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'Dawgs tear up Moose

Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2001

The Nikiski girls basketball team took to the hardwood and hunted down the Palmer Moose like a pack of wild dogs Saturday.

The Bulldogs dominated the struggling Moose 60-40 in a game that looked as though it would be a close one when put together on paper. The Class 4A Palmer girls were ranked fifth in the state basketball poll before taking a loss to the charged-up Bulldogs, who are ranked first in the Class 3A state poll.

"We could have beaten any team tonight with the exception of East," Nikiski coach Ward Romans said of the Thunderbirds, the top-ranked team in Class 4A. "The team played the best game that they have played so far this year. Our defense and the rebounding were the difference tonight."

Not to mention the turnovers. The Bulldogs ended the night with a tally of 16 turnovers, only four above Romans' team goal of 12 in a game. The Moose, on the other hand, found themselves with a head-shaking statistic of 34 turnovers against the stonewall defense of Nikiski.

"The turnovers we did make were ones that are difficult to avoid in a game against a team like Palmer," Romans said. "We broke their press and it showed. I don't know what was happening with Palmer, but their turnovers and our defense were probably the biggest factors."

The defense was led by junior guard Sally Glaze, who corralled the ball-handling ability of Palmer's Richell Knapp.

"The defense, the scoring -- everything we do is as a team," Glaze said. "If someone beats me I know there is someone there to pick her up. We did awesome tonight."

The real threat Palmer presented to the Nikiski defense and to the scoreboard came from 6-foot-3 center Lisa Thomas and 6-foot-0 Sara Bergeron. The Bulldogs job of closing down the inside scoring of Thomas was spearheaded by senior Laura Berdahl and junior Mindy Cason, holding Thomas to only eight points in the contest.

The surprise of the night came from the outside shooting ability of Bergeron, who led her squad as the only player to score in double digits with 22 points.

"We didn't know she could hit those outside shots," Romans said. "When she started nailing them we knew we would have to adjust."

Nikiski did just that as Bergeron went from a 13-point first half to being held to only nine in the second.

"It was definitely a team effort," Berdahl said. "When someone needed help, then there was someone to help them out. We played together real well tonight."

As the sports saying goes, the defense wins the game but the offense gets the glory. In Nikiski's case, offense put the points on the board and smothering the Moose with a stone cold defense would stop them from scoring too much.

"Before the game coach (Romans) was telling us to just go out and have fun," Glaze said. "We came out smiling and the big difference was when we made a mistake we just cut it loose."

The Bulldogs followed the hot hands of sophomore Karen Rabung, who nailed six field goals in the first half and added another in the second to walk away with 14 points. The team leaders were helped in the points department after nailing two 3-point field goals each. Berdahl, who poured in a team-leading 19 points, and Glaze, who added 16, showed what happens when they are left open past the arc.

"When I have an open shot I have to shoot it," Berdahl said. "I try to shoot the ball when I can and I just happened to get some open looks today."

Glaze agreed that the only time a 3-pointer is a necessity is when there are no other options open at the time.

"I practice hard at shooting 3-pointers," she said. "If I have an open shot for a 3 but one of my teammates is open for an elbow jump shot, I am going to pass it inside. It's an easier shot to make and easier to rebound."

With Nikiski hosting another 4A school in the Homer Mariners Monday, the question is if the Bulldogs can keep the intensity and teamwork they showed on the court against the Moose.

"I don't know if it will be possible to give a repeat performance," Romans said. "All I can ask the girls to do is go out and play to the best of their abilities. When they do that the outcome is going to be the same as tonight."

Friday night's basketball action ended with much of the same results as the Bulldogs girls clubbed the Heritage Christian School Eagles.

Nikiski pounded the Eagles with a 52-36 drubbing as three Bulldogs scored into double digits.

The Bulldogs took a 22-14 first-half lead before walking away with the Region III/3A win. Nikiski followed the powerful inside presence of Berdahl, who led the squad with 17, while teammates Glaze and Rabung notched 14 apiece.

The Eagles, who only had five players put points on the board, were led by Meggie Matteson with 19 points, while teammate Jenell Millar added 10.

The Nikiski boys showed what happens when a single player scores 29 points as they pulled out a close Region III win over the Heritage Eagles.

The Bulldogs edged out the Eagles for a 62-57 win Friday night as junior guard David Halloway went to town, scoring 29 points with eight field goals, three 3-pointers and 4-of-5 free-throw shooting.

The Eagles followed the hot hands of D. J. Newsome and Trevor Millar, who led the losing effort with 17 points, while teammate Rusty Gutierrez added 12.

The Bulldogs boys next contest finds them hosting the 4A Homer Mariners Monday night.

Saturday

BULLDOGS GIRLS 60, MOOSE 40

Nikiski 16 18 12 14 -- 60

Palmer 13 6 14 7 -- 40

NIKISKI (60) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 1 0-0 2, Weaver 1 0-0 2, Lofstedt 0 0-0 0, Rabung 7 0-2 14, Carr 1 0-1 3, Glaze 5 4-7 16, Cason 2 0-3 4, Berdahl 7 3-7 19, Thomson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 24 7-14 60.

PALMER (40) -- Kendall 1 0-0 2, Azure 0 0-0 0, Knapp 2 0-5 4, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Bolling 1 0-1 2, Sakis 0 0-0 0, Dixon 0 0-0 0, Bergeron 10 2-2 22, Hillis 1 0-2 2, Thomas 4 0-5 8, Virgin 0 0-0 0, Lien 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19 2-14 40.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 5 (Berdahl 2, Glaze 2, Carr 1); Palmer 0. Total fouls -- Nikiski 7, Palmer 14. Fouled out --Thomas, Knapp. Technical fouls -- Palmer 1 (Coach Lyle Busbey).

Friday

BULLDOGS GIRLS 52, EAGLES 36

Nikiski 10 12 19 11 -- 52

Heritage Christian 6 8 10 12 -- 36

NIKISKI (52) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 1 1-3 3, Weaver 1 0-1 2, Lofstedt 0 0-1 0, Rabung 6 2-4 14, Carr 1 0-0 2, Glaze 6 1-2 14, Cason 0 0-0 0, Berdahl 7 3-4 17, Thomson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 22 7-15 52.

HERITAGE (36) -- Chase 1 0-0 2, Piper 0 0-0 0, Jack 0 0-0 0, Harger 1 1-2 3, Matteson 6 7-8 19, S. Millar 0 0-0 0, Hanks 0 0-3 0, Rebischlae 0 0-0 0, J. Millar 4 0-1 10, Hopson 1 0-4 2, Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 13 9-13 36.

3-point goals --Nikiski 1 (Glaze); Heritage 2 (J. Millar). Total fouls --Nikiski 12, Heritage 13. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- Nikiski 1 (coach).

BULLDOGS BOYS 62, EAGLES 57

Nikiski 18 15 11 18 -- 62

Heritage Christian 17 7 10 23 -- 57

NIKISKI (62) -- Huhndorf 0 0-0 0, Reilly 3 0-4 6, Crumpacker 0 0-0 0, Roofe 1 3-5 5, Gerke 2 2-2 6, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Anderson 2 0-0 4, Holloway 11 4-5 29, Bowlin 3 4-5 9, Seater 1 1-2 3, Hitchcock 0 0-0 0, Sanders 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 23 14-19 62.

HERITAGE (57) -- Newsome 6 1-4 17, Confort 1 0-1 3, Perkins 3 2-4 8, Helpers 0 0-2 0, Meissner 0 0-0 0, Gutierrez 4 2-2 12, Burge 0 0-0 0, Flascher 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Reando 0 0-0 0, Gutieruez 0 0-2 0, Millar 7 3-3 17. Totals --21 8-21 57.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 4 (Holloway 3, Bowlin 1); Heritage 6 (Newsome 4, Gutierrez 2). Total fouls -- Nikiski 14, Heritage 18. Fouled out -- Perkins, Millar.



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