Nikiski’s Kaitlyn Johnson goes up for a shot against Kenai Central’s Logan Satathite on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski’s Kaitlyn Johnson goes up for a shot against Kenai Central’s Logan Satathite on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, at Nikiski High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Selection Sunday: Kenai girls earn at-large state berth, other qualifiers learn opponents

The Kenai Central girls basketball team nabbed the at-large berth to the Class 3A state tournament as the Alaska School Activities Association announced the full brackets for the state tournament Sunday.

The Kardinals, making their first appearance at state since 2002, will be joined by Kenai Peninsula squads Soldotna girls, Soldotna boys, Nikiski girls, Cook Inlet Academy girls, Nikolaevsk girls and Nikolaevsk boys. All the other squads earned automatic berths.

The Kenai girls finished 18-9. Coach Cary Calvert, who earns a state berth in his fourth year as coach, said the main competition for the at-large berth was 19-9 Hutchison.

“Obviously, we really didn’t know,” Calvert said. “We were looking at Hutchison all day long trying to figure out where we stood.”

The at-large berth means seniors Jaycie Calvert, Brooke Satathite, Hayley Maw and Maddie Gallaway live to fight another day. The Kards didn’t have a selection party, but quickly caught up via text once the berth was announced.

Cary Calvert knows what the berth means after watching his daughter’s reaction.

“I know Jaycie’s been up all night running all of the numbers,” Cary Calvert said.

The Kardinals also picked up the No. 5 seed, meaning they play No. 4 Mt. Edgecumbe at 12:30 p.m. on March 21 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

“The 5 seed is great for us,” Calvert said. “Mt. Edgecumbe is a lot like us.”

The berth comes the year the Kardinals moved from Class 4A to 3A due to increasing enrollment, but Calvert said that didn’t diminish the accomplishment. He pointed out conference foe Anchorage Christian Schools is the best team in the state, regardless of class, while another league foe, Nikiski, recently defeated Class 4A qualifier Soldotna.

The Bulldogs got into the tournament with their automatic berth, earned the No. 3 seed and play Valdez at 8 p.m. March 21.

“There’s no way in the world Nikiski’s a 3 seed,” Calvert said. “They’re a 2 seed. They had that wrong.”

The Soldotna girls are the No. 4 seed in the Class 4A tournament. They play West Anchorage at 9:30 a.m. March 21. The Stars boys are the No. 5 seed and play West at 11 a.m. March 21.

The Class 1A tournament opens for Class 1A schools CIA and Nikolaevsk on Wednesday. This tournament features an opening day that determines whether a team goes to the championship or consolation tournament.

The Cook Inlet girls play Kake at 8 a.m., the Nikolaevsk girls play New Halen at 12:30 p.m. and the Nikolaevsk boys play Sand Point at 11 a.m.

More in Sports

Bucs rally in 8th to saddle Oilers with 1st loss

The Peninsula Oilers fell to the Anchorage Bucs 6-2 on Thursday in… Continue reading

A wild hare stops for a rest in May 2023 in Anchor Point, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)
Out of the Office: No work, all play

With the last of the snow patches finally melted away, it’s time… Continue reading

Oilers topple Glacier Pilots in opener

The Peninsula Oilers opened their season by defeating the Anchorage Glacier Pilots… Continue reading

Twins swept by Service

The American Legion Twins were swept in Anchorage by Service on Wednesday,… Continue reading

Twins open season by stopping Dimond

The American Legion Twins opened their season by topping Dimond 16-3 on… Continue reading

Oilers, Twins open seasons this week

The American Legion Twins and Peninsula Oilers open their 2023 seasons this… Continue reading

The Kenai River Brown Bears mob Ryan Finch after he scored the game-winning goal in overtime against the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Browns Bears announce commitments for Holt, Finch

The Kenai River Brown Bears recently announced college commitments for Ryan Finch… Continue reading

Morgan Aldridge leads riders down a hill at the start of Week 3 of the Soldotna Cycle Series on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling’s Aldridge wins Eagle River Duathlon

Sterling’s Morgan Aldridge won the women’s overall at the Eagle River Duathlon… Continue reading

Soldotna's Trenton Ohnemus delivers to Kenai Central in the Division II state championship game Saturday, June 4, 2023, at Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi tops Kenai to repeat as Division II state baseball champs

The Soldotna baseball team retained the Division II state title with a… Continue reading

Most Read