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Nikiski boys earn first trip to state since 1996

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Nikiski High School boys basketball team clinched a trip to the Alaska School Activities Association State 3A Championships for the first time since it won the state title in 1996 by defeating Grace Christian in a 48-42 nail biter at the District 3/3A Championships Friday in Nikiski.

"That was the last time the boys went to state, and the boys and girls both won it," said Nikiski boys coach Reid Kornstad following Friday's win. "The boys haven't been back since, but the girls have been back every year."

In fact, the Nikiski girls defeated Heritage Christian 46-21 in their Friday semifinal to secure their 12th consecutive trip to the big dance.

The Seward girls clawed past Grace Christian 55-53 to secure the region's other girls state berth and a shot at the tournament title while the Anchorage Christian Schools boys earned the second boys state berth with their 79-52 victory over Houston.

The Nikiski boys did their best to turn Friday's game into a track meet, pushing the ball up the court quickly with plenty of encouragement from Kornstad and assistant coach Gary Parker on the sideline.

"Transition has been a big thing for us," said Nikiski's Jason Gerke.

"Early in the year, we killed teams with that, but then we got away from it," said Nikiski's Josh Reilly. "Dave (Holloway) is our only true basketball player. The rest of us just have the athleticism to keep us in it. (By pushing the ball up the floor quickly) we don't have to rely on setting up an offense, we can just run. We like to think we have endurance over the other team."

The strategy worked well against Grace as the Bulldogs were able to recover from a 14-7 deficit in the first quarter by putting together a 19-2 run in the second quarter to take a 26-16 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Grizzlies made a run at the Bulldogs in the third quarter behind the hot shooting of Tim Ingalls, who hit five 3-pointers and finished with 26 points, but Nikiski kept the pedal down through the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

"He never shot like that against us before," Gerke said.

Holloway finished with 19 points to lead the Bulldogs. Holloway often was able to get the break going with a rebound and an outlet pass, and then trailed the play and was often found open by a teammate on the perimeter when Grace's defense collapsed down low.

Reilly finished with 17 points for the Bulldogs, and Jeremiah Taylor scored eight off the bench.

BULLDOGS 48, GRIZZLIES 42

Grace Christian 14 2 18 8 -- 42

Nikiski 7 19 10 12 -- 48

GRACE CHRISTIAN (42) -- Ingalls 10 1-2 26, Sandstrom 2 0-0 5, Lasseter 0 0-0 0, Lewis 2 0-0 5, Perry 1 0-0 2, Hale 0 0-0 0, Musgrove 1 0-0 2, Strait 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 17 1-2 42.

NIKISKI (48) -- Reilly 8 1-3 17, Crumpacker 0 0-0 0, J. Gerke 0 0-1 0, Taylor 3 2-2 8, Holloway 7 2-4 19, Hitchcock 2 0-1 4. Totals -- 20 5-11 48.

3-point goals -- Grace 7 (Ingalls 5, Sandstrom, Lewis), Nikiski 3 (Holloway 3). Total fouls -- Grace 16, Nikiski 11. Fouled out -- none.

ACS 79, Houston 52

The Lions had just a one-point lead, 15-14, after a quarter of play, but Zack Madren and Todd Alden found their range in the second quarter, combining for 17 points during the Lions' 22-14 run.

Alden finished with 24 points while Madren netted 21, including a trio of treys.

Jesse Webb led the Hawks with 12 points.

LIONS 79, HAWKS 52

Houston 14 14 7 17 -- 52

ACS 15 22 18 24 -- 79

HOUSTON (52) -- J. Webb 5 0-0 12, Haragan 0 2-2 2, Smith 1 1-2 3, Sandidge 3 1-2 7, Veit 0 0-0 0, Clemens 2 3-4 9, Richey 0 0-0 0, Conner 0 0-1 0, Stull 3 0-0 6, T. Webb 1 2-2 5, Shurtleff 2 4-8 8. Totals -- 17 13-21 52.

ANCHORAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (79) -- Lemieux 2 2-2 6, Madren 9 0-0 21, Alden 9 5-6 24, Scatlin 4 0-0 8, Bailey 4 2-2 12, Dunbar 2 0-0 4, Giroux 0 0-0 0, Homan 0 0-0 0, Burrell 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 32 9-10 79.

3-point goals -- Houston 5 (J. Webb 2, Clemens 2, T. Webb), ACS 6 (Madren 3, Bailey 2, Alden). Total fouls -- Houston 15, ACS 17. Fouled out -- none.

Heritage 76, Susitna Valley 33

Heritage advanced to the fourth-place game with a win over Susitna Valley.

Chris Corbin scored 12 points for the Eagles while Nicholas Hebnes and Sean Flascher each netted 11 points.

Tye Steadman led the Rams with seven points.

EAGLES 76, RAMS 33

Susitna Valley 7 5 10 11 -- 33

Heritage Christian 20 25 14 17 -- 76

SUSITNA VALLEY (33) -- Steadman 3 1-2 7, Bee 1 0-1 2, B. McNulty 1 0-0 2, Beeck 0 0-0 0, N. Olson 0 1-2 1, Birdsall 0 2-4 2, Clark 0 0-0 0, P. Olson 1 3-4 6, M. McNulty 3 0-0 6, Moritz 1 0-1 2, Mannix 1 2-2 5. Totals -- 11 9-16 33.

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (76) -- D.J. Newsome 2 4-4 8, M. Meissner 0 2-4 2, R. Newsome 1 0-0 2, Hebnes 4 1-2 11, G. Meissner 2 2-2 7, Gutierrez 1 2-2 5, Rabe 1 1-2 3, Flascher 5 1-3 11, Anderson 1 0-2 2, Jas. Reando 3 1-2 7, Corbin 5 2-2 12, Jar. Reando 3 0-0 6. Totals -- 28 16-25 76.

3-point goals -- Su Valley 2 (P. Olson, Mannix), Heritage 4 (Hebnes 2, Gutierrez, G. Meissner). Total fouls -- Su Valley 22, Heritage 19. Fouled out -- Steadman, B. McNulty. Technical fouls -- M. McNulty.

GIRLS

The Nikiski High School girls basketball team found itself in a familiar position: playing for a chance to return to the state tournament in a Friday semifinal at the District 3/3A tournament.

The Bulldogs also came up with a familiar result -- a big win to push themselves through to the tournament title game and the state tournament.

"Heritage did a lot of stuff to us to peel us off," Nikiski girls coach Ward Romans said. "I was proud, as a group, of how we played. We stayed composed and never panicked in the first quarter when it was close."

Heritage scored the first two points of the game, but it would be the only lead for the Eagles as Nikiski responded with a 3-pointer from Sally Glaze.

The Eagles were able to keep it close, trailing 6-4 after the first quarter, but the Bulldogs began pulling away with a 17-2 run in the second quarter.

Karen Rabung led the Bulldogs with 19 points while Glaze finished with 17 and Amanda Weaver chipped in with six points.

Corinne Berlen paced the Eagles with 21 points.

BULLDOGS 46, EAGLES 21

Heritage Christian 4 2 8 7 -- 21

Nikiski 6 17 11 12 -- 46

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (21) -- Piper 0 0-0 0, Chase 1 0-0 2, Matteson 1 4-4 6, L. Hanks 1 0-0 2, J. Millar 0 0-0 0, Berlen 5 1-2 11. Totals -- 8 5-6 21.

NIKISKI (46) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 0 0-0 0, Weaver 3 0-0 6, Lofstedt 1 0-0 2, Rabung 7 5-7 19, Carr 1 0-0 2, Glaze 7 1-2 17. Totals -- 19 6-9 46.

3-point goals -- Heritage 0, Nikiski 2 (Glaze 2). Total fouls -- Heritage 13, Nikiski 9. Fouled out -- none.

Seward 55, Grace Christian 53

Seward won a thriller, nailing its foul shots down the stretch to hang on for a two-point win over Grace Christian.

"It was real tough to beat them for the third time in a row," said Seward coach Roger Steinbrecher. "Grace has some outstanding players. We were fortunate to play some pretty good team ball today."

"They had us worried," said Seward's Ruth Banse.

The Grizzlies had a one-point lead, 14-13, after the first quarter, and were down by two, 27-25, at the half. Banse said one of the keys to the game was making adjustments on the fly, integrating new schemes Steinbrecher drew up at the half without having any time to test them out in practice.

"Every time we've played them, it's been close," Banse said. "They always come back and try to scare us at the end."

KC Long was one of the scariest Grizzlies, sinking 26 points, including six 3-pointers.

Breanna Bardarson scored 19 points to lead the Seahawks while Tara Ganser netted 11 points and Banse finished with 10.

Seward is back in the state tournament for the second consecutive year.

SEAHAWKS 55, GRIZZLIES 53

Grace Christian 14 11 13 11 -- 53

Seward 13 14 15 13 -- 55

GRACE CHRISTIAN (53) -- Christensen 4 0-1 8, Marchuk 2 2-2 6, Long 9 2-2 26, Pratt 2 3-4 7, Havard 3 0-3 6, Smalstig 0 0-0 0, Moll 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 20 7-12 53.

SEWARD (55) -- Boulden 0 0-0 0, Bardarson 7 5-8 19, Ganser 3 5-6 11, Regis 2 0-0 4, Banse 4 2-2 10, Deruwe 2 3-4 7, Linville 1 0-0 2, Dieckgraeff 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 20 15-20 55.

3-point goals -- Grace 6 (Long 6), Seward 0. Total fouls -- Grace 17, Seward 16. Fouled out -- none.

Houston 56, Susitna Valley 37

The Hawks advanced to the fourth-place game with a win over the Rams.

Kerrie Aldeman, Linnea Pudwill and Savanha Metro each scored eight points for the Hawks.

Melissa McNulty scored 12 points for the Rams, who were able to grab an early lead. Susitna Valley had an 11-7 lead after the first quarter, but Houston finished the half on a 23-7 run.

HAWKS 56, RAMS 37

Susitna Valley 11 7 11 8 -- 37

Houston 7 23 10 16 -- 56

SUSITNA VALLEY (37) -- M. McNulty 4 4-4 12, Pilch 3 0-0 6, Bills 1 2-2 4, Rauchenstein 0 0-0 0, Odden 1 0-4 2, Clark 1 3-6 5, Olner 0 0-0 0, Hamrick 0 0-0 0, Marsh 2 4-6 8, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 12 13-22 37.

HOUSTON (56) -- Nicoll 1 1-2 3, Lapham 2 0-0 4, Aldeman 3 0-0 8, Leoffler 0 0-0 0, Chase 0 0-0 0, Conn 3 0-0 6, Tresham 2 0-0 5, Pudwill 3 1-2 8, Jurica 2 2-4 6, Metro 4 0-0 8, Harvey 1 1-2 3, Vial 1 3-6 5. Totals -- 22 8-16 56.

3-point goals -- Su Valley 0, Houston 4 (Aldeman 2, Tresham, Pudwill). Total fouls -- Su Valley 15, Houston 17. Fouled out -- none.



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