Seward girls shock Nikiski in title game

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Nikiski High School girls basketball team entered the District 3/3A tournament championship game knowing that Seward was playing some very good basketball.

Good enough, as it turned out, for the Seahawks to clinch the tournament title, defeating the Bulldogs 42-39 Saturday at Nikiski.

"My hat's off to Seward," said Nikiski coach Ward Romans. "They had a great game plan, and they played a great game."

Seward's Ruth Banse tied the game at 37 with two minutes to play, knocking down a shot from the post.

Breanna Bardarson then gave the Seahawks their first lead since early in the fourth quarter, knocking the ball loose and then chasing it the length of the floor. Bardarson got her hands on the ball just in time to put up a two-point shot to make the score 39-37 in favor of the Seahawks with a minute to play.

Nikiski's Sally Glaze tied the score one more time, sinking a pair of free throws with 29 seconds to go, but Banse worked herself open in the paint, striking for two points with 12 seconds left.

The Bulldogs had one more chance to tie, but the Seahawks intercepted an inbound pass after a Nikiski timeout with nine seconds to play. Nikiski fouled to stop the clock, and Bardarson hit a foul shot to give the Seahawks their final three-point advantage.

"We dug down deep and hustled a lot on defense," said Seward coach Roger Steinbrecher. "I can't remember who I said this to, but if we could keep (the score) in the 30s (we'd have a chance)."

The Bulldogs took an early advantage. Glaze drilled a 3-pointer to open the scoring, and Amanda Weaver scored eight of her 12 points as Nikiski led 16-10 after the first quarter of play.

Kristi Regis cut the lead in half to open the second quarter, knocking down a 3-pointer to open the period. Tara Deruwe hit a pair of foul shots to end the period after Seward was able to knock the ball away from Nikiski's stall offense, and the Bulldogs went into the locker room with a 22-19 lead at the half.

"We played a little man-to-man defense -- we have the personnel to mix that in a little more," Steinbrecher said of the changes Seward made for Nikiski. "We did a couple other little wrinkles, but probably the biggest thing is we got enough experience as we went through the year."

Deruwe tied the game with the first basket of the third quarter, and Nikiski and Seward exchanged leads until Banse put the Seahawks up by two with 12 seconds to play.

"We just played better as a team, and we played with passion," said Seward's Tara Ganser, who couldn't think of a better way to celebrate her 18th birthday.

The Bulldogs will have a few days to regroup before heading to Anchorage for the Alaska School Activities State 3A Basketball Championships, and they just might have a chance to face the Seahawks again.

"I never feel good about a loss, but I didn't lose any confidence," Glaze said. "I have faith in my coaches and my team. We're going to pull through in the end.

"(Seward) has improved a lot since the last time we played. I think we'll see them again, and we're going to be just fine."

SEAHAWKS 42, BULLDOGS 39

Seward 10 9 11 12 -- 42

Nikiski 16 6 7 10 -- 39

SEWARD (42) -- Boulden 0 0-0 0, Bardarson 3 1-3 7, Ganser 2 1-3 5, Regis 1 0-1 3, Banse 4 0-0 8, Deruwe 3 6-7 13, Linville 0 0-0 0, Seigel 0 0-0 0, Dieckgraeff 3 0-0 6. Totals -- 168-14 42.

NIKISKI (39) -- Floyd 1 0-0 2, Gillaspie 0 0-0 0, Weaver 5 2-3 12, Lofstedt 0 1-2 1, Rabung 2 2-3 6, Carr 1 0-1 2, Glaze 5 4-4 16. Totals -- 14 9-13 39.

3-point goals -- Seward 2 (Regis, Deruwe), Nikiski 2 (Glaze 2). Total fouls -- Seward 17, Nikiski 19. Fouled out -- Rabung.

Grace 60, Heritage 55

Heritage's Corinne Berlen scored 11 of her team-high 26 points in the third quarter to lead an Eagles rally, but Grace's K.C. Long answered with 26 points of her own, including six 3-pointers, to secure the Grizzlies' win and a third-place finish in the District 3/3A Championships.

Danielle Pratt contributed 24 points for the Grizzlies while Jenell Millar netted 12 for Heritage.

Grace led 31-22 at the half, but Heritage closed the gap to three points, 41-39, after the third quarter.

Pratt scored 14 points in the final frame for the Grizzlies, though, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and shooting 4-for-4 from the foul line to keep Grace out in front.

GRIZZLIES 60, EAGLES 55

Heritage Christian 11 11 17 16 -- 55

Grace Christian 17 14 10 19 -- 60

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (55) -- Piper 0 5-8 5, Chase 1 0-0 2, Matteson 1 0-0 3, M. Hanks 0 0-0 0, L. Hanks 3 1-2 7, J. Millar 4 4-6 26, Berlen 11 4-6 26. Totals -- 20 11-18 55.

GRACE CHRISTIAN (60) -- Christensen 1 0-0 2, Marchuk 1 0-0 2, Long 9 2-4 26, Pratt 9 4-4 24, Havard 1 1-4 3, Smalstig 1 1-1 3. Totals -- 22 8-13 60.

3-point goals -- Heritage 4 (J. Millar 3, Matteson ), Grace 8 (Long 6, Pratt 2). Total fouls -- Heritage 18, Grace 15. Fouled out -- none.

Houston 58, ACS 52

The Hawks outscored the Lions 18-2 in the first quarter, then hung on down the stretch to claim fourth place at the District 3/3A Championships.

Houston led 41-13 at the half. The Lions were able to hold the Hawks to 17 second-half points, but the deficit was too great to overcome.

Kerrie Aldeman led the Hawks with 13 points while teammate Linnea Pudwill netted 11.

Brittany Peterson scored 17 points for the Lions, all of them in the second half.

HAWKS 58, LIONS 52

Houston 18 23 7 10 -- 58

ACS 2 11 17 22 -- 52

HOUSTON (58) -- Nicoll 3 2-2 8, Lapham 1 2-2 5, Aldeman 4 3-6 13, Loeffler 0 1-4 1, Chase 1 0-1 2, Conn 0 0-0 0, Tresham 0 2-2 2, Pudwill 4 3-4 11, Jurica 1 2-6 4, Metro 3 3-4 9, Harvey 0 0-0 0, Vial 1 1-2 3. Totals -- 18 19-33 58.

ANCHORAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (52) -- Peterson 6 3-4 17, Fischetti 1 1-3 3, L. Rathman 0 0-0 0, K. Rathman 3 0-0 6, A. Rathman 4 0-0 10, Madren 0 2-2 2, Gaylard 4 2-3 11, Hart 0 1-2 1, Anker 1 1-2 3. Totals -- 19 10-16 52.

3-point goals -- Houston 3 (Aldeman 2, Lapham), ACS 4 (Peterson 2, A. Rathman 2. Fouled out -- Nicoll, K. Rathman.



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