One win wasn’t enough.
The Cook Inlet Academy girls wanted another.
After recording the first state tournament victory in CIA girls history on Wednesday, the Eagles’ encore performance was just as impressive.
Playing with only seven girls, and six for the entire regular season and conference tournament, CIA earned fourth-place in the Class 2A state tourney with a dominating 47-29 triumph over Selawik on Thursday at Sullivan Arena.
“It’s exciting,” said coach Ted Forsi. “We’ve got a bunch of good girls. They work hard. They’re good athletes and worked hard all season.”
Sophomore Holly Kopp and junior Brooke Forsi led all scorers with 12 points apiece, while freshman Amie Smithwick and senior Melissa Moffis added nine and seven points, respectively.
“Holly had the game of her life. I was happy for her,” he said. “She’s not normally one of our go-to scorers. She was (Thursday). She hit some nice shots.”
Despite a 27.6 percent performance from the floor on Thursday, shooting wasn’t the Eagles biggest challenge of the day.
Waking up for the 8 a.m game was.
“They weren’t talking too much,” Forsi said. “A lot of yawning, a lot of throwing cold water in their face.”
Clearly, it wasn’t too much of a problem.
Owning an 8-0 lead after eight minutes, CIA led by only four at halftime.
But just as they did Wednesday during a 40-34 win over Kake, the Eagles used another second-half surge to pull away.
While outscoring the Wolves by only one in the third, CIA strung together a 20-7 fourth-quarter spurt to seal fourth place. They finished off Wednesday’s game on a 24-15 run.
“It was kind of hard after we lost to just come out and be strong after that, just because it was a really tough loss for all of us,” Brooke Forsi said of the Eagles’ 56-41 first-round setback to Point Hope. “I knew we were going to do good. I was bummed out after Point Hope but our attitudes just really came up and we were ready to go. I think it kind of made us want to work harder after we lost.”
Kopp said they came out with a sense of confidence.
“It was our last game today and we were like, ‘Let’s finish the race. Let’s do this. Let’s finish it,’” she said.
After the unexpected success this season, coach Forsi is already looking toward next year’s campaign, when he’ll return four starters.
“I’ve got a couple other junior girls that didn’t play this year but are going to play next year for me,” he said. “So, I think we’re going to have a great season.”
They’ll probably also have more than one or two substitutes.
“A lot of the girls that didn’t want to play this year are now like, ‘Hey, we’re going to play basketball next year,’” Kopp said. “So, it’s good that we’re bringing girls out. Now they want to play.”
Eagles 47, Wolves 29
Cook Inlet 8 9 10 20 -- 47
Selawik 0 13 9 7 --29
COOK INLET (47) -- Hardcastle 0 2-6 2, White 1 0-0 3, Kopp 5 1-2 12, Smithwick 4 0-0 9, Hillyer 1 0-0 2, Moffis 3 1-2 7, Forsi 2 7-10 12. Totals: 16 11-20 47.
SELAWIK (29) -- Lee 2 0-0 5, Oviok 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 6-8 8, Jones 2 0-0 5, Ticket 1 0-0 2, Foxglove 0 0-3 0, McCoy 4 0-0 9. Totals: 10 6-11 29.
3-pointers -- Cook Inlet 4 (White, Kopp, Smithwick, Forsi), Selawik 3 (Lee, Jones, McCoy). Fouls -- Cook Inlet 16, Selawik 15. Fouled out -- White.
Matthew Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.
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