Eleven days ago, the Skyview boys basketball team lost a fourth-quarter lead to Southcentral Conference opponent Nikiski and dropped the first of a two-game series.
On Tuesday, the Panthers exacted revenge on the Bulldogs by winning 45-40 in overtime at Nikiski.
Sage Hill topped Skyview with 11 points, and teammate Kaleb Henderson added 10.
Jesse Ross led Nikiski with 15 points.
“Last time we played Nikiski we didn’t do so good, so this time we knew we had to keep them up and we had a lot more focus,” Henderson said. “It was good because we weren’t so tired. It was good that we finally stepped it up.”
Henderson had a few clutch field goals late in regulation to put Skyview in position to win, then sank two free throws with seconds left in overtime to ice the game. Skyview outscored Nikiski 9-4 in overtime.
“We rebounded a lot better. Last time we got beat on the boards a lot, but tonight we had a lot more subs,” Henderson said. “We were able to keep up because we had those subs.
“I was pretty excited coming into this game, just because we wanted to get back in it.”
Skyview coach Jesse Settlemyer said he gave forward Tim Duke the task of guarding Seth Carstens from Nikiski. Carstens, who has made a habit of scoring 20 or more points in games this year, was held to only six points on Tuesday.
“We were thinking about (the last game) a little,” Settlemyer said. “We know that they’re a second-half team, I’ve been looking in the paper and they’ve come back on teams in the second half. I want to give a shoutout to Tim Duke. We told him to face-guard Seth Carstens and don’t worry about anyone else, you’re not going to leave within 2 feet of him and be his shadow. I thought Tim did a great job and that helped us a lot.”
After a slow start, both teams began piling up the points in the second half. With 2 minutes, 5 seconds, left in regulation, Jacob Carlson made a layup to give Nikiski a 33-32 lead.
That was answered with a jumper from Henderson to give Skyview the lead back, but Lincoln Johnson swapped the lead yet again with a tight jumper with 1:33 left.
After Stephen Hartley sank a free throw, Sage Hill put in a layup with 24 seconds remaining to tie the game. Nikiski fumbled the ball on their next possession, and when Duke’s half-court shot failed to make it (it nearly did), it was on to an extra period.
“We wanted to spread them out and attack,” said Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad. “We ended up with some turnovers and they got points. That was the difference in the overtime period.
“We gave up some offensive rebounds, so it was just kind of a double whammy. We tried to attack and it ended up in turnovers. They put up shots and we had chances to get a rebound and didn’t.”
In overtime, Hill and Carlson put Skyview up quickly and Nikiski couldn’t respond.
“We were really focusing on just being able to move the ball, and being fundamentally sound,” Settlemyer said. “We worked a lot on stepping over and getting open in the offense and being able to make solid passes, and then trying to back cut from there. They were pressuring us on the perimeter so we tried some backdoor stuff. We were trying to get Carstens on the block, just to see if he could pick up his fifth foul, and we weren’t able to. He did a good job at the end of not picking up that fifth one.”
Nikiski girls 55, Skyview 27
The Bulldogs executed similarly in Tuesday’s game as they did the last time the two teams met, netting a victory.
Rachel Thompson had a big game, helping Nikiski with 26 points of her own. Thompson started hot with 11 points in the first quarter.
“She’s been shooting a ton, I know she’s been shooting around out of practice and I think she’s been averaging 500 to 600 shots on her own,” said Nikiski coach Scott Anderson.
Hayley Ramsell led Skyview with eight points.
Skyview was able to hold Nikiski to only four points in the second quarter, resulting in a 19-13 halftime score with the ’Dawgs leading.
However, the Panthers were not able to take advantage, as Nikiski outscored Skyview 21-9 in the third quarter.
“I felt that they really came out hard and played a great first half,” Anderson said. “We kind of let them take it to us a little bit, but fortunately we had a girl hitting 3-pointers. If we didn’t have that, we might’ve been in trouble in the first half.”
With 2:07 left in the third quarter, Skyview’s Sawyer Link hit a pair of free throws resulting in Skyview trailing 29-22, but Nikiski upped the ante by scoring 19 straight points.
“One of the things we really stress is conditioning, and I think that paid off a lot in the second half,” Anderson said. “When we got to the third quarter, I think our girls were still feeling strong.”
The Nikiski girls improved to a 9-5 season record, and 4-2 in the Southcentral Conference, but Anderson said the team is trying to not focus on a possible state berth.
“We try not to talk about (state), but we’ve been talking a little about region seedings and where we’ll fit in that and how every region game is important,” he said. “The biggest thing we need to improve on is playing a full four quarters.”
Bulldogs 55, Panthers 27
Skyview 8 5 9 5 —27
Nikiski 15 4 21 15 —55
SKYVIEW (27) — Halverson 2 0-0 4, Glonek 0 0-2 0, Powers 0 1-2 1, Link 1 2-2 4, Derflinger 1 0-0 2, Tromblee 0 0-0 0, Ramsell 3 2-4 8, Donham 0 0-0 0, Reynolds 2 0-0 6. Totals — 10 5-10 27.
NIKISKI (55) — Epperheimer 1 1-2 3, Lynch 2 0-1 4, Thompson 10 2-5 26, Holloway 0 0-0 0, Cook 2 0-1 4, Wallis 6 0-0 12, Darch 2 2-2 6. Totals — 23 3-11 55.
3-point goals — Skyview 2 (Reynolds 2); Nikiski 4 (Thompson 4). Team fouls — Skyview 13, Nikiski 8. Fouled out — none.
Panthers 45, Bulldogs 40, OT
Skyview 5 11 10 10 9 —45
Nikiski 8 5 11 12 4 —40
SKYVIEW (45) — Collier 3 0-0 6, Rice 0 0-0 0, Hill 5 1-4 11, Jones 0 0-0 0, Duke 4 0-0 9, Carlson 4 1-2 9, Henderson 4 2-2 10. Totals — 20 4-8 45.
NIKISKI (40) — Stangel 0 0-0 0, Li. Johnson 2 1-4 5, Lu. Johnson 3 0-0 7, Hartley 1 2-4 4, Ross 7 1-2 15, Griffith 1 0-0 3, Carstens 3 0-0 6, Samarin 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 4-10 40.
3-point goals — Skyview 1 (Duke); Nikiski 2 (Lu. Johnson, Griffith). Team fouls — Skyview 12, Nikiski 15. Fouled out — none.