Ninilchik’s Olivia Delgado keeps the ball away from Selawik’s Kali Howarth Wednesday in an opening round contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Olivia Delgado keeps the ball away from Selawik’s Kali Howarth Wednesday in an opening round contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

State hoops: Ninilchik girls fall on opening day

A mix of youth and mistakes sent the Ninilchik girls tumbling to an opening day loss Wednesday morning at the Class 1A state basketball tournament.

Ninilchik lost 35-28 to Selawik’s Davis Ramoth School in a play-in game at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, dropping the Wolverines into the consolation bracket that begins today. Ninilchik will face Alak tonight at 6:30 p.m. in an elimination game.

Ninilchik has been here before. Two years ago, the Wolverines lost on opening day but won out to capture the consolation championship. This time around, head coach Josh Demlow said Ninilchik is prepared to do the same.

“I told them in life, you’re going to experience setbacks and challenges,” Demlow said. “And when you fall short of your goals, that’s OK.

“The new goal is to go out and win the consolation bracket.”

Ninilchik junior DeeAnn White dominated in the loss, notching a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 8 for 19 inside the arc.

However, Ninilchik as a team struggled from the floor, shooting 19 percent in the first half and sinking just 1 of 13 total shots from 3-point land.

“I think we could’ve done better not to let them get in our heads,” White said. “We just got a little flustered.”

Selawik’s Marjorie Hingsbergen led the Wolves with 16 points, six boards and five steals, while shooting 6 for 8 from the field, including three treys. Hingsbergen had 11 of Selawik’s 13 points in a third-quarter surge that left Ninilchik scrambling the rest of the way.

Demlow said he thought Ninilchik was getting the looks at the rim it wanted, but the ball wasn’t falling the Wolverines’ way.

“When you play like that and leave everything on the floor, there are no regrets,” Demlow said. “We played hard. We just struggled making layups and finishing.”

Ninilchik’s shooting improved to 35 percent in the second half, but so did Selawik’s, which jumped to 42 percent.

Tied 15-all at halftime, Selawik received a boost with a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from Hingsbergen 70 seconds into the third quarter. Ninilchik countered with a steal and layup from White, followed by a rebound putback bucket by Olivia Delgado that had the Wolverines up 19-18 with 5:24 left in the third.

However, Hingsbergen began escaping from Ninilchik’s hold and found two breakaway layups that had the Wolverines chasing after them. Hingsbergen ended the third quarter with a corner 3 that put Selawik up 28-24.

After a scoring drought in the first four minutes of the fourth, White hit a baseline jumper with 3:21 left in the game to cut the deficit to 30-28, but Hingsbergen answered with another transition layup with 1:58 left. In its final desperate minute, Ninilchik suffered several turnovers on bad passes that cost them a shot to rally.

“I feel like we could’ve made better passes,” White said. “I could’ve had more rebounding and maybe looked for my teammates more.”

Moving forward, Ninilchik is facing elimination in every game, putting the onus on execution and avoiding mistakes, White said.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” she said. “We just need to keep pushing.”

Wednesday girls

Wolves 35, Wolverines 28

Selawik 10 5 13 7 —35

Ninilchik 6 9 9 4 —28

SELAWIK (35) — Hingsbergen 6 1-3 16, L. Ramoth 1 0-0 2, Ticket 0 0-0 0, Howarth 2 0-0 6, Sampson 0 0-0 0, Skin 0 0-0 0, Stalker 0 0-0 0, J. Ramoth 0 0-0 0, Howarth 4 1-3 9, Ticket 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 2-6 35.

NINILCHIK (28) — Delgado 2 0-0 5, Robuck 0 0-2 0, Koch 0 0-0 0, White 8 5-8 21, Cooper 1 0-0 2, Okonek 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 5-10 28.

3-point goals — Selawik 5 (Hingsbergen 3, Howarth 2); Ninilchik 1 (Delgado).

Team fouls — Selawik 11, Ninilchik 8. Fouled out — none.

Ninilchik’s Isabella Koch drives the lane Wednesday in an opening round contest against Selawik’s Davis Ramoth school at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Isabella Koch drives the lane Wednesday in an opening round contest against Selawik’s Davis Ramoth school at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Olivia Delgado (right) finds herself surrounded by Selawik defenders Laura Ramoth (5) and Marita Ticket, Wednesday in an opening round contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Olivia Delgado (right) finds herself surrounded by Selawik defenders Laura Ramoth (5) and Marita Ticket, Wednesday in an opening round contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s DeeAnn White dribbles the ball down the court Wednesday in an opening round contest against Selawik’s Davis Ramoth school at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s DeeAnn White dribbles the ball down the court Wednesday in an opening round contest against Selawik’s Davis Ramoth school at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s DeeAnn White puts up a layup over Selawik’s Laura Ramoth (5) Wednesday in an opening round contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s DeeAnn White puts up a layup over Selawik’s Laura Ramoth (5) Wednesday in an opening round contest at the Class 1A state basketball tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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