Juneau, Service wear Nikiski Tip-off crowns

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2001

The Juneau-Douglas girls and Service boys took championships at the 13th annual Nikiski Tip-Off tournament Saturday.

The Service boys and the Nikiski boys both came into the final day of the three-day, round-robin tournament with 2-0 records. That meant their matchup Saturday was essentially the championship.

The Bulldogs took a 16-9 lead after the first quarter, but Service, behind 26 points from Zak Tilbury, fought back to claim a 53-51 victory. David Holloway had 19 points for Nikiski, while Ryan Bowlin pitched in 10 points.

The Juneau and Soldotna girls also came into Saturday with 2-0 records. However, the Crimson Bears claimed the crown with a 49-36 victory.

In Saturday's other action, the Houston boys defeated Soldotna 56-45, and the Nikiski girls defeated Service 48-42.

Friday, when the Nikiski and Soldotna boys and girls team faced off, both games showed how advantageous it is in early season tournaments to hit the ground running with an experienced squad.

The Nikiski boys, behind 17 points from David Holloway and 15 points from Jeremiah Taylor, notched a 63-46 victory over the Stars. In the girls game, Soldotna came up with a 50-27 victory.

The Nikiski boys have seven seniors on their roster and that experience showed up against a Soldotna team that lost 11 players to graduation.

"We had a lot of carry-over from last year to this year," Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad said. "Last year, there were a bunch of things on offense and defense we had to install. This year, we didn't have nearly as many plays to put in."

Meanwhile, Soldotna is completely at the other end of the spectrum. Senior Adam Kiffmeyer is Soldotna's only player who saw significant varsity playing time last year. Plus, the Stars have a new coach in Bill Withrow.

"We've got a lot to learn about each other," Withrow said. "It's a new system and a new team."

The Stars managed to stay close to the Bulldogs for most of one quarter. Nikiski jumped out to an 8-2 lead when Jason Gerke nailed a 3-pointer with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter, but Soldotna came back to cut the gap to 14-12 with 2:11 left in the first period on a layup from senior Ben Histand. Over the next five minutes of the game, though, the Bulldogs outscored the Stars 18-2 behind six points from Holloway to open up a cushy advantage.

Three things were at work during Nikiski's spurt. The Bulldogs were able to control the boards, pick up easy baskets in transition and keep Kiffmeyer, who would pace Soldotna with 17 points, on the bench with foul trouble.

"Our game plan is always to out-rebound the other team and pick up easy baskets in transition," Kornstad said. "That's high-percentage basketball."

As for Kiffmeyer being in foul trouble, Withrow said his absence hurt, but also said the Stars should learn a lesson from it.

"That hurt a little bit, because he stabilizes things out on the floor for us with his experience," said Withrow, who also received 10 points from Caleb Sizemore Friday. "We have to learn that we can't just rely on him. He might roll an ankle in practice on Monday, and then we'd be without him for a couple weeks."

After taking a 41-20 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Bulldogs didn't let the Stars get within 20 points in the second half until just 35 seconds remained in the game, when sophomore Kyle Nettles hit a 3-pointer to make the score 63-45.

In the girls game, Hillary Zobeck dumped in 13 points to lead a balanced attack for Soldotna. The Stars had a total of nine players score in the game.

"We lost a few kids from our team last year, but a lot of this team played varsity basketball as ninth- and 10th-graders," Soldotna coach Mark Tuter said. "We took some lumps back then, but we're expecting that to pay off this year."

Nikiski lost some key players from the team that finished fourth in the Class 3A state tournament last year, but the Bulldogs still have Sally Glaze, who Tuter called one of the top five players in the state, and solid post player Karen Rabung, who pumped in nine points to pace Nikiski Friday.

"We're still early in the season and we're still in the process of finding everybody roles, and getting everybody to understand those roles," Nikiski coach Ward Romans said. "Soldotna did a good job tonight.

"That group has come up through school together. You could tell that by some of the chemistry things they did. Those are usually things that are pretty rare this early in the season."

Soldotna had a 15-9 lead early in the second quarter, but Joy Carr struck from beyond the 3-point arc and Glaze dropped in a couple foul shots to cut the gap to 15-13 with 5:22 left in the second quarter. However, the Stars took control of the game with a 10-3 run, keyed by six points from Zobeck, before the end of the half.

While Romans said he has some inexperienced players on the bench, Tuter said he has 10 players on his team that could start on any given night. Nikiski's depth got even a little thinner in the first half, when April Lofstedt, a two-year varsity starter, went down with an ankle injury.

"I'm not sure whether fatigue played a factor or not," Romans said. "I'll have to look at the game tape on that one.

 

Soldotna's Erin Wolfe moves the ball past Nikiski's Sally Glaze during the second half Friday.

Photo by M. SCOTT MOON

"I do know that it's extremely helpful to have a team as deep as they have."

The Stars used their depth to hassle Glaze all evening. Although the senior forced numerous turnovers on defense, Soldotna was able to hold her to five points on offense.

"We wanted somebody fresh on her at all times," Tuter said. "We were willing to let the rest of Nikiski's team beat us. We weren't going to let Sally Glaze beat us."

STARS 50, BULLDOGS 27

Soldotna 13 12 17 8 --50

Nikiski 9 7 3 8 --27

SOLDOTNA (50) -- A. Penner 0 0-0 0, Senette 1 0-0 2, Wolfe 2 1-2 5, Christensen 2 1-1 6, Pitts 0 0-0 0, Besse 2 0-0 4, S. Penner 2 0-1 4, Syverson 2 0-0 5, Tabor 0 0-0 0, Severson 1 1-2 3, Zobeck 6 1-2 13, Breakfield 3 2-4 8. Totals 21 6-12 50.

NIKISKI (27) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 0 0-0 0, Weaver 3 2-4 8, Loftstedt 0 0-0 0, Ellis 0 0-0 0, Rabung 2 5-8 9, Carr 2 0-0 5, Glaze 1 2-2 5, Coveyou 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 9-14 27.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 2 (Christensen 1, Syverson 1); Nikiski 2 (Carr 1, Glaze 1). Total fouls -- Soldotna 15, Nikiski 14. Fouled out -- Rabung.

BULLDOGS 63, STARS 46

Soldotna 12 8 10 16 --46

Nikiski 20 21 11 11 --63

SOLDOTNA (46) -- Turnbull 0 0-0 0, Nettles 3 0-0 8, Histand 1 0-0 2, Sizemore 4 2-6 10, Kiffmeyer 5 6-7 17, Kohler 2 0-0 5, Michal 1 0-0 2, Simpson 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 16 8-13 46.

NIKISKI (63) -- Reilly 1 0-0 2, Mellburg 0 0-2 0, J. Gerke 2 0-0 5, K. Gerke 3 2-3 8, Taylor 7 1-5 15, Holloway 6 5-8 17, Rooper 0 0-0 0, Bowlin 4 3-3 11, Hitchcock 1 2-5 5, Jorgenson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 24 13-26 63.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 4 (Nettles 2, Kiffmeyer 1, Kohler 1); Nikiski 2 (J. Gerke 1, Hitchcock 1). Fouled out -- Reilly.

Saturday

COUGARS 53, BULLDOGS 51

Service 9 19 11 14 --53

Nikiski 16 14 11 10 --51

SERVICE (53) -- Dunn 0 0-0 0, Grimes 1 1-2 3, Moore 1 1-2 3, Hargrave 1 0-0 2, Connaker 0 0-0 0, Tilbury 9 7-7 26, Hibbert 1 0-0 2, Blueford 0 0-1 0, Hardy 2 1-3 7, Jones 5 0-0 10. Totals -- 20 10-15 53.

NIKISKI (51) -- Reilly 2 3-5 7, Crumpacker 0 0-0 0, J. Gerke 1 0-1 2, K. Gerke 0 0-0 0, Taylor 3 1-2 7, Holloway 7 4-4 19, Bowlin 2 6-6 10, Hitchcock 3 0-1 6. Totals 18 14-19 51.

3-point goals -- Service 3 (Hardy 2, Tilbury); Nikiski 1 (Holloway). Total fouls -- Service 17, Nikiski 17. Fouled out -- Hitchcock.

HAWKS 56, STARS 45

Soldotna 15 10 4 16 --45

Houston 16 12 13 15 --56

SOLDOTNA (45) -- Turnbull 4 0-2 11, Nettles 2 1-2 6, Histand 1 4-4 6, Richman 0 0-2 0, Sizemore 2 0-2 4, Kiffmeyer 6 2-7 14, Kohler 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0, Michal 1 2-2 4, Simpson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 16 9-21 45.

HOUSTON (56) -- Craig 0 0-0 0, Webb 0 0-0 0, Haragan 5 0-0 11, Smith 5 1-2 11, Sandidge 10 0-1 21, Veit 0 0-0 0, Foster 0 1-2 1, Conner 1 2-3 4, Webb 1 2-2 4, Stull 1 2-2 4. Totals -- 23 4-12 56.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 4 (Turnbull 3, Nettles 1); Houston 2 (Haragan 1, Sandidge 1). Total fouls -- Soldotna 15, Houston 21. Fouled out -- Histand.

BULLDOGS 48, COUGARS 42

Service 8 7 11 16 -- 42

Nikiski 9 15 11 13 -- 48

Service (42) -- Prasil 1 3-4 5, Ziegahn 0 1-2 1, Hamilton 1 0-0 3, Kralick 0 0-0 0, Ziegahn 1 1-2 3, Hills 0 0-0 0, Stophlet 0 0-0 0, Cronin 0 0-0 0, Gilbert 3 0-0 6, Nelson 1 0-0 2, Alzheimer 10 2-4 22, Cockeham 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 17 6-12.

Nikiski (48) -- Floyd 0 0-0 0, Gillaspie 0 0-0 0, Weaver 4 1-4 9, Loftstedt 2 6-6 11, Ellis 0 0-0 0, Rabung 3 11-11 17, Carr 1 0-0 2, Glaze 3 2-2 9. Totals 13 20-23 48.

3-point goals -- Service1 (Hamilton 1), Nikiski 2 (Loftstedt 1, Glaze 1). Total fouls -- Service 11, Nikiski 7. Fouled out -- none.

BEARS 49, STARS 36

Soldotna 8 9 13 6 -- 36

Juneau 12 10 12 15 --49

Soldotna (36) -- Senette 2 1-1 5, Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Besse 3 2-4 8, Penner 0 0-0 0, Syverson 0 0-0 0, Severson 0 0-0 0, Breakfield 4 3-4 11, Zobeck 5 2-22 12, Christensen 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 14 8-11 36.

Juneau (49) -- K. Parr 2 0-0 5, Bus 1 0-0 2, S. Parr 2 2-2 6, Cesar 5 1-1 12, Capacci 5 0-0 10, Rehfeld3 1-3 7, Larson 3 0-0 6, McKoy 0 1-2 1, Hahnlen 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 21 5-8 49.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 0, Juneau 2 (K. Parr 1, Cesar 1). Total fouls -- Soldotna 5, Juneau 3. Fouled out -- none.



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