Nikiski girls keep on winning at home Tip Off tourney

Nikiski girls keep on winning at home Tip Off tourney

A 47-30 win over the Valdez Buccaneers Saturday at Nikiski High School paid double rewards for the Nikiski girls hoops team.

The most obvious was that the Bulldogs won the 28th annual Nikiski Tip Off tournament for the 12th time in program history and the first since 2014.

The less apparent bonus was that the victory counted in the Win Percentage Index (WPI) standings, which at the Class 3A level of basketball sends one team, which did not automatically qualify via the region tournament, to state at the end of the year.

Although Valdez is not in Nikiski’s conference, both teams are 3A competitors, so the win could be crucial by the time the season winds down.

“This was a huge win for us,” said Nikiski head coach Scott Anderson, who also picked up his first win as a coach over Valdez. “We haven’t had many close games this year so it was good for the girls to be in that situation.”

In the boys championship, the Eagle River Wolves took down Kodiak 61-38 to win the Tip Off crown.

Last year, Valdez won the Aurora Conference championship and earned the third-highest WPI result by the end of the season to make it to state.

As the de facto championship game Saturday — Valdez and Nikiski both entered the day with a perfect 2-0 tournament record — the home team Bulldogs rolled out to a fast start against the Bucs that held throughout the contest. Sophomore guard Bethany Carstens provided a spark by scoring eight of Nikiski’s first 10 points.

“That got us going, we had a lot of energy from that,” Carstens said. “We kept getting steals and scoring from that.”

Carstens finished with a game-high 22 points and, along with senior Avery Kornstad, was named to the girls All-Tournament team.

Valdez’s biggest threat came from junior Bobbi Mott, a deadly scorer from inside that opened the weekend for the Bucs by scoring 32 points in a win against Kodiak. Mott finished with 15 points to lead the Bucs.

Nikiski led 21-6 after one quarter, but only managed four points in the second quarter as Valdez turned up their defensive press. The Bulldogs led 25-17 at halftime.

By the midpoint of the third quarter, Mott and the Bucs had cut the lead to 27-21, but the Bulldogs defense got going with stingy play, led by Kelsey Clark and Kornstad. Carstens picked up the Nikiski offensewith six of the next eight points, capping the run with a steal and a layup to boost the Bulldogs to a 35-21 lead.

A corner 3-pointer by Clark pushed the lead to 40-25 with 5:19 left in the fourth quarter, leaving Valdez with little chance of a comeback.

In the other girls game, Kodiak toppled Service 42-34.

West JV boys 61, Nikiski 55, OT

The Eagles rallied back from a slow start to topple the Bulldogs in overtime Saturday at Nikiski High School.

Nikiski opened on a 9-0 run, then stretched the lead to 15-4 before the first quarter was finished and 25-13 before the second quarter was done.

Following a 34-26 halftime deficit, however, the Eagles answered with a 12-2 run to start the second half and battle Nikiski down the stretch and into overtime, which West outscored Nikisi 14-8 to take the win.

After the game, Nikiski head coach Reid Kornstad was left to lament the 26 turnovers the Bulldogs suffered in the second half.

“Inexperience,” was Kornstad’s answer to why Nikiski fell short. “We need to learn how to practice competitively if we expect to compete in big games.”

The loss left the home team 0-3 over the course of the weekend, last among the four boys teams at the Tip Off tournament.

Jace Kornstad led Nikiski with 22 points, including four 3’s, while Ian Johnson chipped in 21 on 11-for-17 shooting from the free throw line. Kornstad and Braden Ellis were both named to the boys All-Tournament team.

West led 44-40 with 5:20 left in the game, but a triple by Kornstad with 2:20 to play tied the proceedings at 44 apiece. The Eagles answered with a trey from Ian Beals, but Garrett Ellis knotted it up yet again with a 3-pointer with 1:43 remaining. The tie stood to the end of regulation.

In overtime, West opened the four-minute period with an 11-2 run, including six straight free throw points that all but had the game iced up with 1:07 left.


Kodiak boys 84, Nikiski 43

The Class 4A Kodiak Bears nearly doubled up on the 3A Nikiski Bulldogs with a high-powered win Friday night at the Nikiski Tip Off tournament in Nikiski.

Louis Rocheleau recorded a game-high 22 points on six 3-pointers for the Bears, and Keith Osowski followed that up with 15 points.

Jace Kornstad scored 13 of his 15 total points in the second half to pace Nikiski, while Braden Ellis notched 11.

After a slow start on offense, Kodiak surged in the second and third quarters, putting up 66 points in just 16 minutes of game time to stake out a commanding 77-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Nikiski girls 52, Kodiak 20

The Bulldogs overpowered the Class 4A Kodiak Bears in a Friday night clash at the Nikiski Tip Off tournament, a win that put Nikiski 2-0 in the round-robin tourney.

Bethany Carstens led the way with 22 points, 16 of that coming in the first half. Fellow sophomore Emma Wik buried four 3-pointers to finish with 20 points.

After shutting Kodiak out in the first quarter to lead 10-0, Nikiski poured on the steam in the second with 19 points to take a 29-9 lead. The Bulldogs outscored the Bears 17-5 in the third quarter to effectively ice the game.

Valdez girls 52, Service 33

The Valdez Buccaneers toppled the Cougars Friday at the Nikiski Tip Off tournament.

Eagle River boys 67, West JV 28

Friday in Nikiski, the Wolves downed the JV Eagles squad to continue their march to the title.

All-Tournament boys team — Jace Kornstad, Nikiski; Bryson Rollman, Eagle River; Louis Rocheleau, Kodiak; Jerome Morzo, Kodiak; Braden Ellis, Nikiski.

All-Tournament girls — Bethany Carstens, Nikiski; Katie Pierce, Service; Zennia Chia, Kodiak; Avery Kornstad, Nikiski; Tori Franciosi, Valdez.

Boys MVP — Savion Wilson, Eagle River.

Girls MVP — Bobbi Mott, Valdez.

Boys 3-point champ — Augustine Cauging, Kodiak (16).

Girls 3-point champ — Emma Wik, Nikiski (13).

Boys free throw champ — Ryan Atkins, Eagle River (22-25).

Girls free throw champ — Avery Kornstad, Nikiski (21-25).

Saturday boys

Eagles 61, Bulldogs 55, OT

West JV 9 17 12 9 14 — 61

Nikiski 15 19 6 7 8 — 55

WEST JV (61) — Latino 0 0-0 0, Guidry 0 0-0 0, Montalbo 1 2-2 4, Beals 5 1-2 16, Washington 2 0-2 4, Vaughan 3 1-3 8, Wilson 1 4-6 6, Lawence 3 4-6 12, Snow 5 0-1 11. Totals 20 12-22 61.

NIKISKI (55) — Johnson 5 11-17 21, Weathers 0 0-1 0, G. Ellis 3 2-2 9, Kornstad 7 4-4 22, Litke 1 0-0 2, B. Ellis 0 1-2 1, DeSiena 0 0-0 0, Bridges 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 18-26 55.

3-point goals — West JV 9 (Beals 5, Lawence 2, Vaughan 1, Snow 1); Nikiski 5 (Kornstad 4, G. Ellis 1).

Team fouls — West JV 20; Nikiski 17. Fouled out — Kornstad, Montalbo, Washington, Vaughan.

Saturday girls

Bulldogs 47, Buccaneers 30

Valdez 6 11 7 6 — 30

Nikiski 21 4 10 12 — 47

VALDEZ (30 — Watts 0 2-2 2, MacDonald 0 1-4 1, Holmes 0 0-0 0, Mott 5 4-5 15, Fleming 2 0-0 4, Hansen 0 4-4 4, Franciosi 1 2-5 4. Totals 8 13-20 30.

NIKISKI (47) — Wik 3 0-0 8, Pitt 1 0-0 2, Vollertsen 1 1-2 3, Carstens 10 2-2 22, Kornstad 1 0-0 2, Clark 2 2-2 6, Jackson 2 0-0 4, Porter 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 5-6 47.

3-point goals — Valdez 1 (Mott); Nikiski 2 (Wik 2).

Team fouls — Valdez 7; Nikiski 15. Fouled out — none.

Friday boys

Bears 84, Bulldogs 43

Kodiak 11 34 32 7 — 84

Nikiski 6 10 16 11 — 43

KODIAK (84) — Basuel 4 3-3 12, Rocheleau 8 0-0 22, Panamora 4 0-0 9, Morzo 0 4-4 4, Cauging 4 0-0 9, Walker 4 0-2 8, Osowski 6 3-3 15, Bennett 0 0-0 0, Mangrobang 2 0-0 5, Koller 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 10-12 84.

NIKISKI (43) — Johnson 3 2-3 8, Weathers 0 0-0 0, G. Ellis 0 2-2 2, Kornstad 4 4-5 15, Litke 0 2-2 2, Handley 1 0-0 3, B. Ellis 3 3-4 11, DeSiena 0 0-0 0, Bridges 1 0-2 2. Totals 12 13-18 43.

3-point goals — Kodiak 10 (Rocheleau 6, Basuel 1, Panamora 1, Cauging 1, Mangrobang 1); Nikiski 6 (Kornstad 3, B. Ellis 2, Handley 1).

Team fouls — Kodiak 18; Nikiski 15. Fouled out — Johnson.

Friday girls

Bulldogs 52, Bears 20

Kodiak 0 9 5 6 — 20

Nikiski 10 19 17 6 — 52

KODIAK (20) — DelaCruz 0 0-0 0, Buchell 1 1-2 3, Cruz 0 0-0 0, Macatuna 0 0-2 0, Mutch 2 0-0 5, Chia 2 2-2 6, Kernan 2 0-0 4, Nocon 0 0-2 0, Carstens 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 3-8 20.

NIKISKI (52) — Jefferys 0 0-0 0, Wik 8 0-0 20, Pitt 0 0-0 0, Vollertsen 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-2 0, Carstens 10 1-3 22, Kornstad 1 0-0 2, Clark 1 2-2 4, Jackson 1 0-2 2, Porter 1 0-0 2, Bostic 0 0-0 0, Dreusedow 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 3-9 52.

3-point goals — Kodiak 1 (Mutch); Nikiski 5 (Wik 4, Carstens 1).

Team fouls — Kodiak 5; Nikiski 9. Fouled out — none.

Nikiski girls keep on winning at home Tip Off tourney
Nikiski girls keep on winning at home Tip Off tourney
Nikiski girls keep on winning at home Tip Off tourney
Nikiski’s Brianna Vollertsen (right) defends Valdez forward Bobbi Mott on Saturday at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski’s Brianna Vollertsen (right) defends Valdez forward Bobbi Mott on Saturday at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski forward Ian Johnson (10) puts up a shot against the West JV defense Saturday at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski forward Ian Johnson (10) puts up a shot against the West JV defense Saturday at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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