Nikolaevsk’s Markiana Yakunin shoots a 3-pointer against King Cove on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikolaevsk’s Markiana Yakunin shoots a 3-pointer against King Cove on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik girls fall at state

The Ninilchik girls ran into a Class 1A juggernaut Thursday afternoon, but came away knowing the future is bright.

The Wolverines fell 43-26 against the defending Class 1A state girls champions Scammon Bay in a quarterfinal meeting at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

The loss dropped Ninilchik into an 8 a.m. contest today against Klawock in the championship consolation bracket. A win today would put Ninilchik into the fourth-place game Saturday.

The undefeated Eagles have made a name for themselves with their unrelenting defensive press and remarkable rebounding.

In the end, Scammon Bay outrebounded Ninilchik 15-5 on the offensive glass, forced the Wolverines into 23 turnovers (compared to just seven for Scammon Bay), and more than doubled Ninilchik’s total field goal attempts, 60 to 29.

“They’re just relentless,” said first-year Ninilchik head coach Josh Demlow. “They’re coming when a shot goes up, and they’re crashing the glass.”

Scammon Bay’s tallest player stands at 5-foot-8, while Ninilchik has three players above that, topped out by sophomore DeeAnn White at 6-0.

However, Scammon Bay feasted on the offensive glass, putting back numerous shots that Ninilchik wasn’t getting.

“There’s a couple adjustments I could’ve made, but I think we made them too late,” Demlow said.

Eight different players scored for Scammon Bay, led by Robyn Hunter’s eight points. White led Ninilchik with 13 points and Olivia Delgado chipped in 10 with seven rebounds.

Demlow said he pleased with how his players guarded Class 1A girls Player of the Year Kiah Charlie, who was contained to four points on 0-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

“That’s the lowest (number of) points they’ve scored all season,” Demlow said. “Unfortunately, we had to expend so much energy defensively that it was a struggle for us on offense.”

Ninilchik took a brief 9-8 lead late in the first quarter thanks to a couple rebounded shots, but it did not last long. Charlie went coast to coast for a layup that put Scammon Bay ahead again, and Almira Kaganak stole the ensuing inbounds pass for another layup.

Another steal and bucket by Kaganak early in the second quarter capped a quick 13-2 run that left the Eagles up 21-11. Scammon Bay finished the first half leading 27-13.

Ninilchik went shot for shot with Scammon Bay in the third quarter, which ended 38-23. A scoreless run of nearly four minutes to begin the fourth quarter sealed the loss for the Wolverines.

Remarkably, only two free-throw attempts were taken in the game. Ninilchik went 1 for 2 overall and Scammon Bay did not take a foul shot.

King Cove girls 67, Nikolaevsk 41

The Nikolaevsk girls struggled to keep up in a state quarterfinal loss to King Cove on Thursday morning at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The loss dropped the Warriors into the consolation side of the championship bracket, pitting them against Aniak today at 9:30 a.m.

Elaina Mack and McKenna Gould scored 20 points each to lead King Cove, while Jalaya Duarte grabbed 12 boards.

Freshman forward Elizabeth Fefelov led Nikolaevsk with 11 points and eight rebounds. Nikolaevsk head coach Bea Klaich, in her sixth consecutive state appearance as a coach, said the slow start put the Warriors in a hole from which they could not recover.

“They run their screen well, and they shot 53 percent,” Klaich said. “They’re much improved, but we are too.”

After a three-point loss to King Cove earlier in the year, a close matchup was expected, but the T-Jacks built up a quick lead, staking out a 12-0 advantage in the first four minutes.

Fefelov scored five points in a 7-0 run to help the Warriors claw back to 20-13 early in the second quarter, but turnovers continued to dog Nikolaevsk.

Overall, Nikolaevsk suffered 25 turnovers, and were outrebounded 36-26.

By halftime, King Cove led 39-21 on the strength of a 21-12 rebounding advantage. Gould had 18 points at the break, and the T-Jacks shot 53 percent as a team.

A pair of triples by Mack and Sadie Newton opened up the third quarter and a steal and a bucket by Gould pushed the lead to 47-21.

“They proved that first game wasn’t a fluke,” Klaich said.

Thursday girls

Eagles 43, Wolverines 26

Scammon Bay 12 15 11 5 — 43

Ninilchik 9 4 10 3 — 26

SCAMMON BAY (43) — Smith 0 0-0 0, Charlie 2 0-0 4, Ulak 0 0-0 0, Rivers 2 0-0 4, Sundown 3 0-0 7, Rivers 0 0-0 0, Rivers 0 0-0 0, Kaganak 2 0-0 5, Hunter 3 0-0 8, Akerelrea 3 0-0 6, Rivers 2 0-0 4, Ulak 3 0-0 5. Totals 19 0-0 43.

NINILCHIK (26) — Delgado 5 0-0 10, Kain 1 0-0 3, Kreger 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, White 6 1-2 13, Cooper 0 0-0 0, Clark 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 1-2 26.

3-point goals — Scammon Bay 5 (Hunter 2, Sundown 1, Kaganak 1, Ulak 1); Ninilchik 1 (Kain).

Team fouls — Scammon Bay 6; Ninilchik 5. Fouled out — none.

T-Jacks 67, Warriors 41

King Cove 20 19 13 15 — 67

Nikolaevsk 6 15 12 8 — 41

KING COVE (67) — Aichele 0 0-0 0, Uttecht 4 0-0 8, Brandell 3 2-4 8, Newton 2 0-0 5, Mack 8 0-0 20, Gould 9 2-2 20, Duarte 3 0-1 6, Yatchmeneff 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 4-7 67.

NIKOLAEVSK (41) — So. Klaich 0 0-0 0, Kr. Klaich 2 2-3 6, Yakunin 1 2-2 4, J. Fefelov 2 0-0 4, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Lasiter 0 0-0 0, E. Fefelov 5 1-2 11, V. Fefelov 4 0-0 10, Brown 0 0-0 0, Mametieff 0 0-0 0, Hickman 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-7 41.

3-point goals — King Cove 5 (Mack 4, Newton 1); Nikolaevsk 2 (V. Fefelov 2).

Team fouls — King Cove 9; Nikolaevsk 8. Fouled out — none.

Nikolaevsk’s Elizabeth Fefelov tangles with King Cove’s Jalaya Duarte (35) Thursday, March 16, 2017, afternoon at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikolaevsk’s Elizabeth Fefelov tangles with King Cove’s Jalaya Duarte (35) Thursday, March 16, 2017, afternoon at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikolaevsk’s Chelsea Johnson (12) dribbles to the rim against King Cove on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikolaevsk’s Chelsea Johnson (12) dribbles to the rim against King Cove on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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