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First day of Cook Inlet Classic

Posted: December 14, 2012 - 12:16am  |  Updated: December 14, 2012 - 1:01am

The Cook Inlet Academy basketball teams got their season off to a good start Thursday night at home at the Cook Inlet Classic tournament. The CIA boys beat Nanwalek 44-29 and the girls defeated Ninilchik 34-14.

In the girls game, CIA held Ninilchik scoreless in the first quarter and took a 12-4 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, the Eagles pushed the lead even further, putting up an 8-0 run and outscoring the Wolverines 12-2 overall, aided by senior Darlene Bunts, who led CIA with nine points overall, and seven in the second half. Senior captain Megan Bauder had eight points.

“We got a lot of people in the rotation, a lot of bench players saw playing time, and it’s a good early look at who’s going to be in what role,” CIA coach Rustin Hitchcock said. “We weren’t really ready defensively at first, we weren’t in the passing lanes and our press is normally our best offense, but it reminds us of last year when we played Nikolaevsk in the first game of this tournament and the exact same score in the first half, which led to a better second half.”

Hitchcock, who is returning for his fourth year as head girls coach at CIA, said the team seemed to shake off the off-season rust as the game went along.

“If we work on trying to limit their shots per possession, we can be a good team,” he said.

Ninilchik head coach Rod Van Saun was pleased with his team’s effort, especially when considering the average age of the team.

“I thought for having seven freshmen, one sophomre, one junior and one senior, and a squad that’s never played together and only had eight practices together, they came out and handled the pressure really well and broke the press consistently,” Van Saun said. “CIA is a very good team, and they handled it very well. Our offense is coming along and our defense is improving as well.”

Ninilchik was led by freshmen Melissa Ehlers and Jordan Finney with four points each, and Van Saun praised the efforts of senior captain Kaylee Smith.

“(She) is everything a captain should be.”

CIA will play Nikolaevsk Friday at 5:30 p.m.

CIA 44, NANWALEK 29

The Eagles were able to withstand a third-quarter charge from Nanwalek and post a victory in their first game of the season, led by freshman Timmy Smithwick’s 14 points and senior Scott Habermann’s 13.

After poor shooting in the first quarter, CIA finished the first half on a hot streak, scoring nine points in the final two minutes, 33 seconds to take a 22-8 halftime lead.

However, Nanwalek junior John Romanoff found a groove in the third quarter, sparking a 13-2 run to close to within nine points after three quarters. Of the 15 points Nanwalek had in the third, 13 were from Romanoff, who was able to find his success with hard drives to the basket. Romanoff had 21 points overall.

CIA head coach Justin Franchino said the third quarter breakdown was likely due to the fact that the team has not played a real game in quite some time.

“We just weren’t playing good defense, we weren’t playing smart defense, and we were missing assignments and part of that was probably pre-game jitters and guys were jacked up because of the home crowd,” Franchino said. “We weren’t seeing man and ball and so they’d lose sight of their man and he’d get a wide open shot. They just need to communicate more on defense, and that’ll come with time.”

Most impressive was the fact that Nanwalek only brought five players with them to the tournament, meaning there were no breaks for the guys on court.

“They’re tired,” Nanwalek coach Kevin Seville said. “We barely got in 10 practices with our guys, so they’re a little weak in the legs, and some are still learning the game, so it’s a great effort on their part.”

Seville said Romanoff’s effort was big for the team.

“He’s developed his game and he’s developed his shot over the summer, and it’s worked for him,” Seville said. “He’s got to be the leader on the floor and guide his younger teammates.”

In the fourth quarter, CIA improved its game, as Scott Habermann’s eight points in the quarter led the Eagles to the win. Habermann also had 11 rebounds in the game.

“He showed me tonight that he wants more playing time,” Franchino said. “I tell you, he’s an animal, and he’s been working hard in practice but he came out tonight and had amazing hustle. He was our leading rebounder and played a lot of smart defense.

“For a few times out there, he was the only post player we had and he was the one running the floor and getting the fast break layups.”

CIA will play Nikolaevsk at 7:15 p.m. on Friday.

Nikolaevsk girls 32, Soldotna JV 30

The Warriors held off the Stars for a first-round victory.

The Stars outscored the Warriors 15-5 in the final period, but it was not enough to catch the Warriors.

Serafima Kalugin paced the Warriors with nine points, while Serena Prior had 12 for SoHi.

Nikolaevsk boys 58, Soldotna JV 48

The Warriors got a big game from Eric Mametieff in topping the Stars in first-day play.

Mametieff had 24 points to lead Nikolaevsk, while Blake Klaich chipped in with 18.

For Soldotna JV, Drew Fowler had 17 points, while Brooks Furlong had 15.

 

Thursday girls

Eagles 34, Wolverines 14

CIA 6 6 12 10 —34

Ninilchik 0 4 2 8 —14

CIA (34) — Davidson 1 0-0 2, Jakits 0 0-0 0, Moffis 0 0-0 0, Bauder 3 2-2 8, Bunts 3 1-2 9, Brush 2 0-0 5, Orth 2 0-2 4, Hammond 0 2-4 2, McGahan 2 0-0 4. Totals — 13 5-10 34. NINILCHIK (14) — Appelhanz 0 0-0 0, Sinclair 0 0-0 0, Goins 0 0-2 0, Ehlers 2 0-0 4, Finney 2 0-0 4, Clark 1 0-0 2, Smith 1 0-0 2, Riley 0 0-0 0, Dell 1 0-0 2. Totals — 7 0-2 14.

3-point goals — CIA 3 (Bunts 2, Brush 1); Ninilchik 0. Team fouls — CIA 5, Ninilchik 5. Fouled out — none.

 

Warriors 32, Stars JV 30

Nikolaevsk 12 9 6 5 —32

Soldotna JV 9 3 3 15 —30

NIKOLAEVSK (32) — Klaich 0 2-7 2, So. Kalugin 2 1-8 5, Stafford 2 2-2 6, Mametieff 0 0-0 0, Se. Kalugin 4 0-0 9, N. Gordeev 0 0-0 0, Dorvall 2 2-4 6, E. Gordeev 0 0-0 0, Hickman 2 0-0 4. Totals — 12 7-21 32.

SOLDOTNA (32) — Shaw 0 0-0 0, Ashe 2 0-0 5, Blossom 0 0-0 0, Conradi 0 0-0 0, Wong 4 0-0 9, Prior 5 0-0 12, Smith 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 0-1 0, Kincaid 0 0-0 0, Miller 2 0-0 4, Schneider 0 0-0 0, McElroy 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 0-1 30.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 1 (Se. Kalugin 1); Soldotna 4 (Prior 2, Ashe 1, Wong 1). Team fouls — Nikolaevsk 10, Soldotna 13. Fouled out — Ashe.

 

Thursday boys

Eagles 44, Nanwalek 29

CIA 6 16 10 12 —44

Nanwalek 2 6 15 6 —29

CIA (44) — Mlynarik 2 2-4 6, Taplin 0 2-4 2, Utchman 1 0-0 2, Hammond 0 0-0 0, Habermann 6 1-4 13, O’Dell 1 1-2 3, R. Smithwick 1 0-2 2, Lyons 0 2-5 2, T. Smithwick 7 0-2 14. Totals 18 8-21 44.

NANWALEK (14) — Wilson 1 0-0 2, Ukatish 0 0-0 0, X. Romanoff 3 0-2 6, Evans 0 0-0 0, J. Romanoff 8 4-5 21. Totals 12 4-7 29.

3-point goals — CIA 0; Nanwalek 1 (J. Romanoff 1). Team fouls — CIA 11, Nanwalek 13. Fouled out — none.

 

Warriors 58, Stars JV 48

Nikolaevsk 9 14 17 18 —58

Soldotna JV 12 7 12 17 —48

NIKOLAEVSK (58) — Trail 0 0-0 0, A. Fefelov 2 0-3 4, Yakunin 2 3-8 7, Holub 0 0-0 0, N. Fefelov 0 0-0 0, Klaich 7 3-4 18, Gordeev 1 2-4 5, Mametieff 11 1-3 24. Totals — 23 9-22 58.

SOLDOTNA JV (48) — Lee 0 0-0 0, Furlong 5 3-4 15, Riley 1 0-0 3, Phillips 0 0-0 0, Hallford 0 0-0 0, Abendroth 0 0-0 0, Ross 1 0-0 3, Fowler 7 3-4 17, Trammell 3 1-2 7, Kuntz 1 0-0 3. Totals — 17 7-10 48.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 3 (Klaich 1, Gordeev 1, Mametieff 1); Soldotna 2 (Furlong). Team fouls — Nikolaevsk 11, Soldotna 19. Fouled out — none.

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