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'Dawgs sink Mariners on hardcourt

Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The Nikiski basketball teams notched a sweep of Homer Tuesday night in nonconference basketball play in Nikiski.

In the girls game, Nikiski's Karen Rabung scored a game-high 25 points and led a third-quarter surge as the Bulldogs defeated the Mariners 55-39.

In the boys game, Nikiski came back from a 31-19 halftime deficit behind a career-high 27 points from Miles Jorgensen and held on for a 70-68 victory.

The girls game featured two teams with identical styles. Both the Mariners and Bulldogs play tight man-to-man defense and run patient, ball-control offenses.

Tuesday, those identical styles led to nearly identical first-half stats. Homer was 9-of-21 from the floor with seven turnovers, and Nikiski was 9-of-21 from the floor with 10 turnovers, as the Mariners grabbed a 19-18 lead after 16 minutes.

But in the second half, according to coach Mark Mahan, the Mariners lost patience on offense and intensity on defense, and it cost them.

Caitlin Crandall started off the half with a layup for the Mariners, but after that the Bulldogs embarked on a 13-1 run that put them up 31-22 with 3:48 left in the third quarter.

Rabung had eight points during the run, while Hisa Miyara had five of her 16 points.

The closest Homer would get after that was when Sara Thompson hit a layup to make the score 31-26 with 2:35 left in the third quarter.

"Our offense wasn't very patient," Homer coach Mark Mahan said. "They were more patient than us on offense, especially in the third quarter."

Nikiski coach Ward Romans said his team, for the first time this year, showed acceptable patience on offense in upsetting Seward, the top-ranked team in Class 3A, last weekend.

After a sketchy first half, Romans said the Bulldogs returned to that offensive patience in the second half.

"At halftime, we just decided we needed to start playing for each other again," Rabung said. "We also decided we needed to have fun and play with smiles on our faces."

While Rabung scored nearly half of Nikiski's points, Romans said all her shots came within the offense.

"The key for us is that Karen doesn't have to try and do more than she can, and we can still be successful," Romans said after his team improved to 11-4.

Sarah Herrin added 10 points for Nikiski, while Channing Setterquist had 13 points for Homer.

Nikiski boys 70, Homer 68

The Bulldogs were down 47-31 with 5:00 left in the third quarter, but still came back for the victory.

In the first half, the Mariners had all their weapons rolling. Doing damage on the inside were Steven Stead, who would finish with 22 points, and Adam Crum, who would finish with 13.

On the outside, David Drake (14 points) and Ben Kuhns (13 points) were making sure Nikiski couldn't collapse inside.

This potent inside-outside combination led to 17-of-27 shooting in the first half for Homer.

"I though our guys were intense on defense in the first half, but they weren't pressuring the ball like I needed them to," Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad said. "Homer was getting the ball into the post too easily.

"We made some adjustments on that in the second half."

Another thing that hurt the Mariners in the second half was the foul trouble of Kuhns. When he went to the bench with his fourth foul with 6:59 left in the third quarter, Homer had a 43-31 lead.

With Kuhns on the bench, Nikiski would outscore Homer 21-8 and take a 52-51 lead on an alley-oop to Jorgensen with 1:26 left in the third quarter.

"(Kuhns) controls the ball most of the time, so we definitely missed him during the third quarter," Drake said.

Nikiski's comeback in the third quarter set the stage for a fourth quarter where neither team would lead by more than four points.

The Mariners were down 69-66 after two free throws by Jeremiah Taylor with 47 seconds left, but Stead hit a turnaround jumper in the paint to make it 69-68 with 33 seconds left.

Jorgensen missed two foul shots with 20 seconds left, but Stead, with a chance to take the lead, missed the front end of a bonus with 10 seconds left.

Taylor made it 70-68 by hitting one of two foul shots with nine seconds left. Homer brought the ball to halfcourt and called timeout with three seconds left.

On the inbounds play, the Mariners wanted to get the ball to Stead in the post. But Crum's pass was too far to Stead's right, and it went out-of-bounds.

Nikiski inbounded and dribbled out the final 3 seconds.

"All I've got to say ... is we deserved to lose this one," Homer coach Billy Day said.

Taylor added 15 points for Nikiski, while Jani Lemmityinen pitched in with 11 points.

Kornstad also complimented the senior leadership of Rustin Hitchcock and John Rooper.

Girls

BULLDOGS 55, MARINERS 39

Homer 8 11 11 9 --39

Nikiski 8 10 19 18 --55

HOMER (39) -- Mahan 0 0-0 0, Crandall 2 0-0 4, Creamer 1 0-0 2, Thompson 4 0-0 8, Cousins 1 1-2 3, McKinstry 1 0-2 2, Riley 0 0-0 0, Lowney 3 1-4 7, Setterquist 6 1-2 13, Lightcap 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18 3-12 36.

NIKISKI (55) -- Miyara 5 4-4 16, Ellis 1 0-0 2, Gladden 0 0-0 0, Floyd 0 2-2 2, Rabung 11 3-5 25, Herrin 5 0-0 10, Coveyou 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 22 9-11 55.

3-point goals -- Homer 0; Nikiski 2 (Miyara 2). Total fouls -- Homer 12, Nikiski 10. Fouled out -- none.

BULLDOGS 70, MARINERS 68

Homer 22 19 14 13 --68

Nikiski 15 16 21 16 --70

HOMER (68) -- Kuhns 5 3-4 13, Adams 0 0-0 0, Luebbert 1 0-0 2, Drake 6 0-0 14, Stead 9 4-10 22, Crum 6 1-2 13, Smith 0 0-0 0, Golson 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 29 8-17 68.

NIKISKI (70) -- Gerke 2 2-2 7, Jorgensen 10 0-3 27, Rooper 3 0-0 6, Taylor 6 3-4 15, Lemmityinen 3 4-4 11, Carlson 1 0-0 2, Hitchcock 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 26 9-13 70.

3-point goals -- Homer 3 (Drake 2, Stead 1); Nikiski 7 (M. Jorgensen 5, Gerke 1, Lemmityinen 1). Total fouls -- Homer 17, Nikiski 17. Fouled out -- Kuhns, Hitchcock.

Nikiski boys 54, Seward 53

The Bulldogs edged the Seahawks in District 3/3A play Friday night. Kevin Gerke had 22 points, including six 3-pointers, to pace the Bulldogs. Jonah Swiderski had 21 points for Seward, while Bart Elhard pitched in with 17 points.

BULLDOGS 54, SEAHAWKS 42

Nikiski 21 16 11 6 --54

Seward 8 21 13 11 --42

NIKISKI (54) -- Gerke 8 0-4 22, M. Jorgensen 3 1-2 8, Rooper 2 2-2 7, Epperheimer 1 1-1 3, Taylor 1 5-10 7, Lemmityinen 1 0-2 2, Hitchcock 1 3-4 5, McGahan 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 17 12-25 54.

SEWARD (42) -- Gardner 3 0-0 9, Price 0 0-0 0, Pullins 0 0-0 0, Fulwider 0 0-0 0, Norton 0 0-0 0, Swiderski 9 3-6 21, Elhard 7 3-4 17, Humphrey 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 4-6 6. Totals -- 20 10-16 53.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 8 (Gerke 6, M. Jorgensen 1, Rooper 1); Seward 3 (Gardner 3). Total fouls -- Nikiski 15, Seward 22. Fouled out -- M. Jorgensen, Hitchcock, Price, Elhard.



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