Lyon named coach of the year
When Heath Lyon walked off the Alaska Airlines Center court after watching his team capture the ASAA/First National Bank Class 2A state basketball champion, he knew his team had accomplished something special. His efforts in guiding the Bristol Bay Lady Angels to a 40-34 win over Nenana in the state finals wasn't lost on anyone.
Especially the writers with USA Today.
Last week, Lyon was named to the Alaska girls' basketball Coach of the Year winner by the California-based media company.
Lyon was recognized for helping engineer one of the best seasons in the state's history. Under his watch, the Lady Angels put together a stellar 26-1 record - with their only loss coming to Class 3A Bethel Regional High School. Bethel, which qualified for the Class 3A state tournament, was ranked fifth in the state's second-largest classification at the time of its win over Bristol Bay.
Players selected to the girls' All-USA Today first-team squad included Dimond's Alissa Pilli, the 2017 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year. Pilli averaged 25.1 points and 14.1 rebounds per game for the Lynx.
Pilli was joined on the first-team roster by Valdez's Bobbi Mott, Wasilla's McKenna Dinkel, Chugiak's Nicole Pinckney and Nikiski's Behany Carstens.
Barrow's Rose Mongoyak highlighted the All-USA Today Alaska second-team. The 6-foot senior led Barrow to a third-place finish in the state tournament in March. She was joined on the team by Dimond's Jahnna Hajdukovich, Wasilla's Olivia Davies, East's Tennae Voliva and Scammon Bay's Kiah Charlie.
The Class 1A Player of the Year, Charlie led Scammon Bay to its second consecutive state title in March.
Petersburg's Rick Brock was named the boys' Coach of the Year recipient.
Barrow's Travis Adams was a second-team selection.
2017 All-USA Alaska Team
Coach of the Year: Heath Lyon, Bristol Bay
First-Team: Alissa Pilli, Dimond; Bobbi Mott, Valdez; McKenna Dinkel, Wasilla; Nicole Pinckney, Chugiak; Bethany Carstens, Nikiski.
Second-Team: Jahnna Hajdukovich, Dimond; Olivia Davies, Wasilla; Rose Mongoyak, Barrow; Tennae Voliva, East; Kiah Charlie, Scammon Bay.
Coach of the Year: Rick Brock, Petersburg
First-Team: Moses Miller, East; Nahan Froman, Service; Tobin Karlberg, Grace Christian; Eric Jenkins, Dimond; Austin White, Ninilchik
Second-Team: Wallace Ungwiluk, Gambell; Travis Adams, Barrow; Stewart Conn, Petersburg; Isaac Houck, Wasilla; Clayton Southwick, Palmer.