Ninilchik boys win Interior Conference

Ninilchik boys 77 – Effie Kokrine 35

The Ninilchik boys basketball team won the Interior Conference championship game last Friday in Tok to advance to the Class 2A state tournament.

The Wolverines topped Effie Kokrine 77-35 for the title and to improve to 23-0 overall.

Ninilchik has not been to state since claiming a second straight Class 1A state title in 2017. The Wolverines decided to move up to the Class 2A level this season.

The Class 1A and 2A state tournament is March 16 to 19 at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The Wolverines ended all suspense early Friday, taking a 32-3 lead after the first quarter over Effie Kokrine, which would come back Saturday to take second.

As has been the case all season, the five Ninilchik starters were happy to share the scoring load.

Cole Moore led the way with 22 points, while Lukah Kalugin had 20, Landon Colburn had 13, and Jaylin Scott and Justin Trail each had 10. Wyatt McCloskey added two for Ninilchik.

For Effie Kokrine, Derek Joseph had 11, Jaiden Peters had 10, KJ Williams had eight, Afred Nukak had four and Eugene Wiltz had two.

Coburn was named the conference’s Player of the Year, while Kalugin, Scott and Colburn were all on the all-conference team. Scott, Moore, McCloskey and Cody Blossom all made the all-academic team for the Wolverines.

In the girls tournament, Glennallen won, while Susitna Valley took second place to take the second state berth.

The Player of the Year on the girls side was CeAnika Palacios of Glennallen.

The Ninilchik girls did not play in the tourney due to injuries.

Ninilchik boys 87, Tok 43

Last Thursday, the Ninilchik boys defeated Tok 87-43 to move to the championship game of the Interior Conference tournament in Tok.

Tok managed to hang with Ninilchik for a quarter Thursday. The Wolverines led 24-18 after the first quarter, then held a 47-20 lead at halftime.

Jaylin Scott and Cole Moore were dominant in the first half for Ninilchik. Scott scored 22 of his 26 points in the first half, while Moore scored 12 of his 16.

Landon Colburn had 15 for Ninilchik, while Justin Trail had 13, Lukah Kalugin had six, Rowan Mahoney had five, Blake Lemons had four and Wyatt McCloskey had two.

For Tok, Cody Charlie had 11, Teddy Northway had 10, Ethan Gunter had eight, Gavin Maynard had five, Griffin Jacobs had four, James Wright had three and Michael Jordan had two.