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Prep Hoops: Mylee Anderson’s all-star turn lifts top-ranked Wasilla girls over Mountain City in 4A semifinal

Wasilla’s Mylee Anderson lets one fly over the MCCA defense. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

In a starring role on the state’s grandest stage, Mylee Anderson turned in a performance reminiscent of the command performer that handed her and Wasilla so much basketball misery these last few years.

Anderson finished with 27 points Friday night and simply owned the court possession after possession. The effort helped lift the Warriors to a 54-43 win over Mountain City Christian Academy in the Class 4A girls March Madness Alaska semifinals at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Wasilla, 21-5 and ranked first in the last Alaska Sports Report/Coaches Poll, will face second-ranked Colony in Saturday’s 4A title game. The teams have never met in the 50 years of girls state championship games. The Warriors will vie for the eighth title in program history (1982, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017) and seventh under legendary coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax.

On Feb. 2, Wasilla’s 47-32 victory over third-ranked Mountain City ended the team formerly known as Anchorage Christian’s 133-game winning streak against Alaska opponents. The Warriors had the Lions number twice more during the regular season.

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska
March Madness Alaska
4A Girls
Friday
Semifinals

#2 Colony 69, #4 Thunder Mountain 35
#1 Wasilla 54, #3 Mountain City 43
Consolation
Service 56, Bartlett 23
#5 Dimond 56, North Pole 52
Saturday
Championship

5:30 p.m. – Wasilla (21-5) vs. Colony (25-3)
Consolation
Third place, 9 a.m. – Thunder Mountain (23-4) vs. Mountain City (22-4)
Fourth place, 9 a.m. – Service (19-10) vs. Dimond (23-7)
# ASR/Class 4A Coaches Poll rankings

But this was the state tournament. The past two seasons, 2023 graduate Sayvia Sellers and the Lions didn’t allow Wasilla or anyone a chance to break through.

Until Friday. The loss was MCCA’s first at MMA since 2016. The Lions won four consecutive Class 3A titles before winning the 2022 and 2023 crowns, sporting an 18-0 mark along the way.

“A super important moment,” said Wasilla junior Layla Hays. “We knew how good (MCCA) is and how tough a matchup it would be for us. It’s such a great team win, and there’s no other team I would want to do this with.”

Hays has averaged nearly 14 points and 13 rebounds in her three years at state. She only hit for five points and 11 rebounds as MCCA did a stellar job of defending her inside.

Mountain City Christian’s Nyami Mathot and Wasilla’s Layla Hays reach for the ball. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

If you recall, Sellers left Alaska for the University of Washington as the state’s all-time scorer with 2,651 career points. She was smooth in everything she did. Anderson provided much of the same flash Friday night.

She scored nine second-quarter points including the final five in 73 seconds. In the third, Anderson scored 10 of Wasilla’s first 15 points.

Did she know she’d take over like her former Lions nemesis used to do?

“Honestly, no, it just sort of happened,” Anderson humbly said of her brilliant night. “I just took my open shots, and sometimes it just flows that way.”

MCCA’s cupboard is far from bare after suffering the first taste of state defeat in some time. Sophomore Keelie Kronberger fired in 16 points and sophomore Jasmine Schaeffer added 10. The Lions dropped to 22-4.

Wasila coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax shouts out instructions. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

“Mountain City, formerly ACS, had been that thorn in our side,” said Hebert-Truax, who picked up career win 598 while rocking a fly leather jacket. “First, we had to (beat them) in the regular season and then in the conference tournament and then to do it here at state. I was pretty nervous before the game.”

But the “Fonzie” of Alaska high school coaches kept her cool.

“I loved it,” Hays said of Hebert-Truax’s latest fashion choice. “I was a little surprised to see her in it. You go, Hebert.”

MOUNTAIN CITY (43) – Nyat. Majiok 0, Maldonado 8, Nyaw. Majiok 0, Mathot 6, Alex 1, Kronberger 16, Pastana 0, Siatini 2, Schaeffer 10, Gundersen 0.
WASILLA (54) – Bruno 0, Merchant 6, Kroon 9, Lynch 0, Anderson 27, Breshears 2, Boling 3, Jackson 2, Gittlein 0, Bredberg 0, Hays 5, Kauffman 0.
Mountain City 11 8 9 15 – 43
Wasilla 19 14 9 12 – 54

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