ANCHORAGE -- For once, Keenan Prochazka and Andrew Buchanan couldn't shoot the Seward boys basketball team past the competition.
The all-state seniors had a tough go at it in a 59-52 loss against Sitka in the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament Thursday morning at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
The duo scored 30 points -- 15 apiece -- but went a combined 7-of-24 from the field and 3-of-15 from 3-point range.
Seward, the Southcentral Conference No. 1 seed, looks to regroup in a loser-out game against Nome at 8 a.m. today. The Seahawks could still finish fourth with consecutive wins today and Saturday.
"They had some good defensive guards," Seward coach Dan Krier said of Sitka. "It made it hard for them."
All season long, Prochazka and Buchanan have carried the Seahawks.
Buchanan scored 29 points when the Seward beat Anchorage Christian Schools to win the conference championship two weeks ago at Nikiski. Prochazka has consistently scored 20 points a game. Both can shoot from the outside and are capable finishers in the paint.
Yet Thursday, against the Southeast Conference No. 2 seed, they couldn't get it going. Sitka built an 18-point lead in the first half, scoring 26 of the game's first 34 points.
The Seahawks exerted all their energy trying to climb back in the game.
"We came out flat and sluggish," Krier said, adding a few calls that went against his squad didn't help matters. "We didn't get into a good flow at all. We did player a better second half, to the credit of the kids."
Seward nearly erased the deficit, an impressive feat considering it shot 30 percent from the field while Sitka shot 52 percent.
Prochazka's lone 3-pointer -- he was 1-of-8 from beyond the arc -- cut the lead to 48-41 midway through the fourth. Sitka pushed the lead to 55-45, but Buchanan hit a 3 at the 1:26 mark to cut it to 55-48.
On the next possession, Prochazka drew a foul and converted both free throws, making it 55-50. However, the Wolves broke a full-court press on the ensuing inbounds pass, turning it into a layup.
"They had answers for all our runs," Krier said.
The Wolves went 6-of-9 on 3-pointers and logged a balanced scoring attack as five players scored at least eight points.
Seward outrebounded Sitka 41-25, but that wasn't enough for the typically sharpshooting Seahawks to overcome a 3-of-18 effort from long range.
Sophomore forward Jalen Terry had one of his better games this season, scoring 13 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
Still, it wasn't enough.
With six seniors on the roster, winning a conference title and earning 20 wins before state, it was a difficult loss to accept for the Seahawks.
Krier said the team simply needs to regroup and aim to end the tournament with back-to-back wins.
"The seniors have got to keep it together and come back and go for fourth place," Krier said. "Fourth place in the state is not too shabby."
Wolves 59, Seahawks 52
Sitka 18 12 15 14 --59
Seward 6 12 15 19 --52
SITKA (59) - Clayton 3 4-6 10, Cruz 1 2-2 4, Matz 3 0-0 8, Potrzuski 4 0-3 11, Romine 2 5-8 9, Venneberg 2 0-2 4, Widmier 6 0-1 13, Williams 0 0-0 0. Totals - 21 11-22 59.
SEWARD (52) - A. Buchanan 5 3-5 15, J. Buchanan 0 1-2 1, Prochazka 5 4-4 15, Thorn 1 0-0 2, Terry 6 1-2 13, O'Leary 1 0-0 3, Lindquist 0 0-0 0, Perea 1 0-0 2, Pullins 1 0-0 2. Totals - 20 9-13 52.
3-point field goals - Sitka 6 (Potrzuski 3, Matz 2, Widmier); Seward 3 (A. Buchanan 2, Prochazka). Team fouls - Sitka 10, Seward 17. Fouled out - Thorn.
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