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Defending their turf

Nikiski boys, girls earn weekend district sweeps

Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2001

Nikiski High School girls basketball coach Ward Romans said his squad has the potential to explode this season.

The Bulldogs haven't gone supernova just yet, but they did turn a 12-12 second-quarter tie into a 72-24 victory over District 3/3A opponent Susitna Valley Friday, then downed district foe Houston 64-21 Saturday -- indicating that Nikiski could at least be entering the red giant phase of its existence.

The Nikiski boys displayed similar volatility this weekend, downing Susitna Valley 78-54 Friday and edging Houston 52-49 Saturday.

"This team has that kind of potential," Romans said after Friday's game. "This team has the potential to explode."

The Bulldogs demonstrated that explosive ability, outscoring the Rams 60-12 over the final 2 1/2 quarters after Susitna Valley managed to tie the game at 12 early in the second quarter.

"We just came out on our own little islands. We weren't playing together at all," said Nikiski's Sally Glaze. "Once we start talking, we're a great team."

Nikiski built a 35-15 lead by halftime, and the Bulldogs held the Rams scoreless for the first 7 minutes, 36 seconds of the second half -- scoring 16 points of their own during that stretch.

The Bulldogs were able to build their lead with a balanced attack. Glaze netted 15 points from her guard position while Karen Rabung scored 19 and Laura Berdahl netted 18 from the post.

"Our chemistry is so good, we know where someone is going to be when we get into trouble," Glaze said. "Our post players let you know when they're open, and if they're not, they set a screen for you so you'll be open."

"Karen Rabung and Laura Berdahl are getting more and more comfortable playing together under the basket," Romans said. "There's no way to speed that process up. The only way to do it is to get out and play games."

"As the season goes on, we've been getting better at knowing what the other person is going to do," Berdahl said. "We were communicating a lot (in Friday's game), and that makes it a lot more fun to play together."

Romans was excited to see every player on the Nikiski bench get some quality minutes on the floor.

"We played 10 girls, and all 10 had moments of really good play," Romans said. "There's very little dropoff up and down our lineup."

Nikiski's depth bodes well as the Bulldogs get into the thick of their district schedule.

"Our second season starts this weekend," Romans said. "This is when games become vital. This is a tough region, and it's important to get every region win leading up to the state tournament you can."

Nikiski notched its third district win Saturday with its win over Houston. Berdahl had a big night at the foul line, going 15-for-16 while finishing with 23 points. Glaze finished with 17 points and Rabung scored 14 points for the Bulldogs.

NIKISKI BOYS 78,

SUSITNA VALLEY 54

NIKISKI BOYS 52,

HOUSTON 49

The Bulldogs overtook the Rams with a slow-building surge Friday. Nikiski was down by a point, 11-10, early in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs started creating offense from their defense with turnovers and easy baskets.

Nikiski took the lead on a steal and breakaway basket by Josh Reilly, and stretched that lead to eight points, 34-26, by halftime.

The Bulldogs continued to pull away in the second half, finishing with a 24-point margin of victory.

"In the second half we really got it going," Nikiski's David Holloway said. "We were getting some turnovers. Coach told us at halftime to pick up our defense, start getting turnovers and get some easier shots."

The pressure on the ball paid off as Holloway netted 22 points, Chris Roofe scored 20 and Reilly finished the game with 10 points. Seven other Bulldogs made their way into the scoring column.

"We were trying to step up our pressure, but it doesn't work unless you're organized," Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad said. "We've been doing a much better job getting organized on the floor so we're able to use the pressure to our advantage. Tonight was a big step."

The Bulldogs took another step Saturday in their win over Houston. Roofe led the Bulldogs with 11 points while Reilly, Robert Anderson and Holloway each chipped in with 10 points.

Nikiski trailed by five points, 40-35, heading into the final quarter, but the Bulldogs defense held Houston to nine points while the Nikiski offense struck for 17 points, led by Anderson's six points, down the stretch.

Girls

BULLDOGS 72, RAMS 24

Susitna Valley 9 6 2 7 -- 24

Nikiski 12 23 18 19 -- 72

SUSITNA VALLEY (24) -- McNulty 3 0-0 8, Borge 0 0-0 0, Pratt 4 1-4 9, Bills 0 0-0 0, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Swed 0 0-0 0, Clark 0 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 0 0-0 0, Davis 2 1-8 5, Marsh 0 0-0 0, O'Hara-Barnard 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 10 2-12 24.

NIKISKI (72) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 0 0-2 0, Weaver 2 0-1 4, Lofstedt 1 0-0 2, Rabung 8 3-7 19, Carr 0 0-2 0, Glaze 5 4-7 15, Cason 4 1-3 9, Berdahl 6 6-7 18, Thomson 2 1-2 5. Totals -- 28 15-31 72.

3-point goals -- Su Valley 2 (McNulty 2), Nikiski 1 (Glaze). Total fouls -- Su Valley 21, Nikiski 17. Fouled out -- none.

BULLDOGS 78, RAMS 54

Susitna Valley 11 15 10 18 -- 54

Nikiski 9 25 20 24 -- 78

SUSITNA VALLEY (54) -- Lee 4 7-7 17, Steadman 6 2-4 14, Birdsall 0 0-0 0, Clark 0 0-0 0, Blanton 5 3-4 13, Moritz 0 0-0 0, Strong 2 0-0 4, Fountain 0 0-0 0, Olson 1 0-0 2, McNulty 1 2-3 4, Mannix 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19 14-18 54.

NIKISKI (78) -- Reilly 3 4-7 10, Melburg 0 0-0 0, Crumpacker 1 0-0 2, Roofe 7 6-11 20, Gerke 1 1-2 3, Carlson 1 0-0 3, Anderson 4 1-4 9, Holloway 9 2-3 22, Bowlin 2 0-0 4, Seater 1 1-2 3, Hitchcock 1 0-4 2, Rooper 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 30 15-33 78.

3-point goals -- Su Valley 2 (Lee 2), Nikiski 3 (Holloway 2, Carlson). Total fouls -- Su Valley 19, Nikiski 21. Fouled out -- Blanton.

Saturday

Girls

BULLDOGS 64, HAWKS 21

Houston 6 5 4 6 -- 21

Nikiski 12 10 15 27 -- 64

HOUSTON (21) -- Nicoll 2 0-0 4, Lepham 1 1-2 3, Aldeman 1 1-2 4, Loeffler 1 0-0 2, Adams 0 0-0 0, Pudwill 3 2-6 8, Jurica 0 0-0 0, Harbey 0 0-1 0, Vial 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 8 4-11 21.

NIKISKI (64) -- Floyd 0 2-2 2, Gillaspie 1 0-0 2, Weaver 0 0-0 0, Rabung 7 0-1 14, Carr 0 0-0 0, Glaze 5 6-6 17, Cason 3 0-0 6, Berdahl 4 15-16 23, Thomson 0 0-0 0, Roofe 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 20 23-25 64.

3-point goals -- Houston 1 (Aldeman), Nikiski 1 (Glaze). Total fouls --Houston 19, Nikiski 11. Fouled out --Loeffler, Pudwill.

Boys

BULLDOGS 52, HAWKS 49

Houston 14 14 12 9 -- 49

Nikiski 16 9 10 17 -- 52

HOUSTON (49) --Smith 1 0-0 2, Haragan 0 0-0 0, Kirtland 3 0-0 7, Clemens 0 0-0 0, Fields 5 3-6 13, T. Webb 5 0-0 12, Cannon 4 1-2 3, Shurtleff 1 1-1 3, Christensen 1 1-1 3. Totals -- 20 6-10 49.

NIKISKI (52) -- Reilly 3 4-4 10, Roofe 4 3-8 11, Gerke 1 1-2 3, Anderson 4 2-3 10, Holloway 3 3-6 10, Bowlin 3 0-0 6, Seater 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 19 13-23 52.

3-point goals -- Houston 3 (T. Webb 2, Kirtland), Nikiski 1 (Holloway). Total fouls -- Houston 18, Nikiski 11. Fouled out -- none.



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