CIA cagers sweep Hawks: Nikiski girls win, Nikiski boys lose on opening day of Tip Off

Posted: Friday, January 15, 2010

At the beginning of the season, Cook Inlet Academy girls head basketball coach Rustin Hitchcock was worried about slow starts for his team. Thursday's 53-24 rout over Houston in the first game of Nikiski's 21st annual Era Aviation Tip Off tournament put those worries at ease.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Nikiski's Kinsey Martin (42) jockeys with other Bulldogs and Homer Mariners to come up with a rebound under the Nikiski basket in the second quarter Thursday.

The Eagles started the contest with an 8-0 run and ended the quarter with an 11-0 run. The Eagles scored 21 first-quarter points to the Hawks' six.

"We controlled the tempo," Hitchcock said. "We were the aggressors. It was just a really, really beautiful game today."

Houston's boys earned a split with a 69-52 win over CIA. Nikiski's girls defeated Homer 36-28 and the boys lost a close 54-51 contest to the Mariners.

Eagles 53, Hawks 24

CIA held the Hawks to single digits in scoring in each quarter.

Hitchcock said his team's positive attitude was a major difference in the game.

"From one to 11, everyone had an upbeat attitude," he said of his team. That positivism especially helps the younger girls on the team, Hitchcock said.

Senior Amie Smithwick, in particular, led on and off the court, Hitchcock said.

"The girls look up to her so much," he said. "It's good when she's leading the charge positively."

Smithwick went 8-of-9 from the line and tallied 14 points in the game. Tiffany Smith paced the Eagles with 19 points. Megan Bauder chipped in 11.

Amber Madrid led the Hawks with eight points.

CIA is a more polished team, Hawks head coach Reese Everett said.

Everett said his team had several opportunities to score, but failed to convert on those chances.

"Right now, we're just not a very good shooting team," he said.

Everett said he's still searching for his top five girls.

Though CIA is Class 2A school, its tough schedule thus far has helped it defeat larger schools such as Houston, which is a 4A school, Hitchcock said.

With just one senior on the team, Everett said Houston is in a rebuilding period.

"We're a work in progress," he said. "Right now, we're focused on working hard."

The Eagles success this season is due to their depth, Hitchcock said, in particular, at the guard position.

"It's nice to have a dual guard scoring option," he said. "We're so deep," Hitchcock said of his team.

Hawks 69, Eagles 52

Intensity and discipline decided the game between CIA's boys and Houston. In the first three quarters, the Eagles played with neither, said CIA head coach Justin Franchino.

"The scoreboard showed the results when that happens," Franchino said. "We didn't play with heart for the first three quarters."

Intensity and discipline are needed when they take on larger schools like Houston, Franchino said.

For the Hawks, a good start helped them seal the victory. Head coach Dave Porter said his team hasn't had fast starts lately and it has cost them in close games.

Against CIA, Porter said he stressed coming out hard and gaining a lead, so as to avoid playing from behind.

The Hawks held a 20-14 lead after one quarter and a 10-point lead at the half.

Senior Zack Qual paced the Hawks with 19 points. Eight different Houston players contributed to the scoring. Four had 10 or more.

Matthew Moffis led CIA with 16 points. Twelve of those came from four 3-pointers. Eight Eagles recorded points in the game.

Porter said his team tends to shoot 3-pointers, which it can do as a good shooting squad. But he wanted them to be more aggressive against CIA and generate foul shots from that aggressive play.

Houston got 22 foul shots, making 15 of them.

"We knocked down a lot of free throws," Porter said.

CIA hit 18 of 21 free throws.

With mostly sophomores on the team and just two seniors, Porter said he's been working on fundamentals.

Franchino said he was proud that his team didn't give up in the fourth quarter. An even 15-15 fourth quarter showed that the small 2A Eagles can play with the large 4A Hawks.

"We were just as good as that team," Franchino said. "All we can do is just learn from that."

Bulldogs 36, Lady Mariners 28

Holding a one-point lead entering the fourth quarter, Nikiski's girls went 7-of-10 from the line in the final eight minutes to help them to a 36-28 win over Homer.

Being able to make those free throws late in the game was key, Bulldogs head coach Lee Moore said.

The Lady Mariners chipped away at the Bulldogs eight-point, first-quarter lead during the second and third periods, outscoring Nikiski 16-9.

But the Bulldogs' Savannah Griffel and Makenzie Moore combined for all of Nikiski's 15 fourth-quarter points to give their team the victory. Griffel paced the Bulldogs with 11 points. Makenzie chipped in nine.

Alecia Stafford led Homer with 10 points.

Moore said he was proud of his team to fight back after seeing its lead disappear. He said his squad switched into a zone defense after the Lady Mariners made a comeback.

It was that defense which shutdown Homer's offensive production, Lady Mariners head coach Deb Lowney said.

With 1:10 to play in the game, a 30-25 lead and the possession arrow pointing in Homer's favor, Makenzie grabbed a defensive rebound and fell to the floor. Just as several Lady Mariners began to converge on her, Makenzie called timeout, preventing Homer from gaining possession on a jump ball.

"That was a very smart play," Moore said. "It was very, very, very important."

Moore said he had two timeouts remaining and told his team to call one if needed.

The low-scoring affair between Homer and Nikiski was expected, Moore said. He said he knew the Lady Mariners would compete the entire game.

"Any team that Deb Lowney coaches will work hard until the end," he said.

Lowney said she was constantly making adjustments throughout the game, attempting to find five-player combinations that worked well.

"We fought hard," she said. "We just have to find those offensive combinations."

Her team forced the ball toward the end of the game, which led to turnovers and easy points for Nikiski, Lowney said.

"It was a good game," Lowney said. "I felt like we were in it the whole time."

Mariners 54, Bulldogs 51

After Nikiski cut Homer's lead to 44-41, the Mariners went on a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter. Nikiski's Brando Wik answered back with four quick points. Another Wik bucket on a later possession and a two Lucas Herrin free throws cut the lead to 52-49 in favor of Homer.

A jump ball then went to Nikiski with under a minute to play. Wik missed a 3-pointer but Stefan Krogseng grabbed the offensive board and got the put back, trimming Homer's lead to 52-51.

The Bulldogs began fouling to save as much time as possible on the clock. Homer's Jonathan Jester missed four consecutive foul shots with under 30 seconds to play. But when Norm Anderson went to the line, he made both, giving Homer a three-point lead.

Nikiski called a timeout with 10 seconds remaining. Off of the inbounds, the Bulldogs worked the ball to Wik. He put up a 3-pointer but couldn't get it to fall and time expired.

"It was the best game of the night," Homer head coach Mark Casseri said with a smile after the game. He said his team has been patient lately, helping them achieve victories.

The addition of varsity track star Michael Pate has helped the team with quickness, Casseri said.

Casseri credited the Bulldogs for playing a tough game.

"Nikiski has a great club," he said.

Wik had a team-high 20 points for Nikiski. Herrin followed with 13.

Luke Garvey paced Homer with 20 points. Anderson chipped in 10. Eight different Mariners tallied points.

The Bulldogs went 15-of-22 from the line. Homer made eight of its 17 free throw attempts.

The Lady Mariners square off against Houston today at 2:45 p.m. The Homer-Houston boys matchup follows at 4:15 p.m. CIA and Nikiski's girls begin at 5:45 p.m. and tip off for the boys game starts at 7:15 p.m.

CIA's girls take on Homer at noon on Saturday. The boys follow at 1:30 p.m. Nikiski's girls square off against Houston at 3 p.m. and the boys game is set for 4:30 p.m.


Eagles 53, Hawks 25

Houston 6 6 4 9 -- 25

CIA 21 12 16 4 -- 53

HOUSTON (25) -- M. Dodds 0 0-2 0, P. Wagner 0 2-7 2, S. James 2 2-2 7, A. Acton 0 0-2 0, A. Mackey 1 2-2 4, S. Ritter 0 0-0 0, A. Madrid 3 2-9 8, S. Shaffer 2 0-0 4, K. Quincy 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 8 8-24 25.

CIA (53) --T. Smith 9 0-0 19, T. McGahan 0 0-0 0, L. Bauder 0 0-0 0, M. Bauder 4 3-4 11, S. Arneson 0 1-2 1, D. Bunts 0 0-0 0, A. Smithwick 3 8-9 14, K. Powers 1 0-1 2, K. Brush 0 0-0 0, A. Tieaskie 0 0-0 0, K. Leaf 3 0-0 6. Totals --20 12-16 53.

3-point goals --Houston 1 (James 1); CIA 1 (Smith 1). Team fouls --Houston 15; CIA 16. Fouled out -- None.

Bulldogs 36, Lad Mariners 28

Homer 4 7 9 8 -- 28

Nikiski 12 4 5 15 -- 36

HOMER (28) -- H. Oliver 0 0-0 0, A. Ketelle 2 0-0 4, E. Tutt 1 0-0 2, L. Needham 2 2-8 6, K. Edens 1 0-0 2, A. Stafford 3 3-7 10, J. Erickson 0 0-2 0, C. Cordova 0 0-0 0, M. Wood 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 11 5-15 28.

NIKISKI (36) -- S. Griffel 3 5-8 11, D. Holloway 2 0-0 4, K. Johnson 3 0-0 6, B. Tuttle 1 0-0 2, A. Parish 2 0-0 4, M. Moore 3 3-4 9, L. Martin 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 14 8-12 36.

3-point goals --Homer 1 (Stafford 1). Team fouls -- Homer 16; Nikiski 18. Fouled out -- Wood.


Hawks 69, Eagles 52

Houston 20 17 17 15 -- 69

CIA 14 13 10 15 -- 52

HOUSTON (69) -- S. Kramer 5 2-2 12, A. Richardson 0 0-0 0, B. Frank 1 0-0 2, Z. Qual 6 6-8 19, R. Ruta 0 0-0 0, M. Rothley 4 1-5 11, M. Montreuil 2 2-2 7, T. Barron 1 2-2 4, C. Buzby 1 1-2 3, Co. Buzby 5 1-1 11, T. Stone 0 0-0 0, P. Pease 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 25 15-22 69.

CIA (52) -- L. Grinestaff 2 0-2 4, C. Munn 1 2-2 4, J. Grinestaff 3 0-1 6, S. Reischach 3 1-4 7, J. Holly 2 1-4 5, K. Powers 3 2-6 8, M. Moffis 5 2-2 16, D. Reischach 1 0-0 2. Totals --20 18-21 52.

3-point goals --Houston 4 (Qual 1, Rothley 2, Montreuil 1); CIA 4 (Moffis 4). Team fouls --Houston 19; CIA 18. Fouled out -- Holly.

Mariners 54, Bulldogs 51

Homer 14 10 10 20 -- 54

Nikiski 9 11 10 21 -- 51

HOMER (54) --C. Watry 0 0-0 0, M. Walsworth 1 1-2 3, L. Garvey 10 0-1 20, J. Jester 3 0-4 6, N. Anderson 3 4-6 10, D. Day 0 2-2 2, R. Glosser 1 0-0 2, D. Kennelty 4 0-0 8, M. Pate 1 1-2 3. Totals --22 8-17 54.

NIKISKI (51) -- C. Anderson 1 0-0 2, B. Seater 2 0-0 4, S. Hartley 0 0-0 0, B. Wik 6 8-12 20, L. Herrin 3 7-9 13, S. Taylor 2 1-2 4, S. Krogseng 4 0-0 8. Totals --18 15-22 51.

3-point goals --None. Team fouls --Homer 18; Nikiski 17. Fouled out -- Anderson.

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