The Seward girls started their Class 3A state tournament on the wrong foot Thursday at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, losing to Galena 54-40.
Meg Berry led the Seahawks with 14 points, and teammates Chelsey Clarke and Tessa Adelmann each had eight points.
“They may have gotten in our heads a little bit,” Berry said. “We were a little tired, and we were a little nervous too.”
Seward started slow, outscored 22-15 in the first half, but began to rally in the third, with a 15-14 run. With 6 minutes, 22 seconds, left in the game, Jessica Stallings sank a field goal to tie the game at 36.
However, Galena was able to string together 10 points consecutively, which effectively put an end to the game.
“The girls just ran out of energy,” Seward head coach Curtis Berry said. “It took a lot of effort to come back after being down 14 or so, and it takes a lot of heart to do that. When we tied it up, we just didn’t have the legs.
“Galena is a good team, they’re good at closing, and they do what works for them, and that’s why they beat us.”
Jenna Buchanan, the Class 3A player of the year and a University of Alaska Anchorage recruit, had 20 points to lead Galena, and teammate Shania Burley recorded 11 points.
While Seward was dealt the loss Thursday, Berry said the team has what it takes to get back up and dust themselves off for a run in the consolation bracket.
“We have to approach every game the same, and each game is an opportunity, and that’s they way we’re looking at it,” he said. “It’s really difficult to bounce back after a first-round loss. I think we can take this disappointment and use it as motivation, just like we use elation after a win to motivate.”
Meg Berry said the team is ready to face off with Craig tomorrow at 9:45 a.m.
“We need to approach Craig with more energy and be positive, and we can’t let this loss get us down,” she said. “I mean it’s still a big accomplishment to be here.”
Last year at state, Seward won in the first round before losing two straight games to finish fifth. This year, the Seahawks can better that finish if they win their final two games.
ASAA First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships
Hawks 54, Seahawks 40
GALENA (54) — Burley 4 2-2 11, Green 1 0-0 2, Erickson 0 2-4 2, S. Buchanan 2 0-0 4, George 2 0-0 4, J. Buchanan 7 5-8 20, Sheldon 3 0-0 8, Nickoli 0 0-0 0, Sam 1 1-2 3, Folger 0 0-0 0, Charlie 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-16 54.
SEWARD (40) — VonBorstel 1 0-0 2, Berry 6 1-1 14, Zweifel 1 0-0 2, Stallings 3 0-2 6, Clarke 4 0-1 8, Adelmann 4 0-0 8. Totals 19 1-4 40.
3-point goals — Galena 4 (Sheldon 2, J. Buchanan 1, Burley 1); Seward 1 (Berry 1).
Team fouls — Galena 7, Seward 14. Fouled out — none.