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Nikiski girls exact revenge on Grace

Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2005

 

  Nikiski's Sarah Herrin gets a shot over defenders from Grace Christian in the first half Saturday. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Nikiski's Sarah Herrin gets a shot over defenders from Grace Christian in the first half Saturday.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Nikiski High School girls basketball team polished off the regular season with an impressive win, defeating Grace Christian — the only team to have beaten the Bulldogs in Southcentral Conference play this season — 59-30 Saturday in Nikiski.

The win followed a 68-18 win over Heritage Christian Friday, giving the Bulldogs a season record of 19-3, including a 9-1 conference mark that should be good for the top seed and a first-round bye when the conference tournament starts Thursday at Seward.

The Nikiski boys finished the season with a pair of losses. Against Grace Christian, the Bulldogs made things interesting with a late run, but the Grizzlies came back for a 63-56 win. Friday, the Bulldogs (3-19 overall), dropped a 97-41 decision to Heritage Christian.

"To know that on your senior night, it's the game that will decide whether you're the No. 1 seed at the conference tournament, that's a big one," said Nikiski girls coach Ward Romans after his team's Saturday win.

"We got great play out of all the kids that played tonight. That's what's going to help us down the stretch — kids that can come in and play in certain situations. We already knew about our starters."

Nikiski easily handled Grace this time around, leading 26-13 by the half. Sarah Herrin led the Bulldogs with 23 points while Sasha Auldridge contributed 19 points.

Grace high-scorer Anna Havard finished with 10 points.

"We were just mentally prepared," Nikiski's Whitney Hitchcock said of the difference in facing Grace this time around. "We were ready for it — we didn't want to go down to Seward a day early.

"We wanted to throw a message out there that Nikiski isn't down, and we're ready."

Hitchcock, who was playing in her final home game along with fellow seniors Eirleen Lee and Krystal Gladden, said that her team was talking better on defense and taking better shots on offense and added that the Bulldogs' depth is the key to their success.

"No one is a star player. We all do our part," Hitchcock said. "We can all make shots and we all do our parts on defense. Everybody helps everybody else out — it's great."

"Our teamwork and that we hustle," Lee said of the Bulldogs' strengths.

Hitchcock said the Bulldogs needed to prove to themselves that they could beat Grace. When asked if her teammates sometimes don't give themselves credit for being as good as they are, Hitchcock said that was something Romans told them, but quickly qualified that statement.

"No one on our team has a big head — we've all been humbled before," Hitchcock said.

In Friday's game, Hannah Thompson led Nikiski with 15 points while Auldridge and Herrin each scored 14.

Grace Christian boys 63, Nikiski 56

Heritage Christian boys 97, Nikiski 41

The Bulldogs kept pace with the Grizzlies through the first half by sinking eight 3-pointers. Nikiski shooters went cold after the break, though, hitting just one 3-pointer during the second half as Grace was able to pull away for the win Saturday.

The second half started well for the Bulldogs as Chris Curren stole Grace's inbounds pass and scored a quick two points to tie the game at 37.

The Grizzlies were able to re-establish their lead, though, and the Bulldogs trailed by 12 points with three minutes left in the game.

The Bulldogs scrambled back to within three points, 59-56, on a nifty basket by Zech Hemphill with under a minute to play, but the Nikiski committed turnovers on its next two possessions. When Nikiski fouled to stop the clock in the final 30 seconds, Grace went 4-for-6 from the foul line for the win.

"We made a run, but Grace managed the game well at the end," said Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad. "Grace did a good job. They stepped up, made adjustments and limited some of our outside shooting (in the second half)."

Steven Taylor scored 15 points before fouling out, and Chris Curren netted 12 before committing his fifth foul.

Seniors Curren, Chad Holloway, Ben Kellie and Travis McGahan were playing in their final home game for the Bulldogs.

Kellan Moll scored 20 points to lead Grace.

In Friday's game, Heritage had five players score in double-figures, led by Lonnie Ridgeway's 21 points.

Nikiski's top scorer was Taylor with 13 points.

Girls

Saturday's game

BULLDOGS 59, GRIZZLIES 30

Grace Christian 7 6 110 6 — 30

Nikiski 16 10 17 16 — 59

GRACE CHRISTIAN (30) — Ballsteri 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Metcalf 0 0-0 0, Sailors 2 0-0 5, Walls 0 0-0 0, Havard 3 4-4 10, Savage 4 1-2 9, Arts 0 0-0 0, Perry 2 0-2 4, Peck 0 0-0 0, Marchuk 1 0-0 2. Totals — 12 5-8 30.

NIKISKI (59) — Lee 0 0-0 0, Carlson 1 0-0 3, gladden 2 4-4 8, Griffel 0 0-0 0, Auldridge 7 2-5 19, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Herrin 11 2-5 23, Hitchcock 0 2-2 2, Pritchard 0 0-0 0, Jorgensen 0 0-0 0. Totals — 23 10-16 59.

3-point goals — Grace 1 (Sailors), Nikiski 5 (Auldridge 3, Carlson, Herrin). Total fouls — Grace 14, Nikiski 10. Fouled out — Perry.

Friday's game

BULLDOGS 68, EAGLES 18

Heritage Christian 4 3 7 4 — 18

Nikiski 22 19 17 10 — 68

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (18) — Stuart 3 0-0 6, Eck 0 0-0 0, Rauf 0 0-0 0, San Martin 0 0-0 0, Sutherland 2 2-2 7, Andreason 0 0-0 0, Hanks 1 0-0 3, Hodgdon 1 0-0 2, Roth 0 0-0 0, Reando 0 0-0 0. Totals — 7 2-2 18.

NIKISKI (68) — Lee 0 1-2 1, Carlson 1 1-2 4, Gladden 3 0-2 6, Griffel 2 2-2 6, Auldridge 5 1-2 14, Thompson 6 2-2 15, Herrin 7 0-0 14, Hitchcock 1 0-0 2, Pritchard 0 0-0 0, Jorgensen 3 0-0 6. Totals — 28 7-12 68.

3-point goals — Heritage 2 (Sutherland, Hanks), Nikiski 5 (Auldridge 3, Carlson, Thompson). Total fouls — Heritage 8, Nikiski 2. Fouled out — none.

Boys

Saturday's game

GRIZZLIES 63, BULLDOGS 56

Grace Christian 18 19 17 9 — 63

Nikiski 17 18 12 9 — 56

GRACE CHRISTIAN (63) — Ingalls 0 0-0 0, Karlberg 1 1-3 5, Boerger 3 4-4 12, Tergerdine 0 1-2 1, Jones 2 2-3 6, Moll 9 2-3 20, Hartmann 0 0-0 0, Wynne 8 1-2 19, Steck 0 0-0 0. Totals — 24 11-17 63.

NIKISKI (56) — Hemphill 2 1-2 5, Taylor 6 0-0 15, Kellie 0 0-2 0, Fagan 0 0-0 0, Curren 5 0-0 12, Holloway 3 0-0 9, Ju. Vance 1 1-2 4, McGahan 4 3-4 11. Totals — 21 5-10 56.

3-point goals — Grace 4 (Boerger 2, Wynne 2), Nikiski 9 (Taylor 3, Holloway 3, Curren 2, Vance). Total fouls — Grace 11, Nikiski 22. Fouled out — Taylor, Holloway, Curren. Technical fouls — McGahan. Intentional fouls — Holloway.

Friday's game

EAGLES 97, BULLDOGS 41

Heritage Christian 25 23 26 23 — 97

Nikiski 16 10 9 6 — 41

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (97) — M. Millar 1 0-0 3, Theis 0 0-0 0, Baldwin 3 0-0 6, Tr. Millar 5 2-2 12, Hanks 1 4-4 6, Powers 3 0-0 6, Th. Millar 8 0-0 16, Webb 5 1-2 11, Ridgeway 10 1-1 21, Brady 0 0-0 0, Reando 8 0-0 16. Totals — 44 8-9 97.

NIKISKI (41) — Hemphill 3 0-0 6, Taylor 6 0-0 13, Kellie 2 2-4 6, Fagan 0 0-0 0, Curren 0 0-0 0, Holloway 3 0-0 8, Ju. Vance 0 0-0 0, Jo. Vance 0 0-0 0, McGahan 3 2-3 8. Totals — 17 4-7 41.

3-point goals — Heritage 1 (M. Millar), Nikiski 3 (Holloway 2, Taylor). Total fouls — Heritage 13, Nikiski 9. Fouled out — none.



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