Seldovia senior guard Olivia Turner had never beaten Cook Inlet Academy in her high school career, and neither had the Sea Otters.
Friday at CIA in Peninsula Conference basketball play, both Turner and the Seldovia girls beat the Eagles, with Turner pouring in 32 points to lead the charge in a 49-29 victory. Seldovia is now 1-0 in the league and overall, while CIA is 0-2 and 0-2.
“It was pretty good, but we’ve got a lot of things to work on,” Turner said. “We’ve got a lot of new players but it’s nice to beat CIA. We’ve lost a lot to them in the past.”
The Eagles have gone to state the past nine years, but have a lot of growing to do if they want a 10th-straight trip with a roster that features four freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and a senior, plus a first-year head coach in Jennie Hammond. CIA lost its opening game 41-2 to Ninilchik, and Hammond said the Eagles just had to keep improving. Friday, that happened.
“It was a huge improvement,” Hammond said. “Our offense was a lot better. We were looking to shoot this time.”
The Sea Otters came out hot, with Turner scoring five points on a 9-0 run to start the game.
“I was ready to go and get a quick lead,” Turner said. “In the past, other teams have gotten a quick lead on us. It can make the other team get down and it’s hard to recover from.”
But CIA proved quickly there would be no 41-2 result this time. Driving to the bucket against Seldovia’s man-to-man defense, the Eagles went on a 14-4 run to take a 14-13 lead on a layup by freshman Adara Warren with 6 minutes, 4 seconds, left in the second quarter.
Warren played in her first game for CIA and provided quite a boost with 14 points. But at that point, Seldovia assistant Hilary Acovak, who was filling in for head coach Damara Burnett, switched to a 1-3-1 zone.
“I wanted to try man at first to get them moving and ready to play,” Acovak said. “Once they got moving, I changed to a 1-3-1.”
Hammond said her squad had trouble adjusting to the change because of its inexperience. Turner pounced and scored the last seven points of the half. Turner and Ariana Waterbury then scored buckets coming out of the half for a 28-18 lead with 5:15 left in the third.
With the Eagles coming back, Turner said she and Marina Chissus, who had 10 points, have been playing together since sixth grade and have a lot of confidence in each other.
“Marina and I have an understanding that when it’s time to go, it’s time to go,” Turner said.
CIA got better at attacking the zone as the game wore on, but turnovers and the constant scoring of Turner kept a comeback at bay. The Eagles had one turnover in the first quarter, four in the second, and five apiece in the third and fourth.
“They have some good 3 shooters,” said Hammond, who also got nine points from sophomore Maddie Carey. “We knew that coming into the game. We tried to bother them as much as we possibly could.”
Sea Otters 49, Eagles 29
Seldovia 13 11 14 11 —49
CIA 12 6 8 3 —29
SELDOVIA (49) — Elvsaas 0 0-0 0, Chissus 3 4-6 10, Metcalf 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0 0-0 0, Romanoff 0 0-0 0, LaBelle 1 0-0 2, Turner 14 2-7 32, Waterbury 2 0-0 5, Polakova 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 6-13 49.
COOK INLET ACADEMY (29) — Hammond 0 0-0 0, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Carey 3 1-2 9, Cizek 0 0-2 0, McGahan 2 2-7 6, Warren 6 0-0 14. Totals — 11 3-11 29.
3-point goals — Seldovia 3 (Turner 2, Waterbury); CIA 4 (Carey 2, Warren 2). Team fouls — Seldovia 16, CIA 9. Fouled out — none.