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M. Scott Moon
Nikiski’s Alyssa Darch swats the ball away from Grace Christian’s Rachel Birky in the second half Friday.

Nikiski cagers split with Grace

Bulldogs boys hold off Grizzlies in 4th quarter

Posted: February 25, 2012 - 1:38am  |  Updated: February 25, 2012 - 6:54pm
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M. Scott Moon
Nikiski’s Lincoln Johnson drives around a Grace Christian player in the second period Friday.

The Nikiski boys held off the charging Grizzlies 51-49 for an exciting win Friday night at Nikiski in Southcentral Conference action.

Nikiski came out strong in the first three quarters, making shot after shot, as it held a 44-27 lead after three quarters. 

However, the momentum changed in the fourth quarter, as Grace outscored Nikiski 22-7 to make a comeback.

“Our coach was saying as soon as you get the ball, make sure you make quick passes, know where your next pass is, make sure you know where you’re going next, stuff like that,” Nikiski senior Lucas Herrin said.

Herrin had 19 points to lead the Bulldogs. 

“The plan was to get the ball and go to the hoop," he said.

Grace actually took the lead for the first time with 51 seconds remaining with a shot from Hans Karlberg, which capped an 11-0 run for Grace. Karlberg racked up 11 points total.

Herrin did not let that lead stand long, though, as he made a driving shot with 40 seconds left to retake the lead.

Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad was relieved to have the win and momentum.

“I told them, well we tried but we won,” Kornstad said. “Grace has done that to us twice before, where we had them down and they came back on us, so we’re learning more what it takes to win, and I was really proud and also happy for the seniors.

“We have some momentum now, which is what we’ve been looking for all year, so I’m excited for our level of intensity, and now we need some consistency with it.”

Grace head coach Chuck Boerger praised his team on a strong effort, even with the loss.

“We kept battling back, and I was proud of them, even though we started out shooting horribly,” Boerger said. “Lucas was unstoppable, but we contested every shot, and we kept going, but that’s what happens sometimes.”

Grace’s top scorer on the night was Nic Bouman with 15 points.

Friday also happened to be Nikiski’s senior night, as all eight seniors on the boys and girls teams were honored.

“It means a lot to me, I’ve been playing basketball since I was 6, so we’re going to state this year,” Herrin said. “I feel sorry for the teams that have to play us (at the conference tournament).”

Grace girls 47, Nikiski 40

The Nikiski girls dropped a game to Grace Friday night at Nikiski.

The Bulldogs attempted a comeback late in the game, as they outscored Grace 17-14 in the fourth quarter, but Grace held them at bay with a few free throws from Heidi Eckmann, who had 18 points in the game. 

Senior Savannah Griffel led Nikiski with 12 points, and teammate Dylan Holloway had 11. 

“They shot the ball really well, they played hard like they have all year, and we’re hoping to peak at the right time going into the regional tournament,” Nikiski head coach Scott Anderson said. “We need to keep playing defense, keep shooting the ball, and overall we played a solid game, and we had some ebbs and flows, and ups and downs.”

Anderson is optimistic heading into next week's conference tournament.

“As the fifth seed, we’re the underdog, so we don’t have any pressure, and that’s nice to have," he said.

 

Friday boys

Bulldogs 51, Grizzlies 49

Nikiski    18    12    14    7    —51

Grace    11    7    9    22    —49

NIKISKI (51) — Anderson 4 2-2 11, Johnson 2 0-1 4, Hartley 2 2-2 6, Herrin 8 1-1 19, Griffith 2 1-2 6, Carstens 0 0-0 0, Eide 0 0-0 0, Parrish 1 0-0 2, Taylor 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 6-8 51.

GRACE (49) — Boerger 2 0-0 5, Offord 2 2-2 8, Bouman 6 2-2 15, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Karlberg 5 0-0 11, McGlaughlin 2 0-0 4, Fancher 0 0-0 0, Harrison 2 0-0 4, Markel 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 4-4 49.

3-point goals — Nikiski 5 (Herrin 2, Anderson 1, Griffith 1, Taylor 1); Grace 5 (Offord 2, Boerger 1, Bouman 1, Karlberg 1).

Team fouls — Nikiski 13, Grace 11. Fouled out — none. 

 

Friday girls

Grizzlies 47, Bulldogs 40

Grace    11    12    10    14    —47

Nikiski    4    11    8    17    —40

GRACE (47) — Dupea 2 0-0 5, Sutton 0 0-0 0, Baird 0 0-0 0, Todd 2 2-3 6, Eckmann 5 7-8 18, Birky 0 0-0 0, Viergutz 4 2-2 10, Lash 3 2-3 8. Totals 16 13-16 47.

NIKISKI (40) — Griffel 5 0-0 12, Holloway 4 3-4 11, Epperheimer 1 0-0 2, Dixon 1 0-0 2, Thompson 1 2-4 4, Holloway 0 0-2 0, Wallis 2 0-0 4, Martin 0 3-6 3, Darch 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 8-16 40.

3-point goals — Grace 2 (Dupea 1, Eckmann 1); Nikiski 2 (Griffel 2).

Team fouls — Grace 14, Nikiski 16. Fouled out — Holloway.

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