The Skyview High School boys basketball team held on for a 62-59 win Tuesday as the visiting Nikiski Bulldogs turned their game into a track meet but couldn't quite catch the Panthers at the finish line.
The Nikiski girls had no problems running away with their game against the Panthers, defeating Skyview 60-41.
"We stopped with the intensity in the second half," said Skyview's William Van Hoose of the boys game. "We stopped playing with as much heart.
"In the fourth quarter, we need to take as many shots, we just needed to take good shots. Unfortunately, not all of them fell, but we kept it together at the end."
The Panthers led by nine points, 38-29, at the half, but the Bulldogs kept their tempo high through the third quarter. Nikiski cut its deficit to four points late in the quarter as Chris Curren drained a 3-pointer, then followed it up with a drive to the basket and a nifty move for two.
A jumper by Curren to open the fourth quarter brought the Bulldogs to within two pints, 53-51, and Steven Taylor finished off a fast break with a two-point layup to tie the game with seven minutes to play.
"Their style is kind of unorthodox. They like to run and gun," Van Hoose said. "We're used to teams that like to go down and set up their offense."
After Nikiski tied the game, Van Hoose answered with a two-point basket. The game was tied again at 55 before Bobby Hering completed a three-point play hitting for two while being fouled and sinking the free throw with just under six minutes to play, giving the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish.
Nikiski got it back to within a point, 60-59, but Van Hoose's basket with 55 seconds to play was the final score of the game as the Panthers were able to play keep away to kill off the clock.
The Nikiski girls limited Skyview to just five points in the first quarter while putting 19 on the board en route to the win.
Hannah Thompson and Sarah Herrin each scored 16 points to lead the Bulldogs, who got a chance to work on some things as they prepare for a conference game against Seward Friday.
"We worked on our press a lot. We got some good reps with our press," Thompson said.
The Bulldogs led 33-19 at the half, but Skyview started the first quarter strong and pulled to within nine points, 33-24.
Krystal Gladden drilled a 3-pointer to end the Panthers' run, though, and Nikiski's lead swelled to 23 points by the end of the third quarter.
"We're improving a lot with practice and games," Thompson said. "Everyone stepped in and came up big."
Nikiski coach Ward Romans cited Sasha Auldridge and Whitney Hitchcock for their won't-show-up-in-the-scorebook efforts as Auldridge did a good job running the offense and Hitchcock provided a spark at the other end of the floor with her defense.
Romans said he was proud of his players and added they they continue to learn and improve, even during games.
"They're extremely coachable. We talked about adjustments at halftime, and they came out and executed," Romans said.
Christina Shadura led the Panthers with 12 points while Nicole Van Ryzin netted nine.
BULLDOGS 60, PANTHERS 41
Nikiski 19 14 21 6 60
Skyview 5 14 12 10 41
NIKISKI (60) Lee 1 0-1 2, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Gladden 3 1-2 9, Griffel 1 0-0 3, Auldridge 3 2-4 8, Thompson 7 0-0 16, Herrin 5 6-8 16, Hitchcock 3 0-0 6. Totals 23 9-15 60.
SKYVIEW (41) Heffner 3 1-2 7, M. Fay 0 2-4 2, Van Ryzin 4 1-1 9, Dreifuerst 0 0-0 0, Blake 3 0-0 7, Smith 0 0-0 0, Shadura 6 0-0 12, A. Fay 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 4-7 41.
3-point goals Nikiski 5 (Gladden 2, Thompson 2, Griffel), Skyview 1 (Blake). Total fouls Nikiski 9, Skyview 10. Fouled out none.
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