Ashby's 36 helps Noatak tip off road swing with win
Noatak Lynx head basketball coach Stan Van Amburg has always felt a team that faces as many different opponents and situations as possible has a better chance at surviving the ups and downs of a season.
With that in mind, Van Amburg designed the ultimate challenge for his team - a five-game in six days marathon that could go a long way in helping the Lynx make a deep run in the postseason.
Anthony Ashby helped Noatak kick off the road swing with a gargantuan effort on Saturday evening in Anchorage. The NHS standout pumped in a game-high 36 points and helped carry the Lynx to a 76-61 win over the Lumen Christi Arc Angels in non-conference action.
"We're pleased (with how the team played)," said Van Amburg. "We didn't do everything exactly like we wanted, but the boys came out and played hard. We didn't played scared."
Thanks to Ashby, Ivan Luther and Stalker, they also didn't play from behind.
The Lynx opened the contest with a bang ... er, better make that several bangs. Ashby drilled three of his seven three-point shots in the first eight minutes and Luther and Stalker each pushed in a pair of shots from inside the paint, to key a 19-13 run in the initial eight minutes.
Lumen Christi managed to fight its way back in the third. The Arc Angels pounded out a 20-17 run in the stanza and pulled to within 36-33 at the half.
Noatak all but drove the final nail into Lumen Christi's coffin in the third with a stifling offensive and defensive push. The Lynx, backed by a defensive effort that led to several turnovers and easy layups, outscored Lumen Christi by a 23-9 clip and took a commanding 59-42 lead into the fourth.
Ashby led the Lynx's third-quarter barrage by scoring 11 points, nine of which came on three more three-pointers. Derrick Adams added six points in the run.
Stalker, despite playing in foul trouble for much of the game, also finished in double figures for Noatak, netting 10.
Luther and Adams both tallied eight, while Edward Wesley added seven.
Lumen Christi was led by Michael Small, who finished with 22.
The Lynx didn't have much time to enjoy the win. Noatak was scheduled to begin a stretch in which it would play four games in four days on Tuesday. The Lynx were slated to play Cook Inlet Academy on Tuesday, and then face the Seward JV on Wednesday. From there, the team will face Nikolaevesk on Thursday before closing out the trip with a bout against Ninilchik on Friday.
"We felt like we needed to be able to get out there and see some different teams," said Van Amburg. "We're really glad to be able to do this."