CIA boys fall in semifinals: Cook Inlet Academy, Ninilchik girls both lose, ending seasons

Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Senior Ryan Rock netted a game-high 33 points, 18 coming in the first half, junior Ebruilik Frankson added 17 and Point Hope sank eight 3-pointers in advancing to today's Class 2A boys state championship game with a 74-63 win over Cook Inlet Academy on Tuesday night at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

Ap Photo/Michael Dinneen
Ap Photo/Michael Dinneen
Ninilchik's Grace Ehlers, left, is fouled by Chevak's Martha Miles in the first half of a consolation semifinal game in the Class 2A state basketball tournament on Tuesday at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

The Eagles will now play Northway in the third-place game at 1 p.m. today, while the Harpooners take on Noorvik for the title at 9:15 p.m.

The Eagles, who were 22-of-65 (33.8 percent) from the field, including a 5-of-27 performance from beyond the arc, held their own in the first quarter before being outscored 20-6 in the second when they hit just one field goal.

Trailing 5-1 in the early moments of the game, Cook Inlet charged back to tie it on buckets from Shane Moffis and Scott Litchfield, who had 15 points. Trading treys to an 8-all tie, the first by Point Hope's Adam Sage (10 points) and the answer from CIA's Eric Bell (eight points), the Eagles fell behind by four before Ryan Doyle, who netted a team-high 23 points, converted a three-point play in cutting the deficit to 12-11.

A drive by Doyle then staked the Eagles to their second lead of the game at 13-12 and Stefan Reischach made it 15-14 on a dish from Doyle. Five straight points from Rock, who was 19-for-20 from the foul line, gave the Harpooners a 19-15 edge before Doyle sank a buzzer-beating 3 in sending Cook Inlet into the second quarter down by just one.

Point Hope's strong shooting continued in the second, though, when Sage and Rock sank back-to-back treys, the Harpooners' fifth and sixth 3s of the game, in extending the lead to 25-18 just minutes into the frame. Rock then capped a 12-2 run with a trio of free throws and another 3-pointer in making it 33-20 and forcing the Eagles to call a time out.

It didn't get any better after that, either, as Rock drained two free throws and Frankson added a layup, only the second Point Hope field goal to that point that wasn't a 3-pointer, in ballooning the margin to 16 with four minutes to play in the half.

Litchfield quelled a 10-0 run by the Harpooners with a pair of free throws. yet they immediately struck back when Rock and Frankson connected for two in sending Point Hope into the intermission with a commanding 39-24 lead.

Jeremy Tooyak (10 points) began the third with a layup and Rock hit a basket and added a foul shot for a 44-24 lead early in the third.

But the Eagles weren't about to go quietly.

A coast-to-coast drive by Doyle, two free throws from Litchfield and a jumper from Doyle trimmed the deficit to 14. Litchfield later went on a personal 6-2 run in slicing it to 52-40 before CIA went into the fourth trailing by 15.

Doyle opened the final quarter with a layup off the glass and Bell added a steal and a layup as the Eagles crept within 11 with a little more than six minutes to play in the game.

That's as close as they'd get until the closing seconds, though, as Rock bookended a bucket from Tooyak with two free throws and his fourth 3-pointer of the game in helping the Harpooners (21-of-53) quickly regain momentum and a 64-46 edge. Four straight points from Doyle again cut it to 14 and a trey from Smithwick and two free throws from Moffis made it 67-55 with under two minutes remaining.

Noorvik girls 45, Cook Inlet Academy 30

Another rough performance from the field and an early deficit contributed to the Eagles consolation semifinal loss to the Bears on Tuesday morning, a setback that eliminated CIA from the Class 2A state tournament at Sullivan Arena.

One day after shooting just 13.3 percent (8-of-60) in an opening-round loss to Northway, Cook Inlet was better Tuesday, but still hit only 20.8 percent (11-of-53) of its shots.

"I think that it was just apparent, that first of all, the teams up here were a little bit more skilled than what we played in the past in our region. I think that's apparent due to Ninilchik having the same fate we did," first-year Eagles coach Jason Hofseth said, referencing the Wolverines losing two in a row, too. "We didn't shoot well because we're not the shooters that some of these other teams are.

"Some of our weakness were pointed out to us and what kind of things we need to work on in the offseason."

Hofseth said his team opened the game on a 6-2 run before falling behind 11-6 after eight minutes.

Trailing 25-13 at halftime after Noorvik went 7-of-12 from the field in the second, compared to just 3-of-13 for Cook Inlet, the Eagles (16-11) hung around in the third, being outscored 9-6. But each time they tried to creep back, the Bears answered, as they canned 45.7 percent (21-of-46) of their shots on the game.

"I thought our girls played much, much better today than they did yesterday. There was nothing to be disappointed about," Hofseth said. "Noorvik was just a better team. They were good shooters, all five of them could handle the ball, they deserved to move on.

"I never felt like we were really getting out of it," he added. "Our girls ran their offense better than they have all year. They were patient, they were looking for the great shot and they were taking it when they should. ... It just wasn't a great shooting day for us and that's just something we need to work on."

Noorvik, which lost by only five to defending state champion Yakutat in the opening round on Monday, closed the game by hitting five of its six fourth-quarter shots, but the Eagles hung tough and played to an 11-11 deadlock in the fourth.

"They definitely are a team that deserves to be here. Play somewhere else in the tournament and they might not be in the loser's bracket," Hofseth said of the Bears. "Every time that we started to make a little bit of a run to get back into the game, they hit a big shot.

"We didn't give up very many easy buckets, and everything they got was deserved," he added. "They were just good shooters."

Junior Amie Smithwick paced the Eagles with 16 points and four rebounds, while sophomore Tiffany Smith added nine points and five boards. Lindsey Wells netted a game-high 17 points for Noorvik and Jessica Williams chipped in 12.

Placing fourth at state the past two seasons after not qualifying for the big dance since 1988 left the Eagles thin this season, boasting just two juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen.

And advancing to state for the third year in a row seemed like an arduous task for CIA at the start of the season, making this year's trip a success despite losing both games.

"It was a tough couple days for us, but all in all, it was really a great tournament. It was really an eye-opening experience," Hofseth said. "With all the girls coming back, it was definitely not a lost cause coming up here. There was lots of lessons learned and definitely ... I think we'll be a little more hungry for next year and it will really drive some of the girls to really put some time in in the offseason."

Hofseth is expecting all of his players to return for a strong push next year.

"Going two-and-out doesn't settle real good in anybody's stomach. I think that it will give us a little bit of hunger to come back next year," he said. "I don't think our goal will be just go to state next year. I think it will be to really make a splash at state and to really make a run at it.

"If we make the same strides next year that we made this year, people better watch out for CIA."

Chevak girls 61, Ninilchik 40

Mary and Misty Olson combined for 34 points and nine 3-pointers in leading the Comets past the Wolverines in the Class 2A state tournament consolation semifinals on Tuesday morning in Anchorage.

The Wolverines' second loss in as many days ends their season after capturing their 14th Peninsula Conference title. Their setback on Monday against Skagway also snapped a streak of 16 straight top-three finishes at the state tournament, where they have now played every year since 1992 in winning eight state championships.

Ninilchik fell behind early against the Comets, trailing 16-8 after the first and 30-16 at halftime.

It wasn't easy to come back like they did on Monday, either, when the Wolverines trailed by 18 with 2:23 to play in the third before storming back and losing by only four. Chevak shot the lights out, going 9-of-17 from beyond the arc and 22-of-48 (45.8 percent) overall.

Ninilchik, meanwhile, was just 12-of-61 (19.7 percent), but did outrebound the Comets, 50-37, and turned the ball over three fewer times.

Senior Grace Ehlers scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and junior Lindsey Rohr added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who played a tighter second half in being outscored by just seven.

Mary Olson was 5-of-11 from 3-point land and Misty Olson was 4-of-5 for Chevak, which also got 14 points from Chelsea Lake, and will now play Noorvik in today's 8 a.m. fourth-place game.

In other Class 2A tourney action, Yakutat had little trouble with Northway in the semifinals, advancing to its second straight championship game with an 80-48 win over the Warriors.

The Eagles will now meet Skagway today at 7:30 p.m. for the crown after the Panthers topped Point Hope, 49-39, in Tuesday's other semifinal. Northway and Point Hope will battle for third-place at 11:20 a.m. today.

Tuesday boys

Harpooners 74, Eagles 63

Cook Inlet 18 6 16 23 --63

Point Hope 19 20 16 19 --74

COOK INLET (63) -- Munn 1 1-2 3, Litchfield 5 4-4 15, Rowley 0 0-0 0, S. Moffis 2 2-2 6, S. Reischach 1 1-2 3, Smithwick 2 0-0 5, Bell 3 0-0 8, M. Moffis 0 0-0 0, D. Reischach 0 0-0 0, Doyle 8 6-7 23. Totals -- 22 14-17 63.

POINT HOPE (74) -- D. Tooyak 0 1-2 1, Sage 3 2-2 10, J. Tooyak 4 1-2 10, Rock 5 19-20 33, E. Frankson 8 0-0 17, Harris 0 0-0 0, Lane 0 1-2 1, Tuzroyluk 0 0-2 0, Koonuk 1 0-0 2, C. Frankson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 21 24-30 74.

3-pointers -- Cook Inlet 5 (Bell 2, Litchfield 1, Smithwick 1, Doyle 1), Point Hope 8 (Rock 4, Sage 2, J. Tooyak 1, E. Frankson 1). Team fouls -- Cook Inlet 26, Point Hope 20. Fouled out -- Litchfield, Smithwick, Doyle.

Tuesday Girls

Bears 45, Eagles 30

Cook Inlet 6 7 6 11 --30

Noorvik 11 14 9 11 --45

COOK INLET (30) -- Smith 4 1-2 9, McGahan 0 0-2 0, Bauder 1 0-0 2, Arneson 0 0-0 0, Smithwick 5 4-6 16, Powers 0 0-0 0, Brush 0 1-2 1, Leaf 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 11 6-12 30.

NOORVIK (45) -- Williams 6 0-1 12, T. Sheldon 1 0-1 12, Zibell 4 0-0 8, Wells 4 0-0 17, K. Sheldon 1 0-0 2, Coffin 1 0-0 2, Sampson 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 21 0-2 45.

3-point goals -- Cook Inlet 2 (Smithwick 2), Noorvik 3 (Wells 3). Team fouls -- Cook Inlet 9, Noorvik 10. Fouled out -- none.

Comets 61, Wolverines 40

Ninilchik 8 8 12 12 --40

Chevak 16 14 14 17 --61

NINILCHIK (40) -- Peltier 0 0-0 0, Schnabl 1 0-0 2, Rohr 5 3-5 16, Riley 0 0-0 0, Nelson 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Dahl 0 1-2 1, Ehlers 6 9-14 21. Totals -- 12 13-21 40.

CHEVAK (61) -- Jones 0 0-0 0, Tall 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, I. Nash 2 1-2 5, Lake 6 2-4 14, Ma. Olson 5 2-2 17, Mi. Olson 6 1-1 17, Tulim 0 0-0 0, Miles 3 2-2 8. Totals -- 22 8-11 61.

3-point goals -- Ninilchik 3 (Rohr 3), Chevak 9 (Ma. Olson 5, Mi. Olson 4). Team fouls -- Ninilchik 14, Chevak 17. Fouled out -- Anderson.



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