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Dillingham ends Nikiski's season

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2004

Winners of three of the past four Class 3A state basketball tournaments, the Nikiski girls basketball team is without question one of the premier programs in the state.

But the Bulldogs found out at this year's tournament that past success doesn't necessarily equal future glory, losing a tough 33-27 decision to Dillingham Friday to get bumped from the tourney after just two games.

In Friday's elimination game, Nikiski fell victim to a patient Dillingham team that waited patiently for the taller Bulldogs to make a few key mistakes.

Both teams had trouble scoring points throughout the game. While the Wolverines struggled to get shots off against a tough Nikiski man-to-man defense, the Bulldogs were often their own worst enemies. Nikiski made just 24 percent of its field-goal attempts, compared with 40 percent for Dillingham.

The game was tied at the half, after the Bulldogs finished the second quarter on a 5-2 run keyed by a Sasha Auldridge 3-pointer and a Sarah Herrin jumper. Herrin led Nikiski with 10 points on the game, six of those coming in the first half.

In the second half, Nikiski's size advantage began to play a factor. The Bulldogs finished the game with a 33-18 rebounding advantage, something that began to pay big dividends when Nikiski outscored Dillingham 9-7 in the third quarter with all of the Bulldogs points coming on second-chance opportunities.

Nikiski appeared to be in control midway through the third quarter after Thompson put back a Herrin miss to give the Bulldogs a 22-15 lead.

That's when things turned bad for Nikiski, as Dillingham reeled off a 7-2 run to finish the quarter and pull to within two.

In the fourth quarter, the story was Nikiski's inability to score, as Dillingham managed to hold the Bulldogs to just three points over the final eight minutes.

Following the game, Nikiski head coach Ward Romans said his team's collapse in the fourth was a microcosm of what's happened all season long to the streaky Bulldogs.

"We struggled all year keeping a consistent effort all the time," Romans said.

Against the Wolverines, Romans said once Dillingham began to turn the tide, Nikiski seemed unable to get back on its feet.

"We didn't work through it as quickly as we should have," he said.

Romans gave credit to Dillingham, which took its time on each possession and rarely turned the ball over. The Wolverines deliberately slowed the tempo, waiting for opportunities to open up inside for forward Britni Carty, who finished with nine points, or outside for guard Iris Bowers, who netted a game-high 12 points.

"They're the most patient team we've faced all year," Romans said.

Despite the disappointing end to its season, Romans said Nikiski has nothing to be ashamed of after a season where the Bulldogs finished second in District 3 and earned yet another trip to the state tournament.

"We've got a great group of girls who worked really hard all year," Romans said. "This wasn't the way we wanted to end our season, but hopefully this will be a good life lesson for everybody involved."

Seward 63, Mt. Edgecumbe 37

Breanna Bardarson scored a game-high 22 points to lead Seward to a 63-37 win over Mt. Edgecumbe Friday at the Class 3A state girls basketball tournament.

Bardarson also led the Seahawks on the defensive end, nabbing seven steals.

Seward led 37-26 at the half before a Mt. Edgecumbe bucket cut the lead to nine. The Seahawks then went on a 16-2 run to end the quarter and put things out of reach.

Bernadine Keyes led Mt. Edgecumbe with 19 points.

Lisa Steinbrecher, Jenni Regis and Emma Seigel each added eight points for Seward, which made all 12 of its free-throw attempts.

With the win, Seward advanced to the fourth-place game Saturday against Dillingham.

Monroe Catholic 48, Petersburg 33

The Rams took a 15-2 lead in the first quarter in steamrolling into the championship game.

Leah Stepovich had 21 points for Monroe, while Kayleigh Short had 12 points for Petersburg.

Valdez 72, Barrow 64, OT

The Buccaneers outscored the Whalers 9-1 in the overtime for the victory.

Whitney Wright had 20 points for Valdez, while Katie Blackburn had 18 points, Whitney Connor had 11 points and Ashley Haltness had 10 points.

For Barrow, Maria Eduarte had 17 points, Jesstinna Pili had 14 points and Martina Leavitt had 12 points.

Class 4A

Colony 46, Homer 28

The Knights received 31 points from Kristina Klapperich to beat the Mariners for the third time this season, this time ending Homer's season. Colony moved into the fourth-place game.

Channing Setterquist had 10 points to pace the Mariners.

Colony had a 26-13 lead at the half, but Homer was able to cut it to 30-24 at the end of three quarters. However, the Knights outscored the Mariners 14-4 in the final period.

Chugiak 52, Service 33

The defending state champion Mustangs moved into the fourth-place game by putting four players in double figures. Courtney Waters had 12 points to lead Chugiak, while Sarah Neuschwander had 11 points and Kelsey Griffen and Sara Courtright had 10 points apiece.

Morgan Willis paced Service with 11 points.

Dimond 73, Lathrop 53

Lillian Bullock scored 38 points on 14 of 17 shooting from the floor, including 5 of 6 from 3-point land, to lead the Lynx into the title game. Shaina Afoa added 11 points for Dimond.

Alana Clooten had 20 points for Lathrop, while Erika Stevens added 11.

Juneau-Douglas 53, Wasilla 43

The Crimson Bears kept the Region III champion Warriors from reaching the championship game for the third straight year.

Talisa Rhea had 16 points for the Crimson Bears, while Letasha McKoy added 11 points. Chandice Cronk had 18 points for the Warriors, while Megan Stearman added 12.

WOLVERINES 33, BULLDOGS 27

Dillingham 9 6 7 11 33

Nikiski 8 7 9 3 27

DILLINGHAM (33) Carscallen 0 0-0 0, Carty 3 3-6 9, Swift 1 0-0 2, Tennyson 1 2-2 4, Bennis 0 0-0 0, Bowers 4 2-2 12, Hurley 3 0-0 6. Totals 12 7-10 33.

NIKISKI (27) Salonen 1 2-2 4, Ellis 0 0-0 0, Gladden 2 2-3 6, Griffel 0 0-0 0, Auldridge 1 0-0 3, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Herrin 5 0-0 10, Hitchcock 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 4-5 27.

3-point goals Dillingham 2 (Bowers 2); Nikiski 1 (Auldridge 1). Team fouls Dillingham 10, Nikiski 13. Fouled out none.

SEAHAWKS 63, BRAVES 37

Seward 21 16 16 10 63

Mt. Edgecumbe 12 14 4 7 37

SEAHAWKS (63) Gaule 1 0-0 2, Hetrick 0 0-0 0, Bardarson 7 8-8 22, Steinbrecher 3 0-0 8, Hoogland 0 0-0 0, Regis 3 2-2 8, Boulden 3 0-0 6, Loomis 2 0-0 5, Gillespie 1 2-2 4, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Seigel 4 0-0 8, Adelmann 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 12-12 63.

BRAVES (37) Nicoli 1 1-2 3, Akaran 0 0-0 0, Vaska 0 3-4 3, Merculief 0 0-2 0, Jackson 4 0-0 8, Hunt 0 0-0 0, Keyes 7 5-9 19, Sommer 2 0-2 4, Jackinsky 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 9-17 37.

3-point goals Seward 3 (Steinbrecher 2, Loomis 1). Team fouls Seward 16, Mt. Edgecumbe 12. Fouled out none.

KNIGHTS 46, MARINERS 28

Homer 7 6 11 4 28

Colony 10 16 6 14 46

HOMER (28) Me. Mahan 0 0-0 0, Pollack 0 4-6 4, Creamer 0 0-0 0, Riley 0 0-0 0, Cousins 2 1-2 5, Morawitz 0 0-0 0, McKinstry 2 3-4 7, Mo. Mahan 0 0-0 0, Siekaniec 0 0-0 0, Lowney 1 0-3 2, Setterquist 5 0-0 10, Lightcap 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 8-15 28.

COLONY (46) Robinson 0 0-0 0, Joynt 0 2-2 2, Semler 0 0-0 0, Spoth 0 0-0 0, Hill 0 0-0 0, Locke 2 0-0 4, Morris 0 0-0 0, Klapperich 10 10-12 31, Baldwin 0 0-0 0, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Dault 3 3-4 9. Totals 16 15-18 46.

3-point goals Colony 1 (Klapperich 1). Team fouls Homer 10, Colony 11. Fouled out none.



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