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3A girls: Showdown for crown between Lions, Whalers

Beth Bragg
East's Desmond Johnson scoops the ball up off the floor. East played Colony in the semifinals of the boys 4A state basketball championship on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
ACS's Hollie Duncan makes a long pass to a teammate. Anchorage Christian played Sitka in the semifinals of the girls 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Amu Aukusitino drives to the hoop as West's Deandre Wilson defends. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Colony's Faith Farris moves the ball in front of defense from Wasilla's Amanda Hutchins. Wasilla faced Colony in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Service fans celebrate. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Wasilla's Alysha Devine passes the ball. Wasilla faced Colony in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Service's Marques Robinson dives for the ball under West's Don McMorris. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Wasilla's Jenna Ford tries to swat the ball out of the hands of Colony's Izzy Tweed. Wasilla faced Colony in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News A referee catches West's Markiss Ailey who jumps for a ball headed out of bounds. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Colony's Faith Farris, left, and Audrey Michaelson chase Wasilla's Alexis Imoe on a fast break. Wasilla defeated Colony in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Bethel's Theodore Naneng pushes the ball up the floor as Monroe's David Stepovich defends. Monroe Catholic played Bethel in the semifinals of the boys 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Wasilla's Machia Towes tries to pull in a long pass. Wasilla defeated Colony in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Monroe's Tyler Wells, left, dives after a ball as Bethel's Austin Miller runs after it. Monroe Catholic played Bethel in the semifinals of the boys 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Colony's Audrey Michaelson defends as Wasilla's Alexis Imoe drives inside. Wasilla defeated Colony in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
West's Don McMorris, left, drives on Service's Adam Klie. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Lathrop's Jasmine White drives as Dimond's Karenna Liggon tries to fight around a pick. Lathrop played Dimond in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
West's Deandre Wilson and Service's Ihro Raguindin leap for the ball. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Lathrop's Ruthy Hebard takes a shot over Dimond's Sierra Afoa. Lathrop played Dimond in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
West's Markiss Ailey and Service's Adam Klie reach for possession. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Karenna Liggon, center, and the Dimond bench cheers their team. Lathrop played Dimond in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Service's Marques Robinson passes over West defenders Dzahn Wyche, left, and Jhayde Zamora. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Aminata Cole tries to get rid of the ball in front of two Lathrop defenders. Lathrop played Dimond in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News West's Markiss Ailey shows disappointment after the Eagles fell to Marques Robinson, left, and the Service Cougars. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
West's Markiss Ailey takes a shot as Service's Nik Butler tries to block. Butler was called for a foul on the play. West faced Service in the semifinals of the boys 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Lathrop's Shakira Shaw tries to wrap up a ball between Dimond defenders Tara Thompson, left, and Aminata Cole. Dimond beat Lathrop in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
East's Matthew Hardwick, left, takes a shot and Colony's Tanner Menard reaches for a block. East played Colony in the semifinals of the boys 4A state basketball championship on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
ACS's Sarah Gaegel tries to tap the ball away from Sitka's Sophia Mudry in the first half. Anchorage Christian played Sitka in the semifinals of the girls 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Sierra Afoa hits the floor under the net. Dimond beat Lathrop in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Colony's Joe Gray tries to move the ball around East's Matthew Hardwick, right, and Eudy Gomez. East played Colony in the semifinals of the boys 4A state basketball championship on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
ACS's Michelle Coderre tries to unload the ball on the floor under pressure from Sitka's Maraelia Romine, left, Sid Riggs. Anchorage Christian played Sitka in the semifinals of the girls 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Lathrop's Ione Fischer, left, tries to scoop the ball from Dimond's Rohyn Huss in the second half. Dimond beat Lathrop in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Colony's Joe Gray dribbles around East's Jarred Laws. East played Colony in the semifinals of the boys 4A state basketball championship on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
ACS's Casie Warren, left, tries to gather a rebound in front of Sitka's Hailey Denkinger and Kalene Koelling. ACS's Hollie Duncan is at right. Anchorage Christian played Sitka in the semifinals of the girls 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond's Tara Thompson gets held by Lathrop's Rachel Jordan in the fourth quarter. Dimond beat Lathrop in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
East's Jarred Laws makes a move toward the paint. East played Colony in the semifinals of the boys 4A state basketball championship on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Sitka's Sid Riggs, left, and ACS's Hollie Duncan collide near the baseline. Anchorage Christian played Sitka in the semifinals of the girls 3A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester
Dimond' s Tara Thompson takes a shot over Lathrop's Erisha Talley. Dimond beat Lathrop in the semifinals of the girls 4A state championship tournament on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Marc Lester

The easy, breezy part of the state basketball tournament is over for the Anchorage Christian girls. It's time to play Barrow again.

The Lions cruised past Sitka 71-33 in Friday's semifinals to reach the Class 3A title game, where they will meet Barrow, a big, bruising team that disposed of Hutchison 55-37 in the other semifinal.

Like many of its games this season, ACS gained command early Friday and quickly turned things into a rout. It didn't matter that high-scoring Dallas Dickerson was benched for much of the first half with three fouls -- the Lions had plenty of firepower from other sources, and at any rate, Dickerson finished with a game-high 22 points even though she sat as much as she played.

ACS has seldom been tested this season, even at state, where it outscored its first two opponents 134-54.

The exception has been Barrow. The teams have split two meetings this season -- Barrow beat ACS by four points at a Valdez tournament, and ACS beat Barrow by three points at an ACS tournament.

"After eight quarters, they're up one point," ACS coach Darrin Powers said.

Saturday's 1:30 p.m. title game will come down to which team can dictate the tempo, Powers said. Barrow has size and a potent inside game. ACS isn't nearly as big, but it's deep and it likes to run.

"If we play 94-foot basketball, we'll be in the game," Powers said. "If it's a 20-foot game where they beat is in the paint, we'll be in trouble.

"We want to make it a track meet."

ACS showed its depth against Sitka by getting points from nine players, rebounds from 11, steals from eight and assists from eight.

Sarah Gaegel was good for 20 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, Hollie Duncan added eight points and Abby Crayton furnished six points and six rebounds.

Ellie Cagle's 10 points led Sitka, which trailed 34-15 at halftime and 53-21 after three quarters.

Despite the shortage of closely contested games this season, ACS has found ways to stay sharp.

"We look at it like golf," Powers said. "We're playing against the game. How well can we shoot the ball? How well can we execute? How well can we play the game?"

 

Barrow 55, Hutchison 37

Big games from Lynette Hepa and Hilary Lowery powered a semifinal victory that put Barrow into the Class 3A girls basketball state championship game for the second time in three years.

The Whalers, the 2011 state champs, shot nearly 50 percent and piled up 13 steals while racing past Hutchison 55-37.

Hepa, a 6-foot-4 senior center, racked up 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Lowery, a 5-8 senior forward, poured in 19 points and helped spark a pivotal second quarter for the Whalers.

Lowery and Angela Miguel combined for 13 points in the second quarter, when Barrow broke open the game.

Hutchison bolted to a 6-1 lead early in the first quarter and was up 12-10 when the quarter ended, but it was all Barrow in the second quarter.

Miguel, scoreless in the first quarter, scored seven points, Lowery added six, and defensively the Whalers limited Hutchison to one basket and a pair of free throws for a 27-17 halftime lead.

Barrow was 21 of 45 from the field, an effort that included Hepa's 8 of 14 effort, Miguel's 5 of 9 and Lowery's 6 of 13.

Hutchison hit 25 percent of its shots (11 of 45) and put two players in double figures -- Mimi Wood (14 points) and Elly Veazey (10).

The Whalers scored 21 points off 20 Hutchison turnovers. Miguel finished with six steals and Lowery four.

 

Consolation games

Valdez and Houston each recovered from first-round losses to claim solid consolation-round wins behind two of the most impressive individual performances of the tournament Friday.

Valdez' 77-63 demolition of Nome included 41 points and 16 rebounds from Marian Wamsley.

Houston's Nene Hale hit for 25 points to account for more than half her team's winning total in a 48-32 win over Seward.

 

 


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