Sayvia Sellers

As if having never lost a game in Alaska and gunning for a fourth state title wasn’t enough on her plate, Sayvia Sellers is primed to consume perhaps the most coveted record.

The ACS girls basketball star and two-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year is on pace to break Alissa Pili’s all-time state scoring record of 2,614 points that has stood since 2019.

With five games remaining in her career, Sellers is 124 points shy of the record and will need to average 25 points per game to catch Pili. Sellers is averaging 26 points with a season high of 47 entering this week’s Northern Lights Conference Championships in Kodiak.

The 5-foot-7 nationally ranked senior point guard who has already signed with the University of Washington of the Pac-12 Conference.

The Naismith All-American has virtually done it all at ACS. She is 74-0 against Alaska competition going into the playoffs. She’s won three rings. And this week she earned her second straight Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year honor, reenforcing her place in history among the state’s all-time greats.

The only prize left for Sellers is the scoring record.

SIX SHOOTERS
Alaska’s All-Time Girls Scoring Leaders

2,614 – Alissa Pili, Dimond 2019
2,577 – Elaina Mack, King Cove 2020
2,490 – Sayvia Sellers, ACS 2023
2,290 – Brit Jacobson, Chugiak 1994
2,227 – Ruthy Hebard, West Valley 2016
2,179 – Jeannie Hebert, Monroe 1988

The record has changed hands only four times in the last 35 years.

In 1988, Jeannie Hebert broke the record with Monroe Catholic of Fairbanks. She averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and nine assists as a senior and received the state’s MVP award an unprecedented four times. She went on to become an All-American at the University of Miami and helped the ‘Canes reach the Sweet 16 at the 1992 NCAA Tournament.

Hebert’s 2,179 points was the Alaska high school standard for six years.

Brit Jacobson

In 1994, Chugiak’s Brit Jacobson pushed the record to 2,290. A year earlier she had scored 27 points in Chugiak’s 69-46 win over 12th-ranked Phoebus of Virginia as the Mustangs became the first Alaska girls team to beat a nationally ranked opponent. Phoebus featured national player of the year and future WNBA star La’Keshia Frett. Jacobson went on to earn All-Big 12 honors at Kansas State University.

Jacobson’s scoring record towered over Alaska for a quarter of a century.

Then along came Pili.

Dimond’s Alissa Pili proved to be A1 since Day 1 as she dominated the Cook Inlet Conference unlike any freshman we’d ever seen in Anchorage, becoming the first ninth grader to win CIC Player of the Year honors. It was almost inconceivable to think of a freshman winning that award before Pili, who became the first four-time winner.

Alissa Pili basketball

Alissa Pili

All-time records are usually held by career starters. Not only do they get big-time minutes, but they put up big-time offensive production. Just consider that a player has to average 25 points for 25 games in each of their four seasons to score 2,500 points. Pili did that, and more.

The fabulous forward finished with 2,614 points in 2019 to obliterate the previous record by 324 points. It added another layer to her perceived invincibility.

As a senior, Pili scored a career-high 44 points in the Gator Classic championship game in Las Vegas, with 36 coming in the second half. She was named MaxPreps National Athlete of the Year. Twice!

Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Pili is now playing for the University of Utah and was just named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring (20.3) and FG% (.585).

Two other players got really close to the Alaska scoring record but came up short.

West Valley’s Ruthy Hebard finished with 2,227 points in 2016, coming within 63 points of the record at that time. Her career high was 51. She went on to play for the University of Oregon, where she was a three-time All-American and set Alaska records for career points (2,368) and rebounds (1,299). Hebard is now in the WNBA.

Elaina Mack

King Cove’s Elaina Mack got within 37 points of Pili’s record in 2020, finishing with a total of 2,577. She averaged 40 points as a senior with a high of 58 and looked primed to break the record before COVID ended the season on the eve of the state tournament. Mack now plays for the UAA Seawolves.

COVID also cut short Sellers’ freshman season, but in the end not even a pandemic could slow her down. Sellers is unrelenting. Her will to win trumps her desire to break records, but you gotta think the scoring record is different.

This would etch her name in stone, and coupled with her unprecedented team success, cement her status as arguably Alaska’s greatest high school player. She is the best guard, maybe even the best player. Not for her era, but for all-time.

Sayvia Sellers goes to the rack against Wasilla on Jan. 31. Photo by Bryan Boyett/Alaska Sports Report

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School Boosters:
Steve Nerland, Don Winchester, Kathleen Navarre, Jim Hajdukovich, Residential Mortgage, Aspen Endodontics, RE/MAX Dynamic Properties, Kevin Taylor