The Cook Inlet Academy girls basketball team turned its second-half woes to second-half wows and defeated Galena 43-32 at the Class 2A state tournament on Wednesday at Sullivan Arena.
The victory moves the Eagles to the fourth-place game at 8 a.m. today at the Sullivan Arena. If CIA can defeat Northway, the Eagles will match their fourth-place finish from one year ago.
CIA fell into the fourth-place bracket on Tuesday with a 43-27 loss to defending state champion Yakutat. The Eagles led 19-10 at halftime, but were outscored 33-8 in the second half.
Wednesday, CIA went into halftime with a 22-21 lead but then took control of the game by outscoring the Hawks 11-2 in the third period.
Wednesday and Thursday also were for CIA's Brooke Forsi. Against Yakutat, Forsi had eight points and six rebounds. Against Galena, she finished with game highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
"Yakutat pretty well double-teamed her last night and kept control of her," said Cook Inlet coach Ted Forsi via cell phone. "Today, she had a little more room to operate inside."
The teams were dead-even in the first half, with Galena shooting 26.9 percent from the floor and committing nine turnovers, while CIA was 29.2 percent from the floor with 11 turnovers.
"It was a tight battle," Ted Forsi said. "Both teams were playing tough defense. There was not too much scoring going on."
CIA's defense got tougher in the third period. Galena was 0-for-11 from the floor in the quarter. After Galena's Adrienne Beans cut CIA's lead to 24-23, the Eagles went on a 12-0 run that ended with an old-fashioned, three-point play by Forsi with 7:53 left in the game.
"Defensively, Amie Smithwick and Holly Kopp were playing a double-trap defense," Forsi said. "If you can get a turnover in that backcourt and get an easy layup, that helps tremendously."
Smithwick had 11 points and six steals, while Kopp had three steals.
CIA had 21 turnovers in the game, while Galena had 19 turnovers. However, the Eagles had 18 points off turnovers, while the Hawks had just six.
Forsi said foul shots also were important in the game. Galena was 9-of-11 in the game, but CIA was able to hit 9-of-12 from the charity stripe in the first three quarters to keep pace. With the game in hand, the Eagles were 6-of-11 from the foul stripe in the final quarter.
According to Forsi, Chelsea Hardcastle also had a key six rebounds.
"It was quite a battle," the coach said. "She doesn't have much size, but she'll battle with the big girls."
Sam Lane paced Galena with 10 points.
Forsi said the team is hungry for another fourth-place finish.
"We should be able to compete with (Northway), as long as I can get the girls some sleep," the coach said. "It's going to be a 6 a.m. wakeup call. That's hard on them."
EAGLES 43, HAWKS 32
CIA 9 13 11 10 43
Galena 9 12 2 9 32
COOK INLET ACADEMY (43) Smith 0 0-0 0, McGahan 0 0-0 0, Bauder 0 0-0 0, Hardcastle 1 3-6 5, Kopp 3 0-2 7, Smithwick 3 4-4 11, Brush 0 0-2 0, Forsi 6 8-9 20. Totals 13 15-23 43.
GALENA (32) Fennimore 0 0-0 0, Beans 1 5-6 7, Thurmond 1 0-0 2, Turner 2 0-0 4, Burgett 3 2-2 8, Ambrose 0 1-2 1, Pitka 0 0-0 0, Lane 4 1-1 10, Ahngasuk 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 9-11 32.
3-point goals CIA 2 (Kopp 1, Smithwick 1); Galena 1 (Lane 1). Team fouls CIA 12, Galena 17. Fouled out Lane.
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