North Pole Patriots honor fallen Alum at MAC Double-Header

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - There was a Mid Alaska Conference Double-Header on the Joe T. Court last night between the Lathrop Malemutes and North Pole Patriots.
It started with the boys game, where Lathrop stood tall 63-45.
A pair of freshman provided the majority of the scores for the Malemutes with Tyriq Luke finishing the day with 17 points. His classmate Jakobee Johnson was right behind him, finishing with 15.
The Patriots were led by Juan Sachez, who earned 14 points while Alex Garcia and Kenny Peterson both finished with 12.
This game was about more than points for the Patriots, who took the opportunity to honor a fallen member of the North Pole family.
Before the game, the Pats wore warm-up shirts with the number 44 on the back, and the words "big hands" in place of the players' names.
These were in honor of North Pole Basketball Alumni Mark Peterson, who passed away unexpectedly over the weekend.
On the front of the shirts was the North Pole Patriot logo, and the word family.
They also collected donations throughout the night for the Peterson Family and were able to raise over $1,000.
Head Coach Travis Church talks about this tribute.
"We just talked about playing hard for him. He put in four big years at North Pole we just wanted to show that we appreciate his time and that he's part of our family still today. We put up 45 points and he wears 44... but before that he used to wear 45 so I guess there's something in there but I'm happy we played well for him. In the second half at least," said Church.
The girls game followed soonafter where the Malemutes secured a sweep with a 72-41 victory.
The Malemutes saw four different players break double-digit points, but Ella Roberts led the way with 13.
Olivia Kraska and Torrin Johnson-Oats both finished with 12 and Lucia Perez earned 10.
The Patriots were led by a 12 point night from Claire Richmond while Brianna O'Rear finished with 10 points.
That was the first Mid Alaska Conference game of the year for all of these teams, so the Lathrop Boys and Girls are both sitting at 1-0 in MAC play this year while both Patriots teams are 0-1.
Next up for these two squads, the Patriots will be hosting Monroe Catholic in a double-header on Thursday, while the Lathrop Girls will be competing in tournament action at West Valley.