Chugiak topples Seward for title

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004

We're just that little 3A team from the other side of the peninsula, said Seward girls basketball coach Roger Steinbrecher.

Yeah, right.

The Chugiak Mustangs won the championship game 51-33 at the Peninsula Challenge girls basketball tournament, but the Seahawks certainly made them work for it Saturday at Skyview High School.

In other games Saturday, the Homer Mariners took third place with a 48-39 win over Grace Christian, Kenai Central won its second game in a row, defeating Nikiski 39-34 for fourth place, and the host Panthers took seventh place with a 40-33 win over Soldotna.

"We've played Roger's teams over the years. His teams are always well-coached and well-prepared," said Chugiak coach Jon Schroeder when asked if he thought Seward was any feistier than he expected. "I like playing 3A teams. I think their work ethic, from top to bottom, is better than a lot of 4A teams."

The Seahawks certainly gave the defending state 4A champions a good challenge, leading for much of the first quarter while the Mustangs worked on figuring out Seward's tough zone defense.

Chugiak was able to take an 8-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, though, and the Mustangs sank a few jump shots over the Seward zone to start the second quarter.

Seward continued to play some tough defense, but the Mustangs were able to take advantage of a couple of turnovers and went to the locker room with a 23-14 lead.

"We just had a couple of mental mistakes here and there," Steinbrecher said. "That seemed to fire Chugiak up."

Chugiak kept the momentum going with a 9-4 run to open the third quarter. Seward's Teal Hetrick hit a 3-pointer to pull Seward back to within 11 points, 32-21, but the Mustangs continued to sink their shots any time they got a good look at the basket on offense while limiting Seward's second chances on defense.

"We wanted to win the hustle part of the game -- maybe it was a tie," Steinbrecher said. "They're a pretty good team."

Steinbrecher said that even during the course of the game, his squad was learning a lot from the challenging matchup.

"I think we'll learn a lot from it about what we can do -- maybe we can surprise ourselves," Steinbrecher said.

Steinbrecher added that team learned a lot from its mistakes, something that will help as they prepare to start their district schedule.

Schroeder also said it was a good tournament for his team, though he regretted losing one of his top players, Elyse Hartman, to injury in Friday's game.

"I was really happy with the contributions I got from the entire team," Schroeder said, adding that Sadie Smith, Sara Courtright and Kristen Doughty were able to come in off the bench and play well in Hartman's absence.

Kelsey Griffin led the Mustangs with 11 points while Sarah Neuschwander scored 10. Smith finished with nine points.

Lara Loomis led the Seahawks with eight points while Emma Seigel and Breanna Bardarson each scored six.

Mariners 48, Grizzlies 39

Homer clinched third place in the tournament, scoring the final five points of the game to stave off a Grace Christian rally.

Grace's Rachel Daly sank a 3-pointer with just under a minute left to play to cut Homer's lead to four points, 43-39.

Homer's Bailey Lowney was fouled on the Mariners' next possession, though, and hit both ends of a one-and-one to increase the lead to six.

The Mariners set up their press for the ensuing Grace inbounds pass and created a turnover, forcing the Grizzlies to foul and sending Skya McKinstry to line, where she hit the first of her double-bonus free throws.

Grace ventured down the floor once more, but the Mariners came up with a defensive rebound and fed McKinstry for a fast-break layup, the final points of the game.

Chantrelle Cousins led the Mariners with 13 points while McKinstry and Lowney each finished with eight. Daly and Shayla Moll each scored nine for the Grizzlies.

Kardinals 39, Bulldogs 34

In a closely contested game, the Bulldogs found themselves down by two points, 36-34, with a minute left to play after a big offensive rebound and put-back by Krystal Gladden.

The Bulldogs picked off a pass on Kenai's next trip down the court, and a foul sent Nikiski's Stacey Griffel to the line for a one-and-one with 16 seconds to play. Griffel wasn't able to sink her first shot, though, and when Nikiski fouled to stop the clock with 9.3 seconds left, Kenai's Lindsey Keener hit both ends of a one-and-one to give the Kardinals a four-point, 38-34 lead.

Nikiski wasn't able to break Kenai's press to get another shot, and the Kardinals added one more point from the foul line courtesy of Laura Moore.

"The last two games are our first two wins of the season," said Kenai coach Jim Beeson. "I told the team there wasn't any shame in losing to the teams we lost to, but it is nice to get a couple wins heading into some region games."

Beeson said playing Nikiski always makes for a good competitive game, and the win would give his team a good boost in confidence.

"From where we started the season to now, we're so much better," Beeson said. "I'm very happy with where we're at, and we're going to keep getting better."

Moore led the Kardinals with 15 points while Keener finished with eight. Amber McGlasson and Breezy Saltzgiver each scored six points.

Sarah Herrin led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Gladden and Sasha Auldridge each scored six.

"The kids are working really hard," said Nikiski coach Ward Romans. "Our defense was better today, and we had some good rebounding in spots. We just have to work on our execution."

Panthers 40, Stars 33

Soldotna was able to cut into the Panthers' 10-point third-quarter lead, but Skyview held on to win the seventh-place game.

Soldotna actually controlled the first quarter of play, taking an 11-6 lead, but the Panthers went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter for a 20-13 halftime lead.

Shelley Heffner was the only Skyview player to score in double-digits with 10 points, but the Panthers had seven other players make contributions in the scoring column.

Soldotna's Marlana McCown led all scorers with 17 points.

Peninsula Challenge

All-tournament team -- Sarah Herrin, Nikiski; Erin Sailors, Grace; Chantrelle Counsins, Homer; Bailey Lowney, Homer; Channing Setterquist, Homer; Breanna Bardarson, Seward; Krista Boulden, Seward; Elyse Hartman, Chugiak; Kelsey Griffin, Chugiak. Tournament MVP -- Courtney Waters, Chugiak.

Championship

MUSTANGS 51, SEAHAWKS 33

Seward 5 9 9 10 -- 33

Chugiak 8 15 15 8 -- 51

SEWARD (33) -- Gaule 0 0-0 0, Hetrick 1 0-0 3, Bardarson 3 0-0 6, Steinbrecher 1 0-0 2, Hoogland 0 1-2 1, Regis 1 3-4 5, Boulden 1 0-0 2, Loomis 3 0-0 8, Gillespie 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Seigel 3 0-2 6, Adelmann 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 13 4-8 33.

CHUGIAK (51) -- Waters 3 0-2 6, Sacks 0 2-2 2, Lassiter 3 0-0 7, Griffin 4 3-7 11, Doughty 0 0-0 0, Smith 4 1-2 9, Courtright 3 0-0 6, Neuschwander 4 2-2 10. Totals -- 21 8-15 51.

3-point goals -- Seward 3 (Loomis 2, Hetrick), Chugiak 1 (Lassiter). Total fouls -- Seward 14, Chugiak 9. Fouled out -- none.

Third place

MARINERS 48, GRIZZLIES 39

Grace 8 9 6 16 -- 39

Homer 8 15 12 13 -- 48

GRACE CHRISTIAN (39) -- Marchuk 0 0-0 0, Daly 3 1-2 9, Sailors 3 0-0 6, Bylsma 3 0-0 6, Floyd 0 0-0 0, Savage 1 2-8 4, Arts 0 0-0 0, Perry 1 1-2 3, Moll 3 3-4 9, Mack 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 15 7-16 39.

HOMER (48) -- Pollack 1 0-0 2, Creamer 2 1-4 5, Cousins 4 5-6 13, Mahan 1 0-0 2, Morawitz 0 1-2 1, McKinstry 3 2-3 8, Lowney 3 2-2 8, Setterquist 2 3-5 7, Lightcap 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 17 14-22 48.

3-point goals -- Grace 2 (Daly 2). Total fouls -- Grace 18, Homer 17. Fouled out -- Morawitz.

Fourth place

KARDINALS 39, BULLDOGS 34

Kenai 5 7 15 12 --39

Nikiski 7 8 9 10 --34

KENAI (39) -- Saltzgiver 2 2-2 6, Keener 3 2-2 8, Foley 0 0-0 0, McGlassen 3 0-4 6, Steiner 0 0-0 0, Moore 6 3-6 15, Calderwood 0 2-4 2, Peterson 1 0-0 2, Kiel 0 0-0 0, Brewer 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 15 9-18 39.

NIKISKI (34) -- Salonen 1 0-0 3, Ellis 2 0-0 4, Gladden 3 0-3 6, Griffel 0 0-1 0, Auldridge 3 0-3 6, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Herrin 6 2-4 15, Hitchcock 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 14 2-11 34.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 1 (Salonen 1). Total fouls -- Kenai 16, Nikiski 16. Fouled out -- none.

Seventh place

PANTHERS 40, STARS 33

Soldotna 11 2 5 15 --33

Skyview 6 14 8 12 --40

SOLDOTNA (33) -- McCown 6 4-6 17, Jones 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 1 2-2 4, Marinkovski 0 0-0 0, Mills 0 0-0 0, Howard 2 3-4 7, Bell 0 0-0 0, Marey 0 0-0 0, Wilbanks 2 1-1 5. Totals -- 10 10-13 33.

SKYVIEW (40) -- Heffner 5 0-1 10, Al. Fay 3 0-0 6, Dalebout 2 0-1 4, Bonebrake 2 1-5 5, Dreifuerst 0 0-0 0, Blake 1 2-2 4, Smith 2 0-0 4, Garrant 1 1-2 3, Am. Fay 2 0-0 4, St. Clair 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18 4-11 40.

3-point goals -- none. Total fouls -- Soldotna 16, Skyview 17. Fouled out -- McCown.



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