Rams boys and Falcons girls win Mt. McKinley Bank Classic titles

FAIRBANKS-It was the final day of basketball action at Boileau Hall in the Mt. McKinley Bank Holiday Classic. The Monroe Rams repeated as boys champions and the Thunder Mountain girls finished 3-0 to claim the girls title. Monroe's Scooter Bynum as named tournament MVP. Thunder Mountain's Ava Tompkins was the girls MVP.


The girls title game of the first game of the day. The Thunder Mountain Falcons and Palmer Moose vied for the title as both teams came in 2-0 in the final day.
The Moose answered the bell early with buckets from Molly Osiensky. She had a team high 10 points for Palmer. Leya Depriest got in on the action but only had two points as the Moose led 8-6 after one.

But in the second quarter the Falcons started hitting shots. Siosi Tupo scored five of her eight points in the second and the Falcons led 20-16 at the half.

Thunder Mountain shifted into another gear using their pressure defense and transition offense in the third quarter and outscored the Moose 17-3 to lead 37-19 going into the fourth. They protected the ball well and win the girls title 43-25 over Palmer. Three Falcons had six points or better led by Ashley Young's game high of 14.


The Monroe Rams overcame some turnovers and eventually wore down the Service Cougars in the second half for consecutive Mt. McKinley Bank titles.

Jalon McCullough ignited the Rams engine in the first quarter scoring 11 of his game high 17 in the opening quarter. The Cougars were hanging around thought. Service went inside to their points players Reece Robinson and Pindo Drammeh. They combined for 11 points and trailed just 15-20 going into the second quarter.

Monroe slowly but surely started to get separation. In the second quarter they held the Cougars to seven points and led 34-22 at the half. In the second half the Rams outscored the Cougars 38-26 as Cougars turnovers resulted Rams points. Along with some good defensive rebounding that was the recipe for Monroe in their 72-48.

Along with McCullough, Scooter Bynum and David Stepovich both added 11 points.

Drammeh led the Cougars with 11 points. Robinson and Ihro Raguindin added 10 points a-piece. Service the tournament with a 1-2 record. It was there first two losses of the season.


The Thunder Mountain boys closed out the Mt. McKinley Bank with two wins after losing to Monroe in their opener. Last night they won by 30 over Palmer. The win earned the Falcons a second place trophy for the tournament with a 2-1 record.

The game was tied 11-11 after the first quarter but the Falcons put 39 points, 18 in the second, 21 in the third, while the Moose were held to single digit quarters. The Moose managed seven in the second and nine in the third.

The Falcons used a total team effort in their victory. Nine players scored for the Thunder Mountain. Seven of those nine players had at least eight points. Jacob Calloway and Guy Bean both had 10 points to lead the Falcons.

James Nisbett had a game high 15 points for the Moose.

Palmer finished the tournament 0-3.


It was the battle of the winless teams as the Lathrop girls and Monroe girls were eager to get off the schnide and end the Holiday Classic with a victory. That lone victory went to the Malemutes.

Lathrop was on the floor without much of their upperclassmen but the freshmen and sophomores made enough plays to hold off a late fourth quarter charge from the Rams.

The Malemutes were 40-24 going into the fourth quarter but the Rams scored 16 in the fourth got within nine with two and half minutes to go. Sara Hajdukovich and Andi Clark tried their best scoring 32 of the Rams 38 points. Hajdukovich had a game high 17 points and Clark added 15.

But Lathrop wouldn't let them get any closer as Alexis Shipman hit timely buckets for the Malemutes. She finished with 10 points. Brooke Lizotte led Lathrop with 11.