Wolfpack take down Rams on opening night

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Opening night of basketball means a fresh slate and new start for teams heading into the season. Both the West Valley Wolfpack basketball programs came out of the gates with statement wins over the Monroe Catholic Rams.



From the opening tip, the Wolfpack implemented their suffocating full-court press defense, forcing several turnovers that were exchanged for buckets on the other end. West Valley outscored the Rams 22-6 in the second quarter, creating a deficit too large for Monroe to overcome, and the Wolfpack took the season-opener 70-40 Friday night at West Valley. Senior Terrell Peter led all scorers with 21 points, while Cortarius Mingo added 13 for the Wolfpack. The ball was distributed throughout the lineup, as players would give up the extra pass for their teammate to get an easier shot.

"It is nice to see that they want others to score, not just themselves," Head Coach Colten Growden said after the win. "When you have a lot of kids that are talented like that, sometimes it tends to go one way, so it was nice that they joined in together and tried to get the job done as a team, not an individual."

West Valley's smothering defense did not allow a Rams player in double-figures, as Tommy Bast and Malachi Bradley each had 8 points for Monroe. The length of the Wolfpack led to several fast break opportunities, including Damarcus Davis jamming a one-handed dunk in the second quarter, igniting the home crowd.

"I feel like everybody puts something different on the table, everybody picked up it and played defense and was talking, there was a lot of communication," Davis said, who finished with 12 points. "I feel like all of us talk very well, we have a very long team, and we just keep the energy up and try not to get tired."

West Valley will have time off until the Dimond Tournament in Anchorage January 9-11. Monroe faces North Pole Saturday, before competing in the Clark Cochrane Tournament in Ketchikan December 27-30.



The Wolfpack girls, who finished 21-3 last season, starting the 2019-20 season on the right foot with a 52-36 win over Monroe Friday. However, the Rams never backed down, making it tough for West Valley to close the door on the game, trailing by just three points at the half. The Wolfpack were anchored by Rachel Cockman, who finished with 15 points in the win. Sharp shooting Katie Bast led the Rams with a game-high 18 points.

The West Valley girls will be competing in a Juneau Tournament starting December 27th, while Monroe takes on North Pole Saturday at 7:30.

Both of the games were endowment games, meaning it will not go against either team's record.