Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kodiak's Rica Gongora dribbles against Nikiski's Kelsey Clark on Thursday at Nikiski High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kodiak's Rica Gongora dribbles against Nikiski's Kelsey Clark on Thursday at Nikiski High School.

Thursday hoops roundup

The 27th annual Nikiski Tip-Off Tournament began about as good as the host team could have hoped.

The Nikiski girls opened their weekend with a 42-26 victory over the Kodiak Bears, helping the Bulldogs stay in contention for the championship in the round-robin format.

Kodiak, a Class 4A school, lost all but one member of its senior class from last year, and that one member was absent Thursday, gone still on a family vacation. In the previous two years, Kodiak coach Krista Hicks said the team has graduated large senior classes each time, so the team that took the floor Thursday was completely different from the one that won a 4A state title in 2014.

The difference was apparent quickly. Nikiski launched four 3s in the second quarter to outscore Kodiak 18-6 and take control with a 24-11 lead at halftime.

Nikiski coach Scott Anderson said the five days after losing a 63-24 blowout to fellow 3A opponent Mt. Edgecumbe were well spent, mostly on working to fix the gaps that exposed them to the Braves last Saturday.

“I felt like the girls came out more determined tonight,” Anderson said. “We’ve been doing more competitive drills and the pressure was on the girls to deal with it.”

With the win, Nikiski improved to 4-3 overall this season. Kodiak remained a two-win team.

Freshman guard Emma Wik led Nikiski with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Junior teammate Ayla Pitt added eight points and senior Arianne Parrish had seven. Wik notched eight of Nikiski’s 18 points in the second quarter, a period in which the Bulldogs distanced themselves by outscoring the Bears 18-6.

“We were much more patient and waiting for shots,” Anderson said. “We weren’t looking around at the scoreboard.

“I told them I’ll be the one to worry about that.”

Coming out of the break, Kodiak’s improved effort in grabbing loose balls on the glass was rewarded, as the Bears began chipping away at the deficit. Senior guard Rica Gongora nailed a triple with 4:33 left in the third quarter, then was followed a few possessions later by a steal and a layup from teammate Nelly Hernandez, which cut the gap to single digits at 26-17.

However, Nikiski caught a big break in the final few ticks of the quarter. A well-executed possession left Wik with no one guarding her at the edge of the 3-point arc. Wik launched a triple to put Nikiski’s lead at 31-19.

Solid ball movement continued Nikiski’s march to the win in the fourth quarter, as Avery Kornstad, Pitt and Parrish all helped to extend the lead with good looks at the basket. Rylee Jackson pumped in a layup with 2:26 remaining that all but put the nail in the coffin.

Nikiski will face Homer on day 2 of the tournament, today at 5:45 p.m. The matchup also serves as an important test against a fellow Southcentral Conference opponent.

Nikiski boys 72, Dillingham 20

The Bulldogs dominated the proceedings on the opening day of the Nikiski Tip-Off Tournament.

All 10 Nikiski players that got time on the court ended up in the scoring column, led by the 21 points from senior guard Nathan Carstens.

The win was a welcome relief for Nikiski, which had not seen much playing time since returning from a holiday tournament on the big island of Hawaii. Since beating the Algester Hawks of Australia on New Year’s Eve, the only contest the Bulldogs have played was a Southcentral Conference matchup against Seward on Jan. 7, a 57-46 victory.

“I really appreciate the boys’ effort tonight, they came out fast,” said Nikiski coach Reid Kornstad. “We put a real emphasis this week in practice on playing fast without turning the ball over.”

The Nikiski boys played fast Thursday. With Dillingham suffering a myriad of turnovers throughout the game, Nikiski made the Wolverines pay with fast-break buckets on a strong transition game.

Nikiski enjoyed a particular stretch of play that started late in the second quarter and stretched into the fourth. For a span of 15 minutes, 42 seconds, Nikiski outscored Dillingham 36-0, stretching its lead from 30-15 to 66-15. The scoreless skid was finally snapped by Dillingham sophomore John Bouker’s energetic dunk, which initially popped out of the rim before swishing through the netting.

Early on, Nikiski streaked out to a 20-6 lead late in the first quarter, then continued to widen the gap with transition layups, which were made possible by strong rebounding and forcing turnovers. By the 3:27 mark of the second quarter, Nikiski led 30-12.

Kornstad was also pleased to see his squad play so competitively against a perennially competitive team. Dillingham has played in the Class 2A state championship game in each of the past two years, but has lost both to Glennallen.

“We wanted to put more pressure on them, and we emphasized more organization,” Kornstad said. “(Dillingham is) a super well-coached team, so we’re happy with it.”

All of Carsten’s 21 points came in the first and third quarters. Nikiski teammate Javon Pamplin added nine points for the Bulldogs, while Ian Johnson, Jace Kornstad and Sam Tauriainen had eight points each.

The Bulldogs are 7-2 overall this season and 2-1 against Alaskan teams. Nikiski continues its tournament today with a 7:15 p.m. tip off against Homer.

In other tournament action today, it’s Kodiak girls vs. Bethel at 2:45 p.m., Dillingham boys vs. Bethel at 4:15 p.m.

Saturday, Homer girls play Kodiak at noon, Homer boys play Dillingham at 1:30 p.m., Bethel girls play Nikiski at 3 p.m. and Bethel boys play Nikiski at 4:30 p.m.

Bethel girls 37, Homer 36

The Warriors held on for a victory on the tournament’s first day.

Bethel led 12-8 after the first quarter, 20-16 at halftime and 31-26 after three quarters.

Sophie Poe paced the Warriors with 14 points, while Madison Akers had 19 and Kayla Stafford added 12 for the Mariners.

Bethel boys 92, Homer 30

Behind 25 points from Maxon Alexie, the Warriors cruised past the Mariners.

Also for Bethel, Clevon Constantine had 19, Jayvin Williams had 13 and Carl Charlie had 12.

For Homer, Koby Etzwiler led the way with 11.

 

NONTOURNAMENT

Kenai boys 56, Ninilchik 41

The host Kardinals gradually pulled away from the Class 2A Wolverines, who were testing themselves against 4A competition.

Luke Beiser had 14 points for the Kards, while Garrett Fitt added 11. For the Wolverines, Tyler Presley had 15 points and Austin White had 14.

Nikolaevsk girls 60, Birchwood Christian 18

The host Nikolaevsk girls rolled to a Peninsula Conference victory Thursday.

Nikolaevsk put 10 players in the scoring column, led by Serafima Kalugin with 18 points. Vera Fefelov had 11, while Megan Hickman pitched in 10.

Nikolaevsk boys 67, Birchwood Christian 24

The host Nikolaevsk boys posted a strong victory over Birchwood Christian in Peninsula Conference action Thursday.

Felemon Molodih had 18 points for Nikolaevsk, while Nikit Fefelov had 16 and Neil Gordeev had 12. For Birchwood, Collin Becker led the way with 11.

 

Thursday girls

Bulldogs 42, Bears 26

Kodiak 5 6 8 7 —26

Nikiski 6 18 7 11 —42

KODIAK (26) — Barcelon 0 0-0 0, Hernandez 5 1-3 12, Villaroya 0 0-0 0, Macatuno 1 0-0 2, Gongora 3 0-0 7, Chia 0 1-2 1, Mutch 0 0-0 0, Carstens 2 0-0 4. Totals 11 2-5 26.

NIKISKI (42) — Wik 4 0-0 11, Riddall 2 0-0 5, Vollertsen 2 0-2 4, Pitt 4 0-0 8, Kornstad 2 0-0 5, Clark 0 0-0 0, Parrish 3 1-1 7, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Porter 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 1-3 42.

3-point shots — Kodiak 2 (Hernandez, Gongora); Nikiski 5 (Wik 3, Riddall 1, Kornstad 1).

Team fouls — Kodiak 7; Nikiski 7. Fouled out — none.

 

Warriors 37, Mariners 36

Homer 8 8 10 10 —36

Bethel 12 6 11 8 —37

HOMER (36) — Todd 1 0-0 2, Reutov 0 0-0 0, Cleary 0 0-0 0, Draves 0 1-2 1, Akers 7 5-8 19, Cole 0 0-0 0, Waclawski 1 0-0 2, Stafford 6 0-0 12. Totals — 15 6-10 36.

BETHEL (37) — Poe 2 0-0 4, Boney 0 0-0 0, Williams 5 3-5 14, M. Crow 0 0-1 0, O’Brien 3 2-8 8, K. Crow 4 0-0 9, S. Crow 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 0-0 2. Totals — 15 5-14 37.

3-point goals — Bethel 2 (Williams, K. Crow). Team fouls — Homer 13, Bethel 6. Fouled out — none.

 

Nikolaevsk 60, Birchwood 18

Birchwood 13 3 2 0 —18

Nikolaevsk 8 15 25 12 —60

BIRCHWOOD CHRISTIAN (18) — Jensen 0 0-0 0, Goward 1 0-2 2, Goward 0 1-2 1, Tiner 0 0-0 0, Sullivan 1 0-0 2, Buchkowski 0 0-0 0, Brassell 0 0-0 0, Alexander 0 0-0 0, Carruba 0 0-0 0, Scott 6 0-0 13. Totals — 8 1-4 18.

NIKOLAEVSK (60) — S. Klaich 0 0-0 0, K. Klaich 1 0-0 2, Yakunin 1 0-0 2, Johnson 3 1-2 7, E. Fefelov 1 0-0 2, V. Fefelov 4 2-2 11, Kalugin 8 2-4 18, N. Gordeev 2 1-2 5, E. Gordeev 1 0-0 2, Dorvall 0 1-2 1, Hickman 5 0-0 10. Totals — 26 7-12 60.

3-point goals — Birchwood 1 (Scott); Nikolaevsk 1 (V. Fefelov). Team fouls — Birchwood 10, Nikolaevsk 6. Fouled out — none.

 

Thursday boys

Bulldogs 72, Wolverines 20

Dillingham 9 6 0 5 —20

Nikiski 20 16 25 11 —72

DILLINGHAM (20) — Bartman 3 0-0 8, Tilden 2 1-2 7, Chaney 0 0-0 0, Hansen 0 0-0 0, Chaney 1 0-0 3, Bouker 1 0-0 2, George 0 0-0 0, Tennyson 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 1-2 20.

NIKISKI (72) — I. Johnson 4 0-0 8, Anderson 1 0-0 2, L. Johnson 2 2-4 6, Kornstad 3 0-0 8, Holloway 3 0-0 6, Handley 1 0-0 2, Tauriainen 3 0-0 8, Ellis 1 0-0 2, Carstens 9 0-0 21, Pamplin 4 1-2 9. Totals 31 3-6 72.

3-point shots — Dillingham 5 (Bartman 2, Tilden 2, Chaney 1); Nikiski 7 (Carstens 3, Tauriainen 2, Kornstad 2).

Team fouls — Dillingham 4; Nikiski 5. Fouled out — none.

 

Warriors 92, Mariners 30

Bethel 25 23 22 22 —92

Homer 15 5 5 5 —30

BETHEL (92) — Daniel 3 0-0 6, Flemings 3 0-0 6, Charlie 5 0-0 12, Williams 4 4-6 13, Alexie 11 2-3 25, Fredericks 4 1-1 9, Constantine 9 1-1 19, Kuhne 1 0-0 2. Totals — 40 8-11 92.

HOMER (30) — Ravin 1 0-0 2, Rohr 2 1-2 5, Etzwiler 4 0-0 11, Beachy 1 0-0 3, Edens 2 2-2 6, Felde 1 0-0 2, Beck 0 0-0 0, Carroll 0 1-3 1, Swoboda 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 4-7 30.

3-point goals — Bethel 4 (Charlie 2, Williams, Alexie); Homer 4 (Etzwiler 3, Beachy). Team fouls — Bethel 8, Homer 10. Fouled out — none.

 

Kardinals 56, Wolverines 41

NINILCHIK (41) — A. Koch 0 0-0 0, Appelhanz 0 0-0 0, Presley 4 4-4 15, G. Koch 2 0-0 5, Geppert 2 2-4 7, Brandt 0 3-6 3, Bartolowits 0 0-0 0, Mumey 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, White 5 2-4 14. Totals — 13 11-18 41.

KENAI CENTRAL (56) — Heiber 0 0-0 0, Ta. Landry 2 0-0 4, Ivy 4 0-0 8, Vest 3 0-0 8, Brazell 2 0-0 6, Tr. Landry 0 0-0 0, Tuttle 0 0-0 0, Jackman 3 3-4 9, Beiser 7 0-1 14, Fitt 5 0-0 11, Dye 0 0-0 0, Beeson 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 26 3-5 56.

3-point goals — Ninilchik 6 (Presley 3, White 2, G. Koch); Kenai 4 (Vest 2, Brazell 2); Team fouls — Ninilchik 10, Kenai 16. Fouled out — none.

 

Nikolaevsk 67, Birchwood 24

Birchwood 6 7 4 7 —24

Nikolaevsk 20 23 15 9 —67

BIRCHWOOD CHRISTIAN (24) — Becker 5 1-3 11, Cramer 0 0-0 0, Brad. Nunley 0 0-0 0, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Wohrle 1 0-0 2, Reich 0 0-2 0, Perry 0 0-0 0, Murphy 0 0-0 0, Brae. Nunley 0 0-0 0, Balos 1 0-0 2, McKinley 0 0-0 0, Wohrle 3 0-1 6, King 1 0-0 3. Totals — 16 1-6 24.

NIKOLAEVSK (67) — Boquecosa 0 0-0 0, K. Molodih 3 0-0 6, Jones 0 0-0 0, G. Trail 1 0-0 2, Whaley 0 0-0 0, Yakunin 1 0-0 3, N. Fefelov 7 1-2 16, Gordeev 5 1-3 12, F. Molodih 8 1-3 18, J. Fefelov 3 0-0 6, M. Trail 1 0-0 2, Kalugin 1 0-0 2. Totals — 30 3-8 67.

3-point goals — Birchwood Christian 1 (King); Nikolaevsk 4 (Yakunin, N. Fefelov, Gordeev, F. Molodih). Team fouls — Birchwood 10, Nikolaevsk 9. Fouled out — none.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kodiak's Honey Rose Macatuno collects the ball as Arianne Parrish closes in on defense Thursday at Nikiski High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kodiak’s Honey Rose Macatuno collects the ball as Arianne Parrish closes in on defense Thursday at Nikiski High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Nikiski's Hallie Riddall tries to get a shot off against the defense of Kodiak's Nelly Hernandez (14) and Kathryn Carstens (50) on Thursday at Nikiski High School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Nikiski’s Hallie Riddall tries to get a shot off against the defense of Kodiak’s Nelly Hernandez (14) and Kathryn Carstens (50) on Thursday at Nikiski High School.

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