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Palmer girls nip Nikiski

Posted: Friday, January 13, 2006

The Nikiski Tipoff Tournament opened with some delightful high school basketball games Thursday as both the Cook Inlet Boys and the host Nikiski girls had chances to win with their final possessions.

Unfortunately, both squads came up just short as the Eagles dropped a 63-61 overtime decision to Eagle River and the Bulldogs lost 42-41 to Palmer.

Also Thursday, the Cook Inlet girls defeated Eagle River 35-27 and the Palmer boys defeated Nikiski 56-31.

In Friday’s games, the Eagle River girls and boys take on Palmer at 2:45 p.m. and 4:40 p.m., followed by Cook Inlet and Nikiski, with the girls teams at 6:15 p.m. and the boys at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Palmer and Cook Inlet square off, with the girls playing at noon and the boys at 1:45 p.m., and the tournament concludes with Eagle River and Nikiski, with the girls to play at 3:30 p.m. and the boys at 5:15 p.m.

“There’s a lot more positives than negatives,” said Nikiski girls coach Ward Romans. “We just got beat by a quality team that hit some big baskets.”

After Nikiski tied the game and took a brief lead on a 3-pointer followed by a foul shot from Sarah Herrin to close out the third quarter, Palmer quickly regained its lead on two-point baskets from Cambria Houtte and Mikaela Bolling.

The Moose were able to stay just ahead of the Bulldogs for the rest of the game. Stacey Griffel put up a shot in traffic to pull the Bulldogs to within a point, 42-41, with 35 seconds to play.

Nikiski twice fouled to stop the clock and forced a turnover with under 20 seconds to play, but couldn’t convert it into points.

A third foul to stop the clock gave the Moose a one-and-one, and while the Bulldogs came up with the rebound on the missed shot, Palmer’s defense denied the Bulldogs another good look at the basket.

“Nikiski is a well-coached team, and they’re going to give you a good game,” said Palmer coach Paul Reid. “We’re a young team that sometimes makes young team mistakes, but we found a way to win.”

The Moose spread the ball around, with Sarah Svedin, Mattie Cox and Stephanie Houser each scoring eight points.

Herrin carried the scoring load for the Bulldogs with 25 points while Hannah Thompson netted seven.

Nikiski started slow and was hindered by turnovers early in the game, falling behind 10-5 in the first quarter. Becca Carlson and Herrin hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Bulldogs to within three points, 20-17, to close out the first half.

“I thought we came out and were a little frazzled. We put ourselves in a hole and had to climb back out of it — and we did,” Romans said.

Herrin said playing a tough opponent like Palmer would make the Bulldogs a better team.

“It makes us work harder. We’re going to use it as fuel for (today’s) game,” said Herrin. “... Every game, we’re getting a lot better, but we’re taking it game by game.”

Cook Inlet girls 35, Eagle River 27

Behind 17 points from Melissa Moffis, the Eagles defeated Eagle River.

Chelsea Hardcastle, Heidi Hillyer and Brooke Forsi each scored four points for the Eagles.

Cierra Mickens scored eight points and Jamie Weinburger netted six for the Wolves.

Eagle River boys 63, Cook Inlet 61

Eagle River’s David Cannamore converted a 3-point play the old-fashioned way, scoring from the floor while being fouled and sinking the ensuing free throw to tie the game at 56 and send it to overtime, where Tim Reed hit the game winner in the closing minute for the Wolves.

“I’m pleased with the hard work,” Eagle River coach Mark Erickson said of his squad. “We’re finding our ability to work that hard, so we know we can do it.”

Cook Inlet’s Jeremy Franchino led all scorers with 29 points, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at 61 in overtime, but the Eagles were forced to settle for chalking the game up as a learning experience rather than a win.

“Playing up in these tournaments (with 3A and 4A schools) makes us that much tougher when we go into our 2A games,” said CIA coach Greg Bell.

“I think it will help us eventually, but it’s more fun to see results quickly,” said Franchino.

“It’s a learning process.”

The Eagles found success when they were able to push the ball up the court quickly, but their offense frequently stalled in halfcourt sets.

“Up until the last part of the fourth quarter and overtime, I thought we executed our offense pretty good,” Franchino said. “Once we got away from it, that’s when it got away from us.”

Cook Inlet trailed by a point, 11-10, at the end of the first quarter after Eagle River scored the first five points of the game.

The Eagles took their first lead of the game as they opened the second quarter on a 6-2 run, building a 27-23 halftime lead.

Cook Inlet opened the third quarter with another 6-2 run for its biggest lead of the game, 33-25, but the Wolves quickly closed the gap.

Nate Byrd finished the game with 13 points.

Jay Levesque led the Wolves with 19 points and Cannamore finished with 18.

Palmer boys 56, Nikiski 31

The Moose jumped out to an early lead and cruised through the second half to beat the Bulldogs.

Aaron Kohring was Palmer’s high-scorer with 14 points while Quinton Fiscus netted 13.

Steven Taylor paced the Bulldogs with 11 points.

Girls

EAGLES 35, WOLVES 27

Eagle River 5 9 8 5 — 27

Cook Inlet 10 9 9 7 — 35

EAGLE RIVER (27) — Marshall 1 1-2 4, Morejon 0 0-0 0, Weinburger 3 0-0 6, Mickens 4 0-2 8, Camacho 2 0-0 4, Griffin 1 1-2 3, Somers 1 0-0 2. Totals — 12 2-6 27.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (35) — Sa. McNutt 1 0-0 2, Hardcastle 2 0-0 4, McConnell 1 0-2 2, St. McNutt 0 0-0 0, Hillyer 2 0-0 4, Moffis 6 4-8 17, Little 1 0-0 2, Forsi 2 0-0 4, Ka. White 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 4-10 35.

3-point goals — Eagle River 1 (Marshall), CIA 1 (Moffis). Total fouls — Eagle River 10, CIA 7. Fouled out — none.

MOOSE 42, BULLDOGS 41

Palmer 10 10 10 12 — 42

Nikiski 7 10 15 9 — 41

PALMER (42) — Svedin 3 0-0 8, Berberich 0 0-1 0, Cox 3 2-2 8, Bolling 1 0-0 2, Kenney 3 0-0 6, Ratcliff 3 0-0 6, Houtte 1 0-0 2, Houser 4 0-0 8, Swetzof 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 2-3 42.

NIKISKI (41) — Carlson 1 0-0 3, She. Pritchard 0 0-0 0, Auldridge 1 0-0 2, H. Thompson 2 2-2 7, Herrin 10 3-8 25, Jorgensen 1 0-2 2. Totals — 14 5-12 41.

3-point goals — Palmer 2 (Svedin 2), Nikiski 4 (Herrin 2, Carlson, H. Thompson). Total fouls — Palmer 14, Nikiski 13. Fouled out — Griffel.

Boys

WOLVES 63, EAGLES 61, OT

Cook Inlet 10 17 17 12 5 — 61

Eagle River 11 12 17 16 7 — 63

COOK INLET ACADEMY (61) — Franchino 11 3-4 29, Byrd 6 1-2 13, Kytonen 2 1-2 6, Forsi 0 0-0 0, Burger 1 2-2 5, Mcauliffe 1 0-0 2, Brown 3 0-1 6. Totals — 24 7-11 61.

EAGLE RIVER (63) — Cousin 2 1-1 6, Stepetin 1 0-0 2, Levesque 8 3-4 19, Veldhuis 1 0-0 3, Reed 5 0-0 11, Cannamore 8 1-1 18, Harnett 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 0-0 2, Gray 0 0-0 0, Ripple 1 0-0 2. Totals — 27 5-6 63.

3-point goals — CIA 6 (Franchino 4, Forsi, Burger), Eagle River 4 (Cousin, Veldhuis, Reed, Cannamore). Total fouls — CIA 10, Eagle River 13. Fouled out — none.

MOOSE 56, BULLDOGS 31

Palmer 17 9 15 15 — 56

Nikiski 6 7 8 10 — 31

PALMER (56) — Weber 1 0-0 2, No. 11 0 2-2 2, Fullmer 0 0-0 0, Svedin 4 1-1 9, Odom 3 0-0 7, Cottrell 0 1-2 1, Jacobson 1 0-4 2, J. Berberich 1 0-0 2, Fiscus 6 1-2 13, Kohring 6 2-2 14, T. Berberich 1 2-2 4. Totals — 23 9-15 56.

NIKISKI (31) — Hemphill 1 5-6 7, Taylor 2 7-8 11, Lofquist 0 0-0 0, Fagan 0 0-0 0, Miller 3 2-4 8, Cook 0 0-0 0, Ju. Vance 1 1-2 3, Jo. Vance 0 0-0 0, Tumbaga 0 0-0 0, Thurman 1 0-0 2. Totals — 8 15-20 31.

3-point goals — Palmer 1 (Odom). Total fouls — Palmer 16, Nikiski 12. Fouled out — none.



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