Sitka girls upset Bears, split series

Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2000

After four losses to the Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team earlier in the season, the Sitka Wolves closed out the regular season with a 37-35 upset victory over the Crimson Bears Saturday night at Sitka High School.

``We pulled off a little miracle,'' said Sitka coach Rich Krupa, whose team gained a split of the two-game regular-season ending series after the Wolves suffered a 45-33 loss to Juneau on Friday.

Juneau led the game 27-23 entering the fourth quarter, and still led as the game approached its final minute. But Sitka's Sidney Wyman hit a 3-pointer and Breanne Erickson scored on a putback to give the Wolves a two-point lead with 19 seconds left.

Juneau ran a play to Yvonne Harris, who was fouled and made one of her two free throws to bring the Crimson Bears to within a point. Juneau then fouled Christine Grun, who made one of her two shots with 3.8 seconds left on the clock. The Crimson Bears attempted to run another play to Harris, but her 15-footer from the left wing rimmed out at the buzzer.

``It was a tough loss,'' said Juneau assistant coach Jer Hamey, who ran the team Saturday while his father, head coach Jim Hamey, stayed in the hotel room with what he said was either the flu or a case of food poisoning. ``We didn't score six or seven points in the fourth quarter and we had about 25 or 30 turnovers. They had a lot of offensive rebounds.''

The two teams will meet again on Thursday when the Region V-Class 4A playoffs open in Ketchikan. It will be the sixth meeting of the season between Juneau and Sitka, with the Crimson Bears currently holding a 4-1 advantage in the series.

Juneau, which fell to 13-9 overall and 4-4 in the region with the loss, is the second-seeded team in the region. Sitka (8-14 and 1-7) is the third-seeded team. The winner of Thursday's game will play top-seeded Ketchikan (18-2 and 7-1) on Friday for the region's lone berth in the Class 4A state tournament March 23-25 in Anchorage.

``This is a really nice confidence boost,'' Krupa said. ``Each time we played Juneau we got a little bit closer. We lost by 40 the first time, then 20, 15 and 12 last night. Tonight we finally won. We happened to get the bounces tonight. It was great for us on senior night.''

Juneau, which was missing leading scorer and playmaker Tanya Nizich to a knee injury this weekend, was led by 13 points from senior forward Erin Mesdag and 11 from senior center Anya Carlson-Van Dort. Sitka was led by 11 points from Erickson and eight from Grun.

Harris started in Nizich's usual point guard position, with junior Courtney Mason backing her up, but Hamey said Harris wasn't really comfortable in the new position after spending most of the year at off guard and small forward. Juneau was also affected by the third-quarter injury to senior forward Liz Haas, who jammed a finger and missed most of the third quarter before coming back in the fourth. Haas was held scoreless in the game.

``We were out of sorts tonight,'' Hamey said. ``The main difference was last night we were able to score off our defense. But tonight we weren't getting steals for layups. Sitka did a good job defensively and they made us earn everything we got. Down the line, we'll be OK, though.''

In Friday's game, Juneau trailed 6-4 at the end of the first quarter and 10-6 midway through the second. But the Crimson Bears finally got untracked as they went on a 13-2 run to take a 19-12 lead at halftime. The Crimson Bears continued to press in the third quarter, as they built their lead to 31-23 entering the fourth quarter before going on another run to make it 42-25 late in the fourth quarter. Sitka made a late run to close to within 12 points at the end of the game.

Carlson-Van Dort scored 13 points to lead Juneau, with Harris adding eight and Haas chipping in with seven points. Wyman scored 12 points to lead Sitka, including hitting three 3-pointers, while Erickson added seven.

WOLVES 37

CRIMSON BEARS 35

Saturday's game at Sitka High School

JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (35)

Krystle Llanto 2 0-0 4, Michael Kohan 0 0-0 0, Courtney Mason 0 0-0 0, Tanya Nizich 0 0-0 0, Anna Capacci 0 0-0 0, Kacie Murphy 0 0-0 0, Anya Carlson-Van Dort 5 1-2 11, Liz Haas 0 0-0 0, Suzanne Parr 0 0-0 0, Yvonne Harris 1 3-6 5, Kari Parr 0 0-0 0, Erin Mesdag 5 1-1 13, Katie Staton 0 0-0 0, Hilary Rehfeld 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 5-9 35.

SITKA (37)

Chloe Delong 0 0-0 0, Kim Uddipa 0 0-0 0, Mindy Jacoby 0 0-0 0, Christine Grun 2 4-6 8, Randi Hames 0 0-0 0, Kerri Curtiss 3 0-0 6, Tricia Young 2 2-2 7, Jennie Phillips 0 0-0 0, Breanne Erickson 5 1-2 11, Heather Hawk 0 0-0 0, Sidney Wyman 2 0-0 5. Totals: 14 7-10 37.

JUNEAU-DOUGLAS10 6 11 8 - 35

SITKA10 2 11 14 - 37

3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 2 (Mesdag 2), Sitka 2 (Wyman 1, Young 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Juneau-Douglas 12, Sitka 12.

CRIMSON BEARS 45

WOLVES 33

Friday's game at Sitka High School

JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (45)

Krystle Llanto 3 0-0 6, Michael Kohan 2 0-0 4, Courtney Mason 0 0-0 0, Tanya Nizich 0 0-0 0, Anna Capacci 0 0-0 0, Kacie Murphy 0 0-0 0, Anya Carlson-Van Dort 6 1-4 13, Liz Haas 3 0-0 7, Suzanne Parr 0 0-0 0, Yvonne Harris 4 0-2 8, Kari Parr 0 0-0 0, Erin Mesdag 1 3-3 5, Katie Staton 0 0-0 0, Hilary Rehfeld 1 0-2 2. Totals: 20 4-11 45.

SITKA (33)

Chloe Delong 1 0-0 2, Kim Uddipa 1 0-0 2, Mindy Jacoby 0 0-0 0, Christine Grun 1 1-5 3, Randi Hames 0 0-0 0, Kerri Curtiss 0 0-0 0, Tricia Young 2 1-2 5, Jennie Phillips 0 2-2 2, Breanne Erickson 1 5-6 7, Heather Hawk 0 0-0 0, Sidney Wyman 3 3-5 12. Totals: 9 12-20 33.

JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 4 15 12 14 - 45

SITKA 6 6 11 10 - 33

3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 1 (Haas 1), Sitka 3 (Wyman 3). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Juneau-Douglas 20, Sitka 17.



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