The Ninilchik boys basketball team won the Class 2A Interior Conference title Friday, March 10, 2023, in Glennallen, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Robin Moore)

The Ninilchik boys basketball team won the Class 2A Interior Conference title Friday, March 10, 2023, in Glennallen, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Robin Moore)

Ninilchik boys defend Interior Conference title

The Ninilchik boys defeated Cordova 60-31 on Friday in Glennallen to win the Interior Conference tournament.

Ninilchik (21-5 overall) won its second straight title in the Class 2A conference and has not lost a league game since moving to the Interior for the 2021-22 season. Ninilchik also earned the right to defend its Class 2A state title starting Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

Ninilchik led 13-4 after the first quarter and ran away with the game from there.

Jaylin Scott paced Ninilchik with 18 points, while Cole Moore had 17, Peyton Edens had 15, Kade McCorison had five, Wyatt McCloskey had three and Rowen Mahoney had two.

For Cordova, Jaykob Thorne had nine, while John Itliong and Wyatt Sorenson had eight, and Xavier Russin had six.

The No. 5 Ninilchik girls ended their season 5-17 overall with a 43-35 loss to No. 3 Nenana.

The Wolverines were able to stay with the Lynx for most of the game. Nenana led 10-7 after a quarter, 24-19 at the half and 30-29 after three quarters.

For Ninilchik, Taylor Rickard hit for 17, while Kylee Rickard had 12, Riley Tucker had three and Lily Berger had two.

Rhea Kanek had 11 points to lead the Lynx, while Kristy Housler and Kiara Michel had eight, Mane Housler had six, Nena Johnson had five, Karla Beans had three and Shayauna Burkowski had two.

Class 3A Peninsula Conference tournament

The Grace Christian girls and boys swept the conference titles in their home gym to earn berths to the Class 3A state tournament.

The Grizzlies girls, the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 2 Seward 68-32 to drop the Seahawks to 13-7 overall. Seward will play No. 3 Kenai at noon today for second place and the conference’s second seed to state.

The Grizzlies boys, also the top seed, defeated No. 2 Kenai 62-37 to drop the Kardinals to 14-11 overall. Kenai will play No. 3 Seward at 1:30 p.m. today for second place and the conference’s second seed to state.

Earlier in the girls tourney, No. 3 Kenai defeated No. 4 Homer 44-23 to move to the second-place game. The Mariners saw their season end at 8-18, while Kenai improved to 15-12.

Kenai came out and dominated the first half, taking a 31-7 lead. Emma Beck had 13 of her 25 points for Kenai in the first half. Chloe Goldsby added nine, while Malerie Nunn had five, and Ella Yragui and Emilee Wilson each had two.

For Homer, Minadora Reutov, Emily Owens and Bethany Engebretsen had four, Channing Lowney had three, and Hannah Stonorov, Juliann Techie, Lawson Alexson and Gracie Miotke had two.

In the first girls game of the day, Kenai defeated No. 5 Nikiski 44-30 to end the Bulldogs season at 7-19.

The Kardinals led 10-5 after the first quarter, 22-16 at halftime and 30-22 after three quarters.

Emma Beck had 17 for Kenai, while Chloe Goldsby and Malerie Nunn had eight, Ella Yragui had seven, and Rylie Sparks and Mycka Phillips each had two.

For Nikiski, Avery White had 15, Maggie Grenier had five, Shelby Burman, Savanna Stock and Ember Nelson had three, and Avery Ellis had one.

Earlier in the boys tournament, the Seahawks defeated No. 5 Nikiski 54-42 to end Nikiski’s season at 5-21 and move to the second-place game. Seward moves to 9-11 overall.

The Seahawks led 16-12 after a quarter, 26-20 at the half and 39-31 after three quarters.

Bergen Davis had 16 to lead Seward, while Ozzy Deel had 13, Ben Ambrosiani had 10, Nick Ambrosiani had eight, Noah Price, Van Shank and Emerson Cross had two, and Jerick Senecal had one.

For Nikiski, Drew Handley pumped in 19, while Charlie Chamberlain had 12, Braeden Porter had six, David Weathers had three and Seth Payne had two.

In the first boys game of the day, Seward defeated No. 4 Homer 46-41. The Mariners saw their season end at 3-22.

Seward led 12-9 after the first quarter, but trailed 22-21 at halftime. The Seahawks then stormed to a 36-25 lead after the third quarter and held off the Mariners in the fourth quarter.

Ben Ambrosiani had 17 for Seward, while Nick Ambrosiani had 12, Bergen Davis had nine, Ozzy Deel had six and Emerson Cross had two. For Homer, Morgan Techie had 13, Trent Fell had 12, Lance Seneff had eight, Lucas Story had five, Niko Sulczynski had two and Nathan Overson had one.

Class 4A Northern Lights Conference tournament

The No. 4 seed Soldotna girls lost in the semifinals in Kodiak to top seed Anchorage Christian Schools 96-29. The Stars fall to 12-13 overall.

The Stars play for third place today at 11:45 a.m. The loser of the third-place game plays for fourth place at 3:15 p.m.

Anaulie Sedivy, Kaytlin McAnelly and Katelyn Morrison had six to lead SoHi, while Josie Sheridan had four, Alyssa McDonald had three, and Morgan Lemm and Tanner Inman had two.

For the Lions, Sayvia Sellers had 36, Maliyah Alex had 13, Chloe Auble and Morgan MacDonald had 10, Kelcie Kronberger had nine, Jasmine Schaeffer had six, Nyami Mathot had five, Cadence Wood had three, and Liberty Whitesell and Nyawoon Majiok had two.

The No. 5 Soldotna boys defeated No. 6 Palmer 55-44 to move to Saturday’s fourth-place game at 1:30 p.m. The Stars move to 8-16 overall and avenge a 55-51 loss to Palmer on March 6.

The Stars grabbed an 11-6 lead after the first quarter, but Palmer only trailed 18-17 at halftime. SoHi then took a 39-34 lead after three quarters.

Andrew Pieh pumped in 20 points to lead SoHi, while Cameron Laroque had 10, Will Inman and Izaiah Gilbert had eight, Jakob Brown had four, Eli Corbett had three and Zac Buckbee had two.

For Palmer, Isaac Evans had nine, Antonio Sheldon had eight, KJ Henry and Deandre Nika had six, Nolan Garner had four, Westin Bullock had three and Fisher Adams had two.

The Stars will play the loser of the game between the two semifinal losers for fourth place.

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