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Defense, rebounding carry Nikiski

Seward girls blow past Braves, Homer girls drop game to Service

Posted: Friday, April 01, 2005

 

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  Nikiski's Sarah Herrin, front, drives past Petersburg's Callei Bell and Hannah Meucci (23) during the first half of a Class 3A girls game in the state basketball championships in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday, March 31, 2005. AL GRILLO

Nikiski's Stacey Griffel, right, and Petersburg's Lauren Susort dive for a loose ball during the first half of a Class 3A girls game in the State Basketball Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday, March 31, 2005.

AP Photo/Al Grillo

According to coach Ward Romans, the Nikiski girls basketball team has been focusing on defense and rebounding during the homestretch of the season.

That focus paid off Thursday in Nikiski's 49-19 victory over Petersburg Thursday in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

The Bulldogs outrebounded Petersburg 46-25 in the game, including a 26-9 advantage on the offensive glass. Hannah Thompson did the most window-cleaning for Nikiski, pulling down 10 rebounds — seven of which were offensive.

Nikiski also put together a stellar effort on defense. The Bulldogs allowed nine points in the first quarter, then allowed just 10 points the rest of the game.

"In the 16 years I've coached, we've never had to deal with an extra week off between regions and state," Romans said. "The girls were rusty at the start, but they shook it off quick and got into a rhythm."

Romans said the rust was apparent on defense, where his team gave up a couple of easy baskets early in the game. After that, though, points were hard to come by for Petersburg.

 

Nikiski's Sarah Herrin, front, drives past Petersburg's Callei Bell and Hannah Meucci (23) during the first half of a Class 3A girls game in the state basketball championships in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday, March 31, 2005.

AL GRILLO

"The kids just played really good man-up defense," Romans said. "They helped when they had to and made sure to keep their offensive rebounds down."

The Bulldogs also took care of rebounding when they were on offense.

"The kids did a really great job anticipating missed shots," Romans said. "It was the best offensive rebounding game of the season. It was really impressive."

The offensive rebounds were important because Nikiski was 21-of-60 (35 percent) from the floor. Sarah Herring led the Bulldogs with 16 points.

Next up for Nikiski is a semifinal matchup with Monroe Catholic at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Monroe is the defending state champion and is ranked No. 1 in the prep poll. The Bulldogs won state titles in 2002 and 2003 and are ranked No. 3 in the prep poll.

Romans got a good look at Monroe during its victory over Barrow Thursday and was impressed with the team's two 6-foot post players.

"They're definitely a quality team," Romans said. "We're banking on the tough schedule we've played this year.

"I think it'll be a barnburner of a game. I'm excited for the kids."

BULLDOGS 49, VIKINGS 19

Nikiski 14 10 16 9 —49

Petersburg 9 0 8 2 —19

NIKISKI (49) — Auldridge 0 1-2 1, Carlson 2 0-0 5, Gladden 4 0-0 9, Griffel 2 1-2 6, Herrin 8 0-0 16, Hitchcock 1 0-0 2, Jorgensen 0 0-0 0, Lee 1 1-2 3, Pritchard 0 0-0 0, Thompson 3 1-3 7. Totals — 21 4-9 49.

PETERSBURG (19) — Aiken 0 0-3 0, Baldwin 0 0-0 0, Bell 3 0-0 7, Berg 0 0-0 0, B. McMahon 1 0-0 2, R. McMahon 0 0-0 0, Meucci 2 0-0 4, Moran 0 1-3 1, Richards 0 0-0 0, Severson 1 1-2 3, Susort 1 0-0 2. Totals — 8 2-8 19.

3-point goals — Nikiski 3 (Carlson 1, Gladden 1, Griffel 1); Petersburg 1 (Bell 1). Total fouls — Nikiski 14, Petersburg 12. Fouled out — none.

Seward girls 49, Mt. Edgecumbe 45

The Seward girls advanced to a semifinal matchup with Dillingham by defeating Mt. Edgecumbe in the opening round of the 3A tournament.

The Seahawks trailed by as many as eight points in the third quarter, but clamped down on defense to outscore the Braves 12-3 in the fourth quarter. Kursten Stallings hit for two points to late in the final frame to put the Seahawks up 47-45, and Lara Loomis and Teal Hetrick hit free throws in the closing minute to give Seward some breathing room.

Led by Loomis' 16 points, the Seahawks shot 47.4 percent from the floor — including 42.9 percent from 3-point range. Stallings finished with 14 points and Hetrick netted 12 for Seward. Kylee Adelmann added 11 rebounds for the Seahawks.

Skeeter Atoruk scored 14 points to lead the Braves, who will play Valdez in the consolation bracket today.

SEAHAWKS 49, BRAVES 45

Seward 11 17 9 12 — 49

Mt. Edgecumbe 10 17 15 3 — 45

SEWARD (49) — Hetrick 4 1-5 12, Prochazka 0 0-0 0, Hoogland 0 0-0 0, Sela 0 0-0 0, Stallings 5 4-9 14, Loomis 6 1-2 16, Crane 1 0-0 2, Adelmann 2 1-2 5. Totals — 18 7-18 49.

MT. EDGECUMBE (45) — C. Evan 0 0-0 0, J. Evan 4 0-2 8, Morris 1 2-5 4, N. Akaran 1 0-1 2, Smeaton 0 0-0 0, Jackson 3 1-2 7, Atoruk 5 4-9 14, Rychnovsky 4 0-1 10. Totals — 18 7-20 45.

3-point goals — Seward 6 (Hetrick 3, Loomis 3), Mt. Edgecumbe 2 (Rychnovsky 2). Total fouls — Seward 16, Mt. Edgecumbe 19. Fouled out — Crane, Smeaton.

Service girls 47, Homer 41

The Mariners went cold down the stretch and missed pulling off an upset over Service.

With 5:29 left in the game, Homer's Reba Temple, who finished with 15 points, had a rebound layup to give the Mariners a 41-38 lead. However, Homer would not score the rest of the game, allowing the Cougars to escape with the victory.

Heading into the game, Homer coach Megan Murphy said her team would use defense to try and continue its recent run of good play, which included a double overtime loss in the conference finals to Wasilla, the No. 1-ranked team in the state.

The Mariners did play good defense, holding the Cougars to 32.1 percent shooting from the field. Lillian Bullock, Service's returning all-state player, had 15 points on 6-of-22 shooting. However, Homer also struggled on offense, shooting 31 percent, and that prevented the Mariners from pulling the upset.

The Mariners fall into the fourth-place bracket, where they will face Dimond in the fourth-place bracket in a 9:40 a.m. game today.

In the game, Homer will be looking to avenge a 50-39 loss to Dimond in mid-January.

COUGARS 47, MARINERS 41

Service 10 15 8 14 —47

Homer 13 11 10 7 —41

SERVICE (47) — L. Bullock 6 3-8 15, S. Bullock 4 5-6 13, Christiansen 1 0-0 3, Eldred 0 0-0 0, Jones 7 2-3 16, May 0 0-0 0, Wellman 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 10-17 47.

HOMER (41) — Bornheimer 0 0-0 0, Creamer 3 0-0 7, Horazdovsky 4 1-2 9, Lowney 2 1-2 6, McKinstry 0 0-0 0, Pollack 2 0-0 4, Temple 7 1-2 15. Totals — 18 3-6 41.

3-point goals — Service 1 (Christiansen 1); Homer 2 (Creamer 1, Lowney 1). Total fouls — Service 10, Homer 15. Fouled out — Pollack.



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