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Eagles boys, Otters girls earn state berths

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2002

The Cook Inlet Academy boys basketball team soothed a little bit of the hurt from Friday night's one-point loss to Ninilchik in the championship game of the District 3/2A tournament.

The Eagles came back Saturday to defeat the surprising Nikolaevsk Warriors 57-40 at Skyview High School to clinch second place in the tournament -- and the trip to next week's state tournament that goes along with it.

Also Saturday, the Seldovia girls punched their ticket to Anchorage for the state tournament, defeating the district tournament host Eagles 41-25 to claim second place.

"We've been practicing all season to win the region title," said CIA's Luke Myers following Saturday's win. "We didn't get it because of a couple of little things that went wrong for us, so we wanted to come back and get to state and focus on that."

It took most of the first quarter for the Eagles to sharpen their focus as the Warriors came out running, feeding off the energy from their consolation semifinal win, 34-31 over Unalaska earlier Saturday.

"Playing two games in a day is always an extra challenge, but when you get to the championship, a lot's adrenaline and emotion, which is what we've thrived on all year," said Nikolaevsk coach Steve Klaich.

The Warriors put the first points of the game on the board with a 3-pointer by Peter Tipikin, and held a 9-6 lead over the Eagles at the end of the first quarter.

CIA began working the ball into post players Justin Franchino and Jacob Peterson in the second quarter, though, and steadily put some distance between itself and the Warriors.

"They're not really big, and they're kind of scrappy, but they're good shooting from the outside," Myers said of the Warriors. "If you play an up and down game, they can stay with you. You can't feel comfortable with your lead because they can hit a couple of threes and stay with you."

Peterson and Franchino responded with big games, though, to keep the Eagles ahead through the second half. Peterson finished with a team-high 20 points while Franchino netted 16 points.

"Our post players, Jacob and Justin, really stepped up -- Jacob especially," said CIA's Calder Hillyer.

"Cook Inlet is an excellent ball team, and Jacob Peterson came through for them in a big way," Klaich said. "He played the best game I've seen him play."

Tipikin finished with 23 points, including a trio of treys, to lead the Warriors. Tipikin had 12 points in the morning game while teammate Stephan Nikitenko netted 14 against Unalaska.

"We (expected to be here), but no one else expected us to be here," Klaich said, noting that the Warriors were able to beat several teams in the tournament after losing to them during the regular season. "The kids just started maturing. We started three sophomores, and they're starting to grow up."

Seldovia girls 41, Cook Inlet Academy 25

The Cook Inlet Academy girls went just about as far as they could with the players they had. The Eagles advanced to the second-place game with a draining 39-35 win over Bristol Bay in Saturday morning's consolation semifinal, and while the CIA defense was able to keep the Sea Otters in check, the Eagles offense was unable find any gaps in Seldovia's bigger frontcourt.

"We played good," said CIA's Chantal Reese, noting that many of her teammates had been sick or injured. "We played Seldovia three times, and struggled each time. This time, we probably played the best of the three games."

Reese said the Eagles expended most of their energy in the morning game, fighting to stay alive in the tournament.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we all really wanted it," Reese said.

The Sea Otters led 7-2 after the first quarter, and extended their lead to 17-6 at the half. Jaime Geagel paced the Sea Otters with 18 points while Amelia Dillon scored 10 points, most of those from the post.

"We definitely had a height advantage, so we used it as much as we could," Dillon said, adding that she was pleased to get the ball inside on a regular basis. "I hate it when they just take the outside shot -- I don't want them to forget about the post."

Seldovia consistently hit from the outside as well, making it difficult for the Eagles to key on any one player.

"We have both an inside and outside game -- that's what kept us in this one," Dillon said.

Reese and Mandy Evans each scored nine points for the Eagles.

Second-place game

EAGLES 57, WARRIORS 40

Nikolaevsk 9 8 10 13 -- 40

CIA 6 20 11 20 -- 57

NIKOLAEVSK (40) -- F. Efimov 1 0-0 3, Nikitenko 3 2-2 8, D. Kuzmin 1 0-0 2, S. Kuzmin 1 0-0 2, Basargin 0 0-0 0, Usoltseff 0 0-0 0, T. Efimov 1 0-0 2, Tipikin 9 2-6 23. Totals -- 16 4-8 40.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (57) -- Hall 0 1-2 1, Powers 2 3-6 7, Hillyer 3 0-0 7, Rainey 0 0-0 0, Beeson 0 0-0 0, Peterson 10 0-0 20, Franchino 7 2-4 16, Gabriel 0 0-0 0, Myers 3 0-0 6, Agosti 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 25 6-12 57.

3-point goals -- Nikolaevsk 4 (Tipikin 3, F. Efimov), CIA 1 (Hillyer). Total fouls -- Nikolaevsk 14, CIA 11. Fouled out -- F. Efimov.

Second-place semifinal

WARRIORS 34, RAIDERS 31

Nikolaevsk 2 10 10 12 --34

Unalaska 6 9 10 6 --31

NIKOLAEVSK (34) -- F. Efimov 0 0-0 0, Nikitenko 6 0-1 14, D. Kuzmin 0 4-8 4, S. Kuzmin 0 0-0 0, Basargin 0 0-0 0, T. Efimov 2 2-3 4, Tipiken 5 0-1 12. Totals -- 13 6-13 34.

UNALASKA (31) -- Thurman 2 0-1 4, Pulos 0 1-2 1, Solima 1 0-1 2, Nichols 0 0-2 0, Newkirk 0 0-0 0, Gonzales 1 0-0 2, N. Lekanoff 6 1-4 13, Laskowski 2 1-2 5, J. Lekanoff 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 14 3-12 31.

3-point goals -- Nikolaevsk 4 (Nikitenko 2, Tipikin 2); Unalaska 0. Total fouls -- Nikolaevsk 14, Unalaska 16. Fouled out -- Nikitenko.

Girls

Second-place game

SEA OTTERS 41, EAGLES 25

CIA 2 4 9 10 -- 25

Seldovia 7 10 15 9 -- 41

COOK INLET ACADEMY (25) -- Franchino 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Bell 0 0-0 0, Reese 3 1-3 9, Leiter 0 0-0 0, Zindel 0 2-2 2, Evans 3 3-4 9, Hall 2 1-2 5, Powers 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 8 7-11 25.

SELDOVIA (41) -- M. Gruber 1 0-0 2, Volstad 0 0-0 0, Mason 0 0-0 0, A. Gruber 4 0-2 8, Geagel 7 1-2 18, Rojas-Mickelson 1 1-1 3, Dillon 4 2-8 10. Totals -- 17 4-13 41.

3-point goals -- CIA 2 (Reese 2), Seldovia 3 (Geagel 3). Total fouls -- CIA 12, Seldovia 12. Fouled out -- none.

Second-place semifinal

EAGLES 39, ANGELS 35

Bristol Bay 7 13 10 5 --35

Cook Inlet Academy 7 13 10 9 --39

BRISTOL BAY (35) -- L. Groat 1 0-0 2, Stephenson 2 2-4 7, Ring 3 0-0 6, Abruska 1 0-0 2, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Riddle 1 0-0 2, Angasan 2 6-7 10, Wilson 2 2-2 6. Totals -- 12 10-13 35.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (39) -- Smith 0 0-0 0, Bell 1 0-0 2, Reese 7 5-12 21, Zindel 0 0-1 0, Evans 3 3-8 9, Hall 3 0-0 7, Powers 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 14 8-21 39.

3-point goals -- Bristol Bay 1 (Stephenson 1); Cook Inlet Academy 3 (Reese 2, Hall 1). Total fouls -- Bristol Bay 20, Cook Inlet Academy 10. Fouled out -- Abruska, Angasan.



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