FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Mid Alaska Conference Tournament ended over the weekend with the West Valley Wolfpack sweeping the Lathrop Malemutes to punch their tickets to the Alaska State Championships.
Starting with the girls' program, the Wolfpack won 51-42 over Lathrop thanks to a steady dose of defense and efficient shots.
But they had to sweat out the final 8 minutes as the Malemutes made a furious rally from 15 down to make it a single possession game.
Ellen Silva led West Valley with 15 points, while Olivia Kraska in her final high school game dropped 18 points for Lathrop.
The all-conference teams were announced with Silva, Jozey Martellaro, Sierra Tate and Sheridan Blasey for the Wolfpack. Kraska, Lianna Tuck and Ella Roberts made it for the Malemutes. And lastly Bree O'Rear named for the North Pole Patriots.
Martellaro spoke after the final about her squad hitting the big dance.
"it feels so good," started Jozey Martellaro; "I'm so excited. Oh my gosh I felt like we played really good and it feels like really rewarding , it feels like we worked for this and this is when our season really starts."
"Ellen's been with me since , Ellen's been there with me since Day One, so to do this with her that's who I do it for her and CC. We've made a pact with each other in the beginning we are going to ride it till the wheels fall off, we are going to stay with each other and do this for each other no matter what happens we have each other, so the first thing I thought of was when that buzzer went off I was just like we did it like that is one of our biggest accomplishments and it feels so good."
The West Valley Wolfpack earned the #2 seed in the state tournament and will face the Chugiak Mustangs in the first round on March 21.
The boys' team on the other hand used a strong second half to put away the Malemutes.
The Wolfpack won 54-37 thanks to Damarcus Davis dropping 19 points.
The third quarter dictated the rest of the game due to West Valley outscoring their in-town rivals 12-5, with Davis hitting a three right before the buzzer.
Jhon Rhones led Lathrop with 15 points, as the Wolfpack captured the MAC Crown in their Head Coach Colton Growden's first season.
They have also won it 10 times out of the last 11 years.
For the all-conference teams we had Damarcus Davis, Dylan Erhart, Terrell Peter and Koen Campbell making it for the Wolfpack.
For the Malemutes, Rhones and Tyriq Luke made it for the team, while Kenny Peterson and Alex Garcia made it for the North Pole Patriots.
Davis spoke after the MAC final on the Wolfpack heading back to the state tournament.
"You know it feels amazing you know third year in a row for me, you know it's a big year I think we all did well," said Damarcus Davis.
"We just came out with a little bit more energy, you know it starts with the captain of the team so I had to step up and do what I had to do."
"You know he's really nice, he pushes us you know it's a new program. I thought we did pretty well. He's really good coach and he knows what he is talking about and we all just got to lock in, you know new program with him and it's his first time actually getting one of these nets so it's pretty exciting for him."
The Wolfpack earned the seventh seed in the Alaska State Championships and they will face the second seeded Colony Knights in the first round on the 21st.