AD Main Menu

1A girls: Cook Inlet Academy wins state in three overtimes

Beth Bragg
Frances Smith and Max Green of Hooper Bay begin celebrating as time winds down in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Player of the year for 2A Kacy Green is embraced by teammates following a 51-28 win over Metlakatla in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Marie Yates of Craig puts up a jumper against Dillingham during first-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nikolaevsk's Kayla Stafford tries to get rid of the ball as Cook Inlet's Madison Orth (33) defends. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Hooper Bay players celebrate a win in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Katie Dinon of Craig is defended by Bryn Tennyson during second-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Dylan George of Klawock fires a pass during second-half action in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nikolaevsk's Kilina Klaich tries to keep possession. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Hooper Bay fans celebrate as their boys hold championship hardware following the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Head coach D.J. Hansen, left, assistant coach Ellen Hannan and substitute Effie Chen endure a tense final minute as Craig hangs on for a 31-29 win in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Chen, a foreign exchange student from China who had never played organized sports before this year, is now an Alaska state champion.
Erik Hill
Danny Wells led his Noorvik team on a second-half charge that fell short against Klawock in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Klawock won 55-43.
Erik Hill
Cook Inlet's Megan Bauder moves the ball. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Hooper Bay players take turns cutting the net following their win in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Katie Dinon and her Craig teammates begin to celebrate their 31-29 win over Dillingham in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Danny Wells scored a game-high 25 points, 21 coming in the second half, but Noorvik fell short against Klawock in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nikolaevsk's Kilina Klaich, left, and Cook Inlet's Megan Bauder battle for a loose ball. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Kacy Green and Hooper Bay players take turns cutting the net following their win in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Raven Krolikowski and her Craig teammates celebrate a 31-29 win over Dillingham in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Sam Rew and Klawock teammates pin on their state championship medals following their 55-43 win over Noorvik in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Luba Dorvall cheers for the Nikolaevsk team in the second half a close state title game that went into triple overtime. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Kacy Green and Hooper Bay players take turns cutting the net following their win in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Craig players celebrate their 31-29 win over Dillingham in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Matthew Peters of Klawock cuts a piece of ceremonial net on an adjoining court following a 55-43 win over Noorvik in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nicole Moffis, center, and her Cook Inlet Academy teammates begin to celebrate a triple-overtime win over Nikolaevsk in the 1A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. The final score was 43-39. Sophia Kalugin of NIkolaevsk walks off at right.
Erik Hill
An emotional James Nash celebrates a state title with his Hooper Bay teammates following the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Drew Carlos of Dillingham launches a jumper against Craig in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Tyrus Morgan of Klawock cuts a piece of ceremonial net on an adjoining court following a 55-43 win over Noorvik in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Danny Wells of Noorvik drives to the basket during first-half action against Klawock in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Harold Hoelscher of Hooper Bay drives to the basket but is prevented from scoring by Metlakatla defender Tristan Winter during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Raven Krolikowski of Craig, center, reaches for a ball the eludes Leilani Tennyson of Dillingham during second-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Klawock players cheer as head coach Jim Holien cuts down a piece of ceremonial net on an adjoining court following a 55-43 win over Noorvik in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Tyrus Morgan of Klawock drives to the basket against Noorvik during first-half action in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Hooper Bay fans celebrate as their boys score at the free throw line against Metlakatla as time winds down during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Head coach D.J. Hansen, left, assistant coach Ellen Hannan and substitute Effie Chen endure tense final minutes as Craig hangs on for a 31-29 win in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Chen, a foreign exchange student from China who had never played organized sports before this year, is now an Alaska state champion.
Erik Hill
Gordon Newlin Jr. of Noorvik, left, steals the ball from Josh Looney of Klawock during second-half action in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Klawock won 55-43.
Erik Hill
Sam Rew of Klawock hits a three-pointer during first-half action against Noorvik in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Hooper Bay players huddle as Metlakatla receives free throws after Hooper Bay received a technical foul for wearing yellow instead of white uniforms as the home team in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The Craig girls receive support from Craig boys in a 31-29 win over Dillingham in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Matthew Peters of Klawock, center right, battles for a rebound with Quincy Williamson of Noorvik during second-half action in the 1A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Klawock won 55-43.
Erik Hill
Cook Inlet Academy fans celebrate a go-ahead basket that proves to be the difference in the game as the Lady Eagles claim a 43-39 triple overtime win over Nikolaevsk in the 1A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Hooper Bay fans celebrate as their boys score at the free throw line against Metlakatla as time winds down during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Dominique Harrell of Metlakatla puts up a shot between Hooper Bay defenders Kacy Green, left, and Harold Hoelscher during first-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Sydney Dray of Dillingham heads up court with a steal during second-half action against Craig in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nikolaevsk's Serafima Kalugin, left, and Cook Inlet's Ashleigh Hammond dive after a loose ball. Cook Inlet Academy faced Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Darlene Bunts of Cook Inlet Academy puts up the winning shot in the third overtime of play against Nikolaevsk in the 1A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. Two free throws extended the winning margin to 43-39.
Erik Hill
Hooper Bay players celebrate a win in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Tristan Winter of Metlakatla drives to the hoop against Hooper Bay during first-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Dillingham fans cheer as their team rallies during second-half action against Craig in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The Cook Inlet girls team celebrate's their victory as the Nikolaevsk team consoles one another after the end of the third overtime period. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Nicole Moffis of Cook Inlet Academy wins a scramble for the ball as time runs down on Nikolaevsk in the third overtime in the 1A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Hooper Bay fans celebrate as their boys score at the free throw line against Metlakatla as time winds down during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Morgan Lake of Hooper Bay grabs the ball but is then tied up by Tristan Winter, left, and Dominique Harrell of Metlakatla during first-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. The ball was awarded to Metlakatla.
Erik Hill
Kayla Hamme of Craig takes aim, left, as Sydney Dray of Dillingham defends during first-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Greg Brush and David Bunts cheer for the Cook Inlet Academy girls team in the first half. Cook Inlet Academy faced Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Megan Bauder, right, and her Cook Inlet Academy teammates begin to celebrate a triple-overtime win over Nikolaevsk in the 1A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena. The final score was 43-39.
Erik Hill
Hooper Bay fans celebrate as their boys score at the free throw line against Metlakatla as time winds down during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Tristan Alexander of Metlakatla, center, is surrounded as he battles for a rebound with Hooper Bay defenders under the Metlakatla basket during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Drew Carlos, top, of Dillingham and Marie Yates of Craig tie up the ball during first-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Nikolaevsk's Sophia Kalugin, left, tries to rip the ball away from Cook Inlet's Richele McGhan. Cook Inlet Academy faced Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Hooper Bay fans celebrate as their boys score at the free throw line against Metlakatla as time winds down during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Harold Hoelscher of Hooper Bay drives to the basket but is prevented from scoring by Metlakatla defender Tristan Winter during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Raven Krolikowski of Craig puts up a shot while defended by Bryn Tennyson of Dillingham during first-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Cook Inlet's Ashleigh Hammond, left, tries to get the ball from Nikolaevsk's Nianiella Dorvall. Cook Inlet Academy faced Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester
Hooper Bay players celebrate as time winds down during second-half action in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Coach Albert Green gets soaked following a win by Hooper Bay in the 2A boys state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
Maggie Dinon of Craig reaches for a loose ball as Bryn Tennyson looks for a Dillingham teammate during first-half action in the 2A girls state basketball tournament championship game Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Sullivan Arena.
Erik Hill
The Nikolaevsk and Cook Inlet Academy teams show anxiety during an overtime period Wednesday. Cook Inlet Academy defeated Nikolaevsk in the girls basketball 1A state championship game on March 20, 2013.
Marc Lester

Cook Inlet Academy's long, strange trip through the Class 1A girls basketball tournament, which began with a game played in two different gyms, ended Wednesday at Sullivan Arena with a fittingly bizarre 43-39 triple-overtime championship victory over conference rival Nikolaevsk.

Led by junior Nicole Moffis' 19 points, the Eagles claimed their first state title by outlasting Nikolaevsk in one of the weirder finales in memory, a game that featured one overtime period that ended with CIA thinking it had won the game and another that consisted of a single possession, a single shot and zero points.

"It's the best feeling," CIA senior Cara Davidson said. "Very satisfying. You feel like you did everything you possibly could."

The Eagles thought they did everything they could to win in the first overtime -- and in fact thought they had won when the buzzer sounded.

Down 39-38, Nikolaevsk missed a shot at the buzzer that seemed to end the game. But officials said CIA knocked the rebound out of bounds with four-tenths of a second left, giving Nikolaevsk new life and halting the CIA celebration just as it was starting.

"It was hard to keep that emotion in check," CIA senior guard Megan Bauder said. "I wanted to jump up and celebrate.

"We just had to flip the switch."

On the ensuing inbound play, Nikolaevsk freshman Kayla Stafford drew a shooting foul and, with all zeroes on the clock and no player on the court but her, sank the second of two free throws to tie the game 39-39 and force the second overtime.

"She's just beating herself up (over missing the first free throw)," Nikolaevsk coach Bea Klaich said.

"I'da done an airball on both if I was shooting," CIA coach Rustin Hitchcock said, praising Stafford's ability to get one shot to go down with so much at stake.

The second extra period was a demonstration of both masterful coaching and why high school basketball needs a shot clock.

CIA won the jump ball and gave the ball to Bauder, who camped near midcourt and held the ball for nearly two minutes before moving. Then she dribbled for another minute. Then the Eagles made a couple passes, all far from the basket. With 8.2 seconds left in the four-minute overtime, Hitchcock called timeout to set up a final play -- a miss by Davidson.

CIA did more of the same in the third overtime, although this time the Warriors applied some pressure. The danger in doing that, Klaich said, is fouling instead of forcing a turnover. "All those girls can shoot free throws," she said.

The clock was down to 27 seconds when Davidson found Darlene Bunts under the basket for a layup and the first points in nearly eight minutes of basketball. With 17.3 seconds left, CIA's Madison Orth sealed the game with a pair of free throws.

Hitchcock said the idea of holding the ball for entire OT periods came from assistant coach Justin Franchina, who played on CIA boys teams that used the tactic a decade or so ago.

"I had that in the back of my mind that if we got in an overtime game, that's what we wanted to do," Hitchcock said.

"We have two of the best point guards in the state, and they can run ball control and pass it back and forth."

Klaich called it "brilliant strategy," and said she remembers the CIA boys using it years ago.

"I should've been prepared for it," she said, vowing that she will be the next time.

CIA showed great discipline and ball control as it ran down the clock, Klaich said. Maybe Nikolaevsk should have done the same thing when it built a decent lead in the third quarter, "but our girls are young, and I felt they need to still keep attacking the rim," she said.

At any rate, she said, the rules need to change.

"I think high school basketball needs to adopt the 30-second shot clock," Klaich said, in a tone that did not suggest sour grapes. "I believe if there was a shot clock, we'd be state champions."

A team with no seniors, Nikolaevsk reached the championship game with a strong inside game featuring 6-foot-1 Nianiella Dorvall and 5-7 Sophia Kalugin, who plays taller and is incredibly strong. Along with 5-8 freshman Serafima Kalugin, who had a game-high nine rebounds before fouling out, they gave the Warriors a 37-30 rebounding advantage and a daunting inside presence. Dorvall finished with a team-high 16 points, all of them in the paint.

CIA overcame that with a full-court press that was effective the whole game, solid ball-handling and poise. The Eagles had been here before -- they lost to Newhalen in the Class 2A state championship game last season.

Even so, CIA did not lead until Moffis drained two free throws for a 39-38 lead with 12.2 second left in the first overtime.

The Eagles were 1-2 against Nikolaevsk coming into the game, a record that included a 28-27 loss in the conference championship game, a loss that made CIA the No. 2 seed from the region.

CIA opened with a first-round game Saturday against Buckland. The game started at West High, but at halftime the teams had to travel crosstown and finish the game at South High -- the sprinkler system went off at West and water leaked onto the gym floor.

The win over Buckland put the Eagles in a Monday game against top-ranked Klawock, and they pulled off the upset. The next day, they beat Newhalen, the defending 1A champions, to earn another shot at Nikolaevsk.

 

 


By BETH BRAGG
bbragg@adn.com
Contact Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or on