Seward reaches title tilt: Nikiski boys rally, fall to Grizzlies

Posted: Friday, March 04, 2011

For eight minutes, it felt like a whole new season for the Nikiski boys basketball team.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Nikiski's Stephen Hartley shoots in the second period Thursday during the Southcentral Conference tournament game against Grace Christian at Nikiski High School.

The Bulldogs, who finished in last place in their conference and lost two key contributors late in the season, scored 19 points and erased an 11-point deficit during the third quarter of a Southcentral Conference tournament game against Grace Christian on Thursday.

The Grizzlies used a 19-5 run in the fourth to pull away for a 52-38 win on Day 1 of the tournament at Nikiski.

Grace Christian, seeded, No. 4, lost to top-seeded Seward 48-41 later Thursday and will play either Cordova or Nikiski in a loser-out game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. No. 5 Nikiski faces No. 2 Cordova in a loser-out contest at 4:30 p.m. today.

"The guys executed well most of the game," Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad said. "Offensively, we got the looks at the baskets that we wanted. For whatever reason, they started dropping in the third."

The young Bulldogs have been playing shorthanded for the better part of a month after losing starters Julien Harris and Lucas Herrin. Yet they didn't fold Thursday, despite falling behind by double digits in the first half.

Sam Taylor and Colton Anderson combined to score 11 points in the third quarter, sparking a rally in which Nikiski made eight field goals in as many minutes to even the score.

After a sluggish first half -- Nikiski managed just five field goals over the opening two quarters -- the Bulldogs were efficient in transition and created easy baskets during the third.

Stephen Hartley hit a 3-pointer, as did Taylor, and Kornstad said the entire squad played well defensively.

"During the break between the third and fourth, I talked to them about keeping the intensity up on defense because defense is what's going to continue to fuel the offense, getting in transition and getting easy baskets," Kornstad said.

The Grizzlies were too much in the fourth.

They made four of their seven 3-pointers in the final period, getting two from both Brady Harrison and Jordan Edwards.

Edwards and Harrison hit shots from beyond the arc on three consecutive possessions after Nikiski evened the score at 35, building a nine-point lead.

The Bulldogs went about seven minutes without a field goal during the final quarter. Edwards scored a game-high 20 for Grace.

Anderson scored 13 for the Bulldogs and Taylor added 10, but it was obvious the squad missed Harris and Herrin -- two offensive-minded players.

"Their work gets shouldered by everybody else on the team. It makes everyone else's job more difficult when there aren't two people there to do their work," Kornstad said. "There is 'X' amount of work to be done. When you share it amongst everyone, it's less work, so when they are gone, it's more work on everyone else."

Kornstad credited Taylor and Anderson for keeping the Bulldogs in the game.

"They've been putting in the time and repetition to do what it takes to get better at shooting," he said. "Their mental mind-set has taken a step. It only showed in the third quarter, so I was disappointed for them about that."

ACS boys 56, Cordova 47

Wesley Arnes scored 23 points, three teammates scored in double figures and the Anchorage Christian Schools boys basketball team defeated Cordova 56-47 on Day 1 of the Southcentral Conference tournament Thursday at Nikiski.

The Lions, seeded No. 3, move to the conference championship against Seward at 7:30 p.m. The No. 2 Wolverines face host Nikiski in a loser-out game at 4:30 p.m. today.

ACS led 34-30 at halftime and held Cordova to 17 points over the final 16 minutes, picking up their second win in two weeks over the Wolverines.

Augustus Simmers scored 13 for ACS, while Calvin Hoffman tallied 11 and Alex Brown added 10. For Cordova, Christian Brockert scored 18. Dane Meyer and Eric Johnson chipped in 15 and 10, respectively.

Seward boys 48, Grace Christian 41

Keenan Prochazka scored 20 points and Jalen Terry added 16 as the Seahawks advanced to the Southcentral Conference championship with a 48-41 win over Grace Christian at Nikiski on Thursday.

The Seahawks face ACS in the title game at 7:30 p.m. today. The winner advances to the Class 3A state tournament, while the loser faces an elimination game on Saturday.

Grace was scoreless in the second quarter after opening an 11-5 lead in the first. For the Grizzlies, Andrew Bouman scored 12 points.

Thursday boys

Southcentral Conference tourney

Day 1

at Nikiski

Grizzlies 52, Bulldogs 38

Grace Christian 18 5 10 19 --52

Nikiski 7 7 19 5 --33

GRACE CHRISTIAN (52) -- Boerger 0 0-1 0, N. Bouman 0 1-2 1, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Edwards 8 2-3 20, Vandervalk 8 0-0 18, A. Bouman 1 0-0 2, McGlaughlin 0 0-0 0, Harrison 4 0-0 11, Markel 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 21 3-5 52.

NIKISKI (38) -- Anderson 6 0-0 13, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Hartley 1 0-0 3, Taylor 4 3-3 12, Krogseng 2 1-4 5, Eide 1 1-1 3. Totals -- 15 5-8 38.

3-point field goals -- Grace Christian 7 (Harrison 3, Vandervalk 2, Edwards 2); Nikiski 3 (Anderson, Hartley, Taylor). Team fouls -- Grcae Christian 7, Nikiski 10. Fouled out -- none.

Seahawks 48, Grizzles 41

Grace Christian 11 0 11 19 --41

Seward 5 10 17 16 --48

GRACE CHRISTIAN (41) -- Boerger 0 0-0 0, N. Bouman 2 3-4 7, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Edwards 2 1-2 5, Vandervalk 2 2-4 6, A. Bouman 3 5-5 12, McGlaughlin 0 0-0 0, Harrison 4 0-0 11, Markel 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 13 11-15 41.

SEWARD (48) -- Prochazka 7 6-8 20, J. Buchanan 1 2-2 4, Thorn 3 0-0 6, A. Buchanan 1 0-0 2, Terry 8 0-1 16. Totals -- 20 10-11 48.

3-point field goals -- Grace Christian 4 (Harrison 3, A. Bouman); Seward none. Team fouls -- Grace Christian 12, Seward 17. Fouled out -- none.

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