The Lumen Christi girls basketball team built a double-digit lead with five minutes to play and then hung on for dear life, holding off Shaktoolik 32-30 in the state title game Saturday.
Lilly Muller’s layup on a nice assist from Emily Ross inside the final two minutes proved to be the difference in the Class 1A title game of the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska state tournament in Anchorage.
Lumen Christi (23-5) validated its No. 1 seed for the tournament and ended the season on a nine-game winning streak under coach Kenny Barker, a former All-GNAC player at UAA and UAF.
Ross pumped in a game-high 16 points, including six points during an 11-2 run in the second quarter that gave her team a double-figure advantage. Her layup late in the third quarter extended the lead to a dozen, the largest on the day.
The Archangels led 30-19 with five minutes left and went into a four corners offense in an attempt to squeeze the life out of the rest of the game.
But Shaktoolik’s Kayleigh Sagoonick and Naomi Savetilik pumped life into the game to provide a fabulous finish.
Those two players combined for their team’s final 11 points, with Sagoonick doing most of the heavy lifting. Playing in her final game, the senior guard went out like a warrior, leading her team with 11 points and twice converting three-point plays with the hoop and the harm.
She grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback, completing the and-1 to pull the Wolverines within 30-25 with 3:07 remaining.
Ross’s assist set up the game-winning points for Lumen Christi, breaking the press off the dribble and finding Muller open for a layup that gave the Archangels a 32-25 cushion.
With 48 seconds left, Sagoonick grabbed a loose ball and went coast to coast for a layup and another and-1 to get Shaktoolik within a single possession at 32-30.
The Wolverines had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead but made a costly turnover and never got off a shot. They also saw Lumen Christi miss the front end of a one-plus-one with 8 seconds left but Amara Warren grabbed the offensive rebound and dribbled out the clock.
Lumen Christi’s Natalie Grubba scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak by Shaktoolik (19-3). Autumn Curtis added six points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines.