Craig 59, Metlakatla 38
A week ago in Craig, the Metlakatla MissChiefs gave the Panthers girls basketball team all they could handle before losing a couple of close games.
Thursday’s semifinal match-up in the Southeast 3A tournament started the same way as Metlakatla built an early lead, but then Craig’s aggressive defense took over and the Panthers confidently rolled to a solid 59-38 victory.
“When they came to Craig they held in there with us the entire game. We were up two points in the final minute on Tuesday,” Craig coach Vanessa James said of the Panthers’ 57-52 and 60-53 wins. “We knew that they would come out ready to play.”
Behind a defense that continuously jumped into the passing lanes for steals that led to transition baskets, Craig outscored Metlakatla 33-13 in the second and third quarters, turning a 16-13 deficit into a 46-29 lead.
In the second half Craig senior star Melissa Castle, who had been held to two first-half points, took over. Castle scored five points in a span of 15 seconds as Craig’s pressure defense really began to pay dividends.
Craig won the region championship last year, but lost four seniors from that veteran team.
“We kind of have a whole different team, but we think we can still do it again this year,” Dinon said.
Sitka 56, Haines 40
Megan Reid scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in the third quarter as Sitka broke open a close game, pulling away in the second to earn a spot in the championship game of the Southeast 3A region tournament.
Sariah Ady added 13 points for Sitka, including 11 points in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter. Sid Riggs contributed nine points.
Amy Messerschmidt led Haines with 12 points. Riley Erikson added 11 points.
Sitka was a perfect 12-0 in the Southeast this season, with only one game being decided by less than 10 points. Haines gave Sitka its toughest test during the regular season, falling 41-35 a night after getting blown out 63-30.
Mt. Edgecumbe 43, Petersburg 37
On the verge of being the first girls team eliminated from the Southeast 3A tournament on Thursday, third-seeded Mt. Edgecumbe battled back from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat Petersburg.
Carolyn Kvernvik, a 6-2 senior center, almost single-handedly pushed the Vikings to the six-point halftime lead. Kvernvik scored all eight of her team’s first-quarter points and had 17 of the team’s 20 first-half points. Kvernvik was held to six points in the second half, finishing with 23. Brandi Hale scored 16 points and Scarlett Beaver added 14 to lead Mt. Edgecumbe.
3A Boys Roundup:
Sitka 61, Metlakatla 48
Everytime it looked like the Sitka Wolves were ready to turn their Southeast 3A region tournament semifinal game against Metlakatla into a rout, the Chiefs responded to keep the contest close, but in the end Metlakatla just didn’t have enough to upset one of the best teams in the state.
Sitka (20-3) is the second-ranked 3A team in the state and the Wolves went 11-1 in Southeast Conference play, including five wins by 28 or more points.
Widmier finished with 21 points, including 14 in the second half. Way scored all 10 of his points in the second half.Hudson led Metlakatla with 15 points. ethan Enright added 11, and Alexander scored eight.
Mt. Edgecumbe 27, Haines 24
Mt. Edgecumbe jumped out to a quick 9-1 lead, then methodically slowed downs its offense, grinding out a 27-24 victory over Haines in the Southeast 3A region tournament semifinals Thursday. The Braves won the game despite not scoring in the second quarter and not hitting a field goal in the fourth. Mt. Edgecumbe fought back from a 22-19 deficit after three quarters by hiting 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth.Swinton finished with a game-high 15 points to lead Haines. Green scored 10 points and Prince added nine for Mt. Edgecumbe.
Wrangell 46, Petersburg 37
After going winless in conference play during the regular season, the Wrangell Wolves broke through with their first Southeast victory, beating Petersburg in an elimination game Thursday.
Wrangell went 0-12 in the Southeast Conference, but three of the losses game by a single point. Senior Clayton Stokes led the Wolves with a 24-point effort. Stokes hit three 3-pointers, draining one in the second, third and fourth quarters. Senior Travis Bangs added 10 points for Wrangell. Junior Blaine Wilson added seven.
Senior Taylor Pullar scored all 10 of his points in the second half to lead Petersburg. Freshman Colby Bell scored all eight of his points in the second quarter.