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HomeSportPrep Hoops: Third-ranked Service boys beat No. 4 West in OT, top-ranked...

Prep Hoops: Third-ranked Service boys beat No. 4 West in OT, top-ranked East destroys Dimond in CIC Tournament semifinals

Service’s Jonathon Tautua played OT hero Friday night. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

The quarterback turned into a running back as Jonathon Tautua carried the Cougars in overtime and led the third-ranked Service boys basketball team into the Cook Inlet Conference Tournament championship game.

Under the Friday night lights, too. How fitting.

Tautua scored all six of his squad’s points in OT and finished with 11 as Service held off fourth-ranked West 55-53 in the semifinals at West High School.

The Eagles have been nearly unbeatable in OT games over the last two seasons, but things were different Friday and Tautua was the difference.

The 6-foot-1 senior guard – who was an all-conference QB on the gridiron – had been scoreless in the second half before getting hot in the extra period after hitting a jumper, converting a tough layup through contact and making a pair of free throws to provide a 55-49 lead.

CIC Tournament
At West High School
Saturday

4:30pm Third Place
#4 West (17-9) vs. Dimond (15-11)
7:30pm Title Game
#3 Service (20-7) vs. #1 East (24-1)

West’s Des’Laone Cook and Buob Marial combined for 33 points, including all four in OT. Cook pumped in a game-high 18 points and had a good look on a midrange jumper for a potential game-winner right at the end of regulation that didn’t fall.

Marial added 15 points, with 13 coming in the second half and OT. He poured in 11 points in the fourth quarter alone, including a 3-pointer that gave West a 45-38 lead with 4:01 to play.

Service sophomore sniper Leyton Lockard scored six points during an 11-4 run to close out regulation. He drilled a 3 to get the Cougars within 46-44 and then was fouled shooting a 3 and made all three free throws to tie the game 49-49 with 30 seconds left.

Star center Toby Howard recorded a double-double with 13 points and double-figure rebounds.

WEST (53) – Alexander 3, Mikes 2, Cook 18, Tharjiath 0, Hardman 0, Marial 15, Chuol 13, Atonio 0, Muon 2.
SERVICE (55) – Balmes 6, Henderson 2, Morgan 12, Dillard 0, Zadra 4, Tautua 11, Gracey 0, Lockard 7, Christophersen 0, Kennedy 0, Howard 13.
West 9 15 10 15 4 – 53
Service 11 11 10 17 6 – 55

West’s Buob Marial rises up for a jumper. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

East 66, Dimond 30

The top-ranked T-birds scored 20 of the game’s first 22 points to set the tone in a 66-30 semifinal victory that extended East’s winning streak to 15 games.

All-state junior Muhammed Sabally pumped in 17 points, including nine in the opening 10 minutes as the T-birds built a double-figure lead they never relinquished.

The game was scoreless for the opening four minutes before the defending state champions got busy with 32 points in the next quarter and a half.

East also got 10 points from all-state senior Akeem Sulaiman and 10 more from Jal Tharjiath.

Sophomore Melo Delaney came off the bench to score seven, including five in the first quarter. His jumper gave the T-birds a 12-2 lead after the first quarter.

Back-to-back 3s from Sulaiman and Laron Roberts in the second quarter pushed East’s advantage to 28-10.

Things only get worse for the Lynx, who struggled against East’s trapping defense. Join the club.

Dimond’s Javonte Walls led his team with 12 points while Amelio Ambrosio and Marek Hajdukovick scored eight apiece.

DIMOND (30) – Ambrosio 8, Taveras 0, Jav.Walls 12, Castro 0, Stovall 0, Hajdukovich 8, Wilson 0, Sosa-Carpenter 0, Odia 2, Young 0, Perry 0, Jae.Walls 0.
EAST (66) – George 6, Johnson 2, Roberts 3, Delaney 7, Riek 3, Sulaiman 10, Ozuna 6, Hill 0, Sabally 17, Deng 2, Tharjiath 10.
Dimond 2 12 10 6 – 30
East 12 20 18 16 – 66

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