Cook Inlet girls blow past Togiak

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Cook Inlet Academy girls basketball team defeated Togiak 57-23 on Monday in the opening round of the Class 2A state basketball tournament at Sullivan Arena.

The Eagles led 14-12 at halftime before dominating the last 16 minutes of the game.

The victory sets up a semifinal rematch with Skagway, which defeated Point Hope on Monday. Last season, Skagway defeated CIA in the semifinals, then went on to the Class 2A title. Today's semifinal starts at 3:15 p.m.

"We've been preparing for this game for about a year," CIA coach Rustin Hitchcock said via cell phone from Anchorage. "We've kind of had it circled in our minds.

"We knew the path to a state title would go through Skagway this year."

The Eagles had a chance to work out the state tournament jitters in the first half Monday.

"We weren't moving our feet and getting into the right position on defense," Hitchcock said. "We ended up getting in early foul trouble and had to adjust to what was happening on the court.

"When we got into foul trouble, our offense lost some confidence. There was definitely a nervous, quicksand moment there."

Hitchcock said the bench did a good job on defense and scoring a few baskets to keep the Eagles in the game while Kelsie Leaf and Megan Bauder sat with fouls.

"When you play with a nearly 6-foot girl and you end up losing that, it leaves such a glaring hole," Hitchcock said.

As for Bauder: "Megan is instant offense in terms of distributing the ball and finding a shot. Without her, the pace of the game tends to be slower and more patient. That's not what we're looking for."

Bauder, the player of the game, and Leaf came back in the third to lead CIA's game-clinching 28-4 run. Bauder finished with nine points, while Leaf led all scorers with 14.

Hitchcock also had his team focus on denying the ball when Togiak picked up the dribble. The Huskies finished with 31 turnovers, while CIA had just 13. The coach also said CIA's depth and fitness played a big role in the decisive third quarter.

Tiffany Smith also got into double figures for CIA, scoring 10.

"Tiffany Smith played one of the most mature games she's played in a while," Hitchcock said.

The coach also said Tiana McGahan played big down low and Lauren Bauder came out with a lot of fire and hustle.

Hitchcock also knows that CIA can't get away with another first half like Monday.

"If we play Skagway like we played today, the result will not be nearly as good," he said.

Yakutat girls 69, Seldovia 39

The Eagles outscored the Sea Otters 27-5 in the first quarter en route to victory on Monday.

"The first half was pretty bleak," Seldovia coach Buck Brown said via cell phone. "They had that deer-in-the-headlights look with the crowd and the big gym. They didn't come out ready to play."

Yakutat, which has won three of the last four Class 2A titles, was led by 27 points from Nadine Fraker and 20 points from Tina Esbenshade. Kaitlyn Ivers added 12 points for the Eagles.

Brown said he had a talk with his squad at halftime and the Sea Otters played much better, getting outscored 29-19.

"They did a good job in the second half," Brown said of his team.

For Seldovia, Sarah Geagel had 19 points, 10 rebounds and was Seldovia's player of the game, while Sarah O'Leary added 13 points.

"Give Yakutat credit," Brown said. "They pressed us really well. We couldn't get into our offensive sets."

Seldovia will play today in the fourth-place semifinals at 9:45 a.m. against Chevak, while Yakutat plays in the semifinals against Tri-Valley at 5 p.m. Both games are at Sullivan Arena.

"I think we have a chance with them," said Brown of Chevak, which lost to Tri-Valley 39-25 on Monday. "Talentwise, they are the same as us."

Monday

Eagles 69, Sea Otters 39

Yakutat 27 13 23 6 --69

Seldovia 5 15 12 7 --39

YAKUTAT (69) -- Ivers 6 0-0 12, T. Esbenshade 9 0-0 20, E. Esbenshade 3 0-0 6, Fraker 12 2-4 27, Israelson 2 0-0 4, Beckstrom 0 0-0 0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 32 2-4 69.

SELDOVIA (39) -- O'Leary 6 1-2 13, Geagel 6 7-9 19, Romanoff 0 0-0 0, Hilts 3 0-0 7, Swick 0 0-0 0, Peterson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 15 8-11 39.

3-point goals -- Yakutat 3 (T. Esbenshade 2, Fraker 1); Seldovia 1 (Hilts 1). Team fouls -- Yakutat 11, Seldovia 3. Fouled out -- none.

Eagles 57, Huskies 23

Togiak 1 11 4 7 --23

Cook Inlet 8 6 28 15 --57

TOGIAK (23) -- Carlos 1 5-8 7, Ayojiak 0 0-0 0, Coopchiak 2 3-6 7, B. Echuck 0 0-0 0, S. Echuck 1 0-0 2, K. Katchatag 1 1-4 3, B. Katchatag 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 7 9-18 23.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (57) -- Smith 4 1-2 10, Davidson 1 0-0 3, McGahan 2 5-6 9, Moffis 0 0-0 0, M. Bauder 4 0-0 9, Bunts 0 0-0 0, L. Bauder 2 0-0 4, K. Powers 1 2-2 4, Brush 1 0-0 2, M. Powers 1 0-0 2, Leaf 6 2-4 14. Totals -- 22 10-14 57.

3-point goals -- CIA 3 (Smith 1, Davidson 1, M. Bauder 1). Team fouls -- Togiak 11, CIA 18. Fouled out -- none.



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