Ninilchik’s Riley Tucker leaps to shoot a basket during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Riley Tucker leaps to shoot a basket during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Wednesday hoops: Ninilchik sweeps Aniak, prepares to host tournament

The Ninilchik girls and boys basketball teams swept visiting Aniak on Wednesday in nonconference action.

The Wolverines girls topped Aniak 49-32 to climb to 9-10 overall.

Riley Tucker led scoring for the girls with 31 points. Klohie Hughes had 8, Addi McCorison and Lucy Reynolds each had 4 and Jolie Webb had 2.

“All my team came in today and worked hard,” coach Debbie Blossom said after the game. “People off my bench came in and contributed and my starters were hustling. It was a very physical game and they kept playing hard.”

Ninilchik’s seniors, Blossom said, “always give everything they’ve got.” She pointed to McCorison as a leader, keeping the team organized and driving both offensively and defensively. Tucker stays “slashing” to the hoop and stealing balls, reliably delivering big plays.

Also credited by Blossom were the younger players who are stepping up alongside their more experienced peers. Hughes, she said, is “not playing like a freshman.”

For Aniak, Sierra Lang led with 15. Calvina Phillips had 10, Maddison Steeves had 3. Both Lynnette Morgan and Adrian Murphy had 2.

For the boys, Ninilchik topped Aniak 78-51 to climb to 11-8 overall.

Wolverines coach Nick Finley said Aniak came out strong — the score at the half was 38-33 — but credited his players with tightening up defensively and redoubling pressure in the second half.

Kade McCorison led the scoring with 29 on the board. Max Russell had 18 for the Wolverines, Rowan Mahoney had 17, Kannon Hughes and Carter Lemons had 6 and Ben Hand had 2.

McCorison, a sophomore, is “a tough kid to stop,” Finley said. He said McCorison is big, strong, can shoot and is prepared to go inside and seek contact with the ball and with opposing players.

Russell and Mahoney, too, played their roles well on Wednesday, the coach said.

For Aniak, William Morgan had 19 points. Marshell Dallmann had 11, Gavin Smith had 8, Ryan Lang had 6, Troy Morgan had 5 and Kanglak Evon had 2.

This weekend, the Wolverines will host the Ninilchik Invitational, with Aniak, Tok, Cook Inlet Academy, Nikiski and Unalaska participating. Games start at 2 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday.

Finley said the Invitational is a great opportunity to play against some of the other small schools, including members of their conference and other teams they may well end up encountering again later in the season. Many of the games they’ve already played this season have been against larger schools.

That’s by design, he said, “to push ourselves.”

“We’re excited for a big weekend,” he said.

Ninilchik’s Klohie Hughes moves down the court, pursued by Aniak’s Cassandra Robinett, during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Klohie Hughes moves down the court, pursued by Aniak’s Cassandra Robinett, during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Addi McCorison moves down the court, blocked by Aniak’s Lynette Morgan, during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Addi McCorison moves down the court, blocked by Aniak’s Lynette Morgan, during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Kannon Hughes moves to shoot despite an attempted block by Aniak’s William Morgan during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Kannon Hughes moves to shoot despite an attempted block by Aniak’s William Morgan during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Kade McCorison moves to shoot over attempted blocks by Aniak’s William and Troy Morgan during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Kade McCorison moves to shoot over attempted blocks by Aniak’s William and Troy Morgan during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Rowan Mahoney moves towards the net despite an attempted block by Aniak’s Gavin Smith and Troy Morgan during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Rowan Mahoney moves towards the net despite an attempted block by Aniak’s Gavin Smith and Troy Morgan during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Max Russell and Carter Lemons move to defend against Aniak’s Gavin Smith during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Ninilchik’s Max Russell and Carter Lemons move to defend against Aniak’s Gavin Smith during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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