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Cook Inlet Academy sweeps Nikolaevsk

Posted: Sunday, February 22, 2004

Playing boys basketball in District 3/2A is like being a marathoner in Kenya or a downhill skier in Austria. Some of the state's best teams are just another team in District 3/2A.

Take the Nikolaevsk boys, who suffered a 55-38 defeat Friday at Cook Inlet Academy.

The Warriors were coming off a dominant run in the Nenana Invitational Tournament where each of their victories came by more than 20 points.

That tournament performance vaulted them to No. 4 in the state Class 2A rankings.

However, Friday Nikolaevsk got back in district play. That meant playing Cook Inlet Academy, ranked No. 3 in the state. The Eagles had been ranked No. 1, but were knocked from that perch a week ago by District 3/2A foe Lumen Christi, which is now the No. 1 team in the state. The loss to Lumen Christi was the first in the district for Cook Inlet Academy, which is now 12-5 overall.

The Eagles put three players in double figures and forced 24 turnovers on defense to cruise past Nikolaevsk. The Warriors are now 3-5 in the district, and 7-0 in games outside the district.

"This is by far the toughest (district) in the state," Nikolaevsk coach Steve Klaich said. "The only teams I've heard of that could play with the top teams in this district are Minto and Galena."

Nikolaevsk was done in Friday by its inability to get going on offense.

 

Cook Inlet Academy's Kyle Nettles drives the ball past Nikolaevsk's Peter Tipikin Friday.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

"We couldn't get into an offensive rhythm," Klaich said. "Part of it was us not running our offense. The other part of it was them playing great defense."

The Warriors played some good defense in the first half, too, and entered the locker room trailing 25-19.

Cook Inlet Academy coach Max Vavilov said his team was struggling on offense in the first half. The Eagles were still able to put points on the board mostly because of Kyle Nettles, the point guard who had 10 of his 13 points in the first half.

"He kept us in the game in the first half," Vavilov said of Nettles.

Nikolaevsk trailed 33-28 at the end of three quarters, but in the fourth quarter the Eagles got on track offensively and the Warriors couldn't keep up.

As Nikolaevsk extended its defensive pressure, Nettles' slick dribbling and passing opened up great opportunities for players like Blake Gabriel and Adam Cooper. Gabriel had four of his 14 points in the final quarter, while Cooper had eight of his 13 points in the final frame.

Anecta Kalugin paced the Warriors with 12 points, while Danny Kuzmin added 10 points.

Cook Inlet Academy girls 35, Nikolaevsk 27

The Eagles took a 10-3 lead after the first quarter, but then had to hold on for a District 3/2A victory. After the game, Cook Inlet Academy stood at 8-7 overall and 5-2 in District 3/2A.

Cook Inlet Academy coach Greg Bell was concerned about Nikolaevsk's zone defense. The Eagles have a short team, while the Warriors have some tall players. If Cook Inlet was going to get easy buckets, Bell knew it would have to be in transition.

In the first quarter, Cook Inlet Academy was able to follow Bell's plan. Using a press, the Eagles took the seven-point advantage after the first quarter as Alyse Bell had six of her game-high 12 points.

After the impressive first quarter, a couple of CIA's weaknesses showed up.

"We got a little tired after that first quarter," Bell said. "The kids can't run like that for four quarters. We've got to work on our conditioning.

"We'd like to be able to go four quarters by the time regions come around."

As CIA slowed the pace, Nikolaevsk crept back into the game.

"We've been letting teams back in the game far too much this season," Bell said. "We'll be up 10 or 15 points, but we won't close them out."

In the fourth quarter, Nikolaevsk's offense was not proficient enough to get them over the hump and back into the game. The Warriors scored five points in the final eight minutes.

"We didn't play a good ballgame," Nikolaevsk coach Brentley Keene said. "We missed a lot of layups down low. On defense, we had a good game. We just missed too many easy shots."

Joining Bell in double figures for the Eagles was Morgan McConnell, who had 10 points. McConnell has been a rebounding machine for CIA this year, but Bell has been trying to develop her into an inside scoring threat. The coach said McConnell's scoring performance Friday was a good sign.

Olivia Tipikin paced the Warriors with nine points.

Girls

EAGLES 35, WARRIORS 27

Nikolaevsk 3 7 8 9 27

Cook Inlet 10 8 8 9 35

NIKOLAEVSK (27) O. Kogin 0 0-0 0, Bailey 0 0-0 0, Tipikin 3 3-5 9, Melkomukov 3 2-2 8, Martushev 0 0-1 0, Gordeen 3 0-0 7, Yakunin 1 0-0 3. Totals 10 5-8 27.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (35) Query 2 1-2 5, McConnell 5 0-0 10, Smith 1 0-0 2, McNutt 0 0-0 0, Bell 6 0-2 12, Moffis 2 0-2 4, E. Thornton 0 0-0 0, H. Thornton 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 1-6 35.

3-point goals Nikolaevsk 1 (Gordeen 1). Team fouls Nikolaevsk 11, Cook Inlet Academy 14. Fouled out none.

EAGLES 55, WARRIORS 38

Nikolaevsk 3 16 9 10 38

Cook Inlet 8 17 8 22 55

NIKOLAEVSK (38) Usoltseff 1 1-5 3, D. Kuzmin 4 0-1 10, M. Kuzmin 0 0-0 0, Sawyer 0 0-0 0, Tipikin 3 1-2 7, Bailey 3 0-0 6, Kalugin 5 2-4 12. Totals 16 4-12 38.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (55) Franchino 1 0-0 2, Nettles 5 3-4 13, Powers 2 0-0 4, Beeson 1 0-0 2, Hall 3 1-4 7, Gabriel 7 0-0 14, Cooper 4 5-8 13. Totals 23 9-16 55.

3-point goals Nikolaevsk 2 (D. Kuzmin 2). Team fouls Nikolaevsk 12, Cook Inlet 14. Fouled out D. Kuzmin.

Ninilchik girls 55, Cook Inlet 30

Amanda Matson poured in 28 points Saturday to lead the No. 1-ranked Wolverines to a District 3/2A victory in Ninilchik.

Ninilchik had a 10-7 lead after the first quarter, then took control by outscoring the Eagles 16-4 in the second quarter.

Kendra Moerlein added 11 points for the Wolverines, while Morgan McConnell paced the Eagles with seven points.

WOLVERINES 55, EAGLES 30

Cook Inlet 7 4 6 13 30

Ninilchik 10 16 13 16 55

COOK INLET (30) Query 1 0-0 2, McConnell 3 1-2 7, Smith 2 1-4 5, McNutt 1 0-0 2, Bell 3 0-2 6, Moffis 3 0-2 6, E. Thornton 0 0-0 0, H. Thornton 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 2-10 30.

NINILCHIK (55) Ka. Moerlein 0 0-2 0, Leman 1 2-4 4, Wolford 1 0-0 2, Matson 11 6-8 28, Ke. Moerlein 5 1-2 11, Wood 2 0-0 4, Skjold 0 4-6 4, Rohr 0 0-0 0, Erikson 0 0-0 0, Dawson 0 2-3 2. Totals 20 15-25 55.

Team fouls Cook Inlet 16, Ninilchik 9. Fouled out none.

Cook Inlet boys 66, Ninilchik 37

Four players reached double figures Saturday for Cook Inlet Academy as the Eagles picked up a District 3/2A victory in Ninilchik.

Blake Gabriel led the Eagles with 16, while Kyle Nettles had 15, Adam Cooper had 14 and Jeremy Franchino added 11.

For Ninilchik, Jason Schollenberg had 14 points and Conner Cooper added 12 points.

EAGLES 66, WOLVERINES 37

Cook Inlet 12 18 12 22 66

Ninilchik 7 7 9 14 37

COOK INLET (66) Franchino 4 0-0 11, Beeson 4 0-0 8, Gabriel 8 0-3 16, Hall 1 0-0 2, Nettles 4 6-6 15, Cooper 7 0-0 14, Powers 0 0-0 0, Kytonen 0 0-0 0, Burger 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 6-9 66.

NINILCHIK (37) Coleman 0 0-0 0, Kruzick 1 0-0 3, Schollenberg 5 2-4 14, Josh Klapack 1 1-3 3, Cuffe 1 0-0 2, Russo 1 1-2 3, Cooper 6 0-3 12. Totals 15 4-12 37.

3-point goals Cook Inlet 4 (Franchino 3, Nettles 1); Ninilchik 3 (Schollenberg 2, Kruzick 1). Team fouls Cook Inlet 12, Ninilchik 10. Fouled out Russo.



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