all-stars were announced and three Alaskans made the cut, with Anchorage’s Violett Togagae and Paia Togagae being named to the South Region first team and Danika Brown of Anchorage getting a spot on the second team in the North Region.
Violett and Paia Togagae provided Rogue Community College with one of the most powerful 1-2 punches in league as the Ospreys shared the region title and earned a spot in the NWAC Championships in their first year.
Violett, of Bartlett High fame, is tied for the team lead with 186 kills and 20 solo blocks. She is second with 38 total blocks and fourth with 167 digs.
The 5-foot-10 freshman middle blocker has notched six double-doubles with kills and digs in 17 matches. Her season highs are 21 kills and 21 digs.
Paia, of Bartlett High fame, leads her team with 3.7 points per set and ranks third with 155 kills and 36 total blocks. She was also fifth with 152 digs.
The 5-foot-11 sophomore right-side hitter has collected five double-doubles in 14 matches. Her season highs are 20 kills and 20 digs (twice).
Led by the Togagae sisters, Rogue has won 27 of 30 matches for the 90% winning percentage that is No. 3 in the NWAC.
Brown, of West High fame, is a marvelous middle blocker for Edmonds Community College.
The 6-foot-2 freshman ranks third in the NWAC with 43 solo blocks in 26 matches.
She is also tied for seventh with 95 total blocks and 12th with a .276 hitting percentage.
Brown leads her team in blocking and is second with 180 kills, with a season high of 14. Her season highs for blocks is eight.
She has nine matches with a hitting percentage of .400 or better. She slammed a .688 in one match on 11-of-16 hitting with zero errors.
Anchorage’s Maya Carle and the Feather River Community College volleyball team captured the school’s 10th consecutive Golden Valley Conference championship.
The Golden Eagles dominated conference play with three-set sweeps over every GVC opponent and finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the California Community College Athletic Association.
However, Feather River (30-2) is the No. 1 seed at the NorCal regional tournament that tips off next week. Irvine Valley (20-0) is No. 1 in the SoCal region.
Carle, of Dimond High fame, is a sophomore libero who has appeared in all 32 matches this season.
She is one of only two players on the Feather River team to amass 50 aces and 150 digs.
Wasilla’s Olivia Matson is making an early season bid for Comeback Player of the Year in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
The Aurora University women’s hockey player has already surpassed last year’s point total in a third of the games, fueling a 6-0 start by the Spartans.
The junior forward is tied for the league lead with a +12 plus/minus and ranks second with seven assists and fifth with eight points.
Matson, of Wasilla High fame, posted 2-5-7 scoring totals in 20 games last season.
She has registered at least one point in five straight games and 9 out of 10 dating to last year.
Aurora is 12-3-2 in her career when Matson racks up a goal or assist.
The Oklahoma Baptist University football team has the best offense in the Great American Conference.
Junior offensive lineman Jake Foshee of Fairbanks is a big reason.
So much so the 6-foot-4, 277-pounder was named second team all-conference.
Foshee, of West Valley High fame, was the lone Oklahoma Baptist offensive linemen selected to the first or second team, signifying his dominance in the trenches.
The NCAA D2 Bison averaged nearly 35 points per game and averaged a conference-best 438 yards of total offense.
He was also a huge part of OBU’s offensive onslaught against East Central as the team set a school record in the D2 era with 601 total yards.
After an injury slowed down the start of his season in Portugal, Anchorage’s Travante Williams has been cleared for takeoff.
The Sporting Lisbon transfer went off in his fourth game with his new team as he flirted with a triple-double to lead the way in a 90-78 win over Esgueira.
Williams, of Mt. Edgecumbe High fame, had 21 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and three assists in 32 minutes. He just missed his career high of seven steals.
He knocked down three 3s and grabbed four offensive boards.
This is the third season in Portugal for the 6-foot-6 forward, who used to play for Oliveirense, where he won two Portuguese League championships and twice was named Defensive Player of the Year.