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Having a ball

Nikiski girls still perfect in region

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2001

Halfway through the first quarter Saturday, the Nikiski High School girls basketball team was tied at five with Grace Christian, and it looked like the Grizzlies were going to give the Bulldogs a fight down to the wire.

Then, as has been the case all season, Nikiski let the 'Dawgs out, so to speak, rattled off 18 straight points and left the Grizzlies wondering what just happened in a 60-25 Bulldogs victory.

The District/3A win came on the heels of Friday night's hard-fought 71-44 win over region opponent Anchorage Christian Schools.

The Nikiski boys weren't so fortunate, dropping a 62-60 overtime heartbreaker to the Lions on Friday, then falling victim to a powerful Grace team in a 72-49 defeat Saturday.

"It's not as easy as it looks," said Nikiski girls coach Ward Romans after hearing a comment that his team made winning big look like a breeze. "Last year, we beat Grace by two points at the region semifinals to get to state. We knew they would come in here and play a tough game.

"To put back-to-back games together, I felt great as a coach."

While the Bulldogs hit their shots to build their 30-7 halftime lead, it was defense, specifically rebounding, that kept Grace off the scoreboard during the run. The Grizzlies rarely got a second shot at the Nikiski net, and with Karen Rabung and Laura Berdahl hitting the offensive glass, Grace never got a chance to run a fast break.

"This team plays hard, plays together and is always looking to make plays," Romans said. "There's never a question of effort with this team."

For the Bulldogs, every game has been a chance to improve on already good chemistry.

"We play good together -- that's what I'll miss most after the season's done," Berdahl said after playing in her final home game for the Bulldogs. "As we get to play with each other more and more, we know what the other person is going to do. We just play as a team, and if they want to cover someone, we just find the open person."

The Bulldogs spread the ball around Saturday. Berdahl finished with 25 points, Rabung netted 11 and point guard Sally Glaze scored 10 points.

"It lifts any pressure off my shoulders. If someone's guarding me really tight, I don't ever feel like, 'Oh, man, I don't have anyone to pass to,'" Glaze said.

"If someone gets in trouble, I know Sally will be there or a post will step up," Nikiski's April Lofstedt said. "I don't have to worry about being left out."

In Friday's game against ACS, the Bulldogs led by seven, 18-11, after a quarter and had a 36-23 lead at the half, but finally put the Lions away with a 24-point fourth quarter. Glaze and Berdahl scored 19 in the game while Rabung netted 18 points.

David Holloway scored 17 points to lead the Nikiski boys against Grace, but the Bulldogs just couldn't get their shots to fall in the first quarter. The Grizzlies had built a 23-point lead before Nikiski got on the board on a layup by Chuck Seater.

The Bulldogs did have a shooting highlight early in the third quarter when Lake Nash squared up and buried a 3-pointer. Nash, a senior, has served as the team manager for several seasons and was getting his first varsity action in his final home game.

"I just did whatever was in the offense," Nash said. "I had an open shot and I took it. It hit the backboard an went in."

The bucket helped as the Bulldogs were able to narrow the deficit from 30 points, 50-20, at the half, to 23, 72-49, at the end of the game.

Hans Tulip scored 21 points for the Grizzlies, Jason Hofseth netted 16 points and Justin Libby scored 14 points.

Nikiski trailed ACS by 10 points, 46-36, entering the fourth quarter Friday, but the Bulldogs scored 18 points while holding the Lions to eight to send the game to overtime. Holloway scored nine of his 36 points during the fourth quarter, Josh Reilly scored four during the run while Ryan Bowlin chipped in with three and Chris Roofe netted two.

Nikiski scored six points in the overtime on a 3-pointer and a foul shot by Holloway and a basket by Roofe, but ACS netted eight during the extra period -- six of them from the foul line -- to steal the win.

The Nikiski boys fall to 5-5 in the region and 7-12 overall while the Nikiski girls improve to 10-0 in the region and 18-2 overall. The Bulldogs will be on the road for the final weekend of the regular season, traveling to Seward Friday and Heritage Christian in Anchorage Saturday.

BULLDOGS GIRLS 71, LIONS 44

ACS 11 12 8 13 -- 44

Nikiski 18 18 11 24 -- 71

ACS (44) -- Main 0 0-0 0, Fischetti 0 0-0 0, Hart 2 0-0 4, K. Rathman 6 1-1 14, A. Rathman 1 3-4 5, L. Rathman 0 0-0 0, Peterson 2 3-4 8, Gaylard 1 2-2 5, Anker 0 0-0 0, Radekin 0 0-0 0, Berlen 3 2-2 8. Totals -- 15 11-13 44.

NIKISKI (71) -- Floyd 0 1-2 1, Weaver 0 0-0 0, Lofstedt 1 0-0 2, Rabung 9 0-1 18, Carr 1 0-0 2, Glaze 8 1-2 19, Cason 3 1-1 7, Berdahl 9 1-3 19, Thomson 0 0-0 0, Reilly 1 1-2 3. Totals -- 32 5-11 71.

3-point goals -- ACS 3 (K. Rathman 1, Peterson 1, Gaylard 1); Nikiski 2 (Glaze 2). Total fouls -- ACS 15, Nikiski 12.

LIONS BOYS 62, BULLDOGS 60

ACS 16 15 15 8 8 -- 62

Nikiski 13 8 15 18 6 -- 60

ACS (62) -- Cranford 5 3-5 15, Madren 2 0-0 5, Alden 4 3-4 12, Lewis 1 0-0 2, Scantlin 3 0-0 6, Bailey 4 4-4 15, Lemieux 0 0-0 0, Gogain 3 0-0 7, Madren 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 22 10-13 62.

NIKISKI (60) -- Reilly 3 0-1 6, Crumpacker 0 0-0 0, Roofe 5 0-0 10, Gerke 0 1-2 1, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Holloway 13 5-7 36, Bowlin 2 1-3 5, Seater 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 24 7-13 60.

3-point goals -- ACS 8 (Bailey 3, Cranford 2, Madren 1, Alden 1, Gogain 10); Nikiski 5 (Holloway 5). Total fouls -- ACS 16, Nikiski 18. Fouled out -- Scantlin, Reilly.

Saturday

BULLDOGS GIRLS 60, GRIZZLIES 25

Nikiski 8 22 22 8 -- 60

Grace 5 2 6 12 -- 25

NIKISKI (60) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 0 0-0 0, Weaver 1 1-3 3, Lofstedt 0 0-0 0, Rabung 5 1-2 11, Carr 2 1-2 5, Glaze 4 0-1 10, Cason 3 0-2 6, 10 4-6 25, Reilly 0 0-0 0, Roofe 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 25 7-16 60.

GRACE (25) -- Christensen 1 2-2 4, Marchuk 1 2-2 4, Jones 2 0-0 4, Long 3 0-0 6, VanKooten 2 3-4 7, Daly 0 0-0 0, Pauls 0 0-0 0, Bylsma 0 0-0 0, Smalstig 0 0-0 0, Moll 0 0-0 0, Townsend 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 9 7-8 25.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 3 (Glaze 2, Berdahl 1); Grace 0. Total fouls -- Nikiski 12, Grace 18. Fouled out -- none.

GRIZZLIES BOYS 72, BULLDOGS 49

Grace 37 13 8 14 -- 72

Nikiski 7 13 13 16 -- 49

GRACE (72) -- Hultgust 0 0-0 0, Perry 0 0-0 0, Hofseth 5 5-7 16, Clarkson 1 2-2 4, Meier 2 3-4 8, Wickler 2 0-1 5, Tulip 9 3-5 21, Libby 5 3-8 14, Gates 1 0-1 2, Sandstrom 1 0-0 2, Musgrave 0 0-0 0, Strait 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 26 16-28 72.

NIKISKI (49) -- Melburg 0 0-0 0, Reilly 3 2-4 8, Nash 1 0-0 3, Crumpacker 0 0-0 0, Roofe 0 0-0 0, Gerke 3 0-0 6, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Anderson 2 1-3 5, Holloway 4 8-12 17, Bowlin 1 0-1 2, Seater 2 0-2 4, Hitchcock 1 2-2 4, Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 17 13-24 49.

3-point goals -- Grace 4 (Hofseth 1, Meier 1, Wickler 1, Libby 1); Nikiski 2 (Nash 1, Holloway 1). Total fouls -- Grace 20, Nikiski 22. Fouled out -- Reilly.



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