Ninilchik boys buck Raiders

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2002

The only way the Unalaska boys were going to stop Ninilchik senior Buck Kvasnikoff Wednesday was by fouling him and putting him on the free-throw line. The Raiders figured that out too late in a 62-60 loss in the opening round of the District 3/2A tournament at Cook Inlet Academy.

The Wolverines, the No. 1 seed, moved on to the semifinals of the tournament, where they will face Nikolaevsk at 6 p.m. today. Unalaska, the No. 8 seed, will play Lumen Christi in a second-place bracket game at 3 p.m. today.

Kvasnikoff, scoring at will on the inside in the second half, had a game-high 28 points, including 20 in the second half. However, he was just 6-of-13 from the charity stripe for the game.

"We had a hard time rotating on him," Unalaska coach Fred Lekanoff said of Kvasnikoff, a 6-foot-2 senior. "He's the top player in the region, probably.

"They really know how to get him the ball. The weak-side help for us just wasn't there."

The game was close the whole way, with the largest lead being eight points. That's unusual when a No. 1 seed hooks up with a No. 8 seed, but Unalaska wasn't just any No. 8 seed.

The Raiders actually had the second-best winning percentage in the district, behind Ninilchik. But Unalaska wasn't in the district last year and did not get all its district games in this year due weather and the fact that they weren't at last year's scheduling meeting during the district tournament.

This left some confusion as to where the Raiders should be seeded, so the decision was turned over to a seeding committee. The committee decided to seed Unalaska No. 8 due to a rule in the district bylaws that says if a team wasn't playing basketball in the district in the previous year, that team would be seeded eighth the next year.

Thus, for its trouble of earning the No. 1 seed for the tournament, Ninilchik got to play one of the top teams in the district.

"It was confusing," said Ninilchik coach Chris Hanson. "In the end, it was just like, 'Let's go play basketball.'"

The Raiders were intense from the beginning, eager to avenge an earlier loss to Ninilchik. That loss was Unalaska's only loss this year in district play.

Unalaska's Jude Newkirk hit a 3-pointer with 2:58 to play in the first quarter to complete a 6-0 run and give the Raiders a 10-6 lead.

Kvasnikoff started to get into the mix early in the second quarter. He netted four points as the Wolverines went on an 8-0 spurt to take a 20-16 lead with 3:57 left until halftime.

The teams continued to trade the lead until Ninilchik took the lead for good in a key stretch at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter.

With 1:09 left in the third quarter, Kvasnikoff slid inside for a layup to give Ninilchik a 42-41 lead. Then with 13 seconds left, Kvasnikoff dropped in a another layup and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Jesse Hostetter, who finished with 14 points, got the rebound and the putback.

The Wolverines got the ball to start the fourth quarter, and John Matson got a layup on that possession to complete the 8-0 run and give Ninilchik a 48-41 cushion.

"A run like that is always tough, particularly when two seasoned, mature teams are playing," Lekanoff said. "We both play good defense, so even two points is hard to come by.

"But when somebody makes a run like that late in the game, it can be hard to overcome."

The Raiders almost did overcome that deficit due to Ninilchik's 4-of-12 foul shooting in the final eight minutes. In the end, a frantic Unalaska comeback attempt ran out of time.

Although Kvasnikoff's 28 points got considerable attention, Hanson was quick to point out that all the other players on the team had to do their job to get Kvasnikoff his points.

"Passing can be just as important as scoring," Hanson said.

Hanson said Steven Miller did a good job of holding DJ Pulos, Unalaska's top player, to 12 points. The coach also liked the defense of Jason Schollenberg. Hanson also credited Hostetter, Matson and Salty Bock with good passing and unselfish play.

For Unalaska, Jose Gonzales and Jared Laskowski also had 12 points.

WOLVERINES 62, RAIDERS 60

Unalaska 14 9 18 19 --60

Ninilchik 12 13 21 16 --62

UNALASKA (60) -- Thurman 2 0-0 4, Pulos 6 0-0 12, Solima 1 2-2 5, Newkirk 3 0-0 8, Gonzales 5 1-1 12, N. Lekanoff 1 3-6 5, Laskowski 5 2-4 12, J. Lekanoff 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 24 8-13 60.

NINILCHIK (62) -- Schollenberg 2 0-0 4, Miller 2 1-3 5, Bock 1 0-0 2, Matson 4 1-3 9, Hostetter 5 4-7 14, Kvasnikoff 11 6-13 28. Totals -- 25 12-26 62.

3-point goals -- Unalaska 4 (Newkirk 2, Solima 1, Gonzales 1); Ninilchik 0. Total fouls -- Unalaska 22, Ninilchik 11. Fouled out -- Laskowski.

Nikolaevsk 58, Bristol Bay 51

On the strength of outscoring the Angels 19-7 in the second period, the Warriors took a 30-20 lead into the locker room at halftime and made it stand up.

Stepan Nikitenko stepped up and poured in 19 points for the Warriors, who are the No. 5 seed. Peter Tipiken added 16 points for Nikolaevsk.

For Lumen Christi, which is the No. 4 seed, Adam Brauner had 19 points and Morgan Wynne had 16 points.

Nikolaevsk will play Ninilchik in the semifinals today at 6 p.m., while Lumen Christi will face Unalaska in a second-place bracket game at 3 p.m.

WARRIORS 58, ANGELS 51

Nikolaevsk 11 19 11 17 --58

Lumen Christi 13 7 16 15 --51

NIKOLAEVSK (58) -- F. Efimov 1 0-1 3, Nikitenko 5 6-6 19, D. Kuzmin 3 3-4 9, S. Kuzmin 1 0-0 2, Basargin 2 0-0 5, Usoltseff 0 0-0 0, T. Efimov 2 0-0 4, Tipiken 7 2-4 16. Totals -- 21 11-15 58.

LUMEN CHRISTI (51) -- A. Brauner 9 0-0 19, Craig 0 0-0 0, Bushey 2 3-7 8, N. Brauner 2 4-5 8, Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, Wynne 6 4-4 16. Totals -- 19 11-16 59.

3-point goals -- Nikolaevsk 5 (Nikitenko 3, F. Efimov 1, Basargin 1); Lumen Christi 2 (A. Brauner 1, Bushey 1). Total fouls -- Nikolaevsk 17, Lumen Christi 16. Fouled out -- T. Efimov.

Seldovia 59, Community Christian School 36

The Sea Otters, the No. 3 seed, grabbed a 19-7 lead after the first quarter en route to victory over the Knights, who are the No. 6 seed at the tourney.

Seldovia's Nick Oliveira had 17 points, including three 3-pointers, while Charles Pulliam added 14 points and Justin Giles pitched in with 11 points.

For the Knights, Joshua Veldstra paced all scorers with 20 points.

SEA OTTERS 59, KNIGHTS 36

CCS 7 5 7 17 --36

Seldovia 19 14 14 12 --59

CCS (36) -- Ellert 1 0-0 2, Resetarits 1 0-0 2, Arndt 0 0-0 0, Shawn Seymour 1 0-0 3, Shiloh Seymour 2 4-6 8, Fraley 0 0-0 0, Halpin 0 1-2 1, Veldstra 9 1-1 20. Totals -- 14 6-9 36.

Seldovia (59) -- Chartier 1 0-0 2, Volstad 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 0-0 2, Pulliam 7 0-0 14, J. Giles 4 3-4 11, Payton 0 0-0 0, Oliveira 6 2-3 17, S. Giles 1 0-0 2, Collier 3 0-0 7, Bowder 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 24 5-7 59.

3-point goals -- CCS 2 (Veldstra 1, Shawn Seymour 1); Seldovia 3 (Oliveira 3). Total fouls -- CCS 11, Seldovia 13. Fouled out -- none.



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