Cook Inlet Academy will play host to the Peninsula Conference basketball tournament today through Saturday, with two girls and two boys Class 1A state berths on the line.
The defending champions are Nikolaevsk on the boys side and Cook Inlet Academy on the girls side.
The Warriors boys will be looking for a seventh-straight state berth. Except for last season, all of those berths came by getting second place.
Nikolaevsk will have to play above its seed to return to state. The Warriors put up a 6-4 conference record this season to earn the third seed. They open tourney play at 7:30 p.m. today against No. 6 Nanwalek, which has an 0-10 record.
The top seed went to Lumen Christi, which had a 9-1 record in the conference. The Archangels, who last won the conference in 2013, finished second last season to earn the other state berth.
Lumen Christi will play the winner of No. 4 Birchwood Christian (5-5) and No. 5 Cook Inlet Academy (2-8) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Birchwood and CIA play today at 4:30 p.m.
Ninilchik earned the No. 2 seed with an 8-2 record and plays the winner of Nikolaevsk and Nanwalek at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Wolverines won the conference title in 2016 and 2017. Last season, Ninilchik lost the title game to Nikolaevsk, then lost the second-place game to Lumen to come up short of the state tournament.
On the girls side, Nikolaevsk will look to get back on top of the conference. The Warriors won in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017, but were bumped off the top spot by Lumen Christi in 2018 and Cook Inlet Academy last season. Nikolaevsk has been to state in seven of the past eight seasons.
This season, Nikolaevsk took the top seed with a 10-0 record. At 3 p.m. Thursday, the Warriors will play the winner of No. 4 Ninilchik (4-6) and No. 5 Lumen Christi (3-7). That Ninilchik-Lumen game is today at 3 p.m.
Ninilchik has won 10 conference titles, the last coming in 2016.
The No. 2 seed went to the Birchwood Christian (7-3), which has never won a Peninsula Conference title. At 6 p.m. Thursday, Birchwood will play the winner of No. 3 CIA (6-4) and No. 6 Kodiak ESS (0-10).
CIA is looking to defend its conference title. The Eagles won state in 2013, had a string of nine straight state appearances snapped in 2016, then went dormant in 2017 before climbing back to the top last season. CIA won the conference from 2010 to 2012.
Peninsula Conference tournament
at Cook Inlet Academy
Game 1 — Ninilchik vs. Lumen, 3 p.m.
Game 2 — CIA vs. Kodiak, 6 p.m.
Game 3 — Nikolaevsk vs. Game 1 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 4 — Game 2 winner vs. Birchwood, 6 p.m.
Game 5 — Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser, noon
Game 6 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m.
Game 7 (Championship) — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:30 p.m.
Game 8 — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 10 a.m.
Game 9 (Second place) — Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 1 — Birchwood vs. Cook Inlet Academy, 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 — Nikolaevsk vs. Nanwalek, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 — Lumen Christi vs. Game 1 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 — Ninilchik vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 6 — Game 4 loser vs. Game 1 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Game 7 (Championship) — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8 p.m.
Game 8 — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 11:30 a.m.
Game 9 (Third place) — Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 2:30 p.m.