Viking girls push back from brink

Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2004

SITKA - The top-ranked Petersburg girls basketball team was pushed to the brink on Friday, but showed grace under pressure and used some timely steals to win their second straight region title.

The Vikings rallied to beat the Mount Edgecumbe Braves 37-34 in the Region V-Class 3A girls title game at Mount Edgecumbe High School.

It was a memorable new chapter to a long, healthy rivalry between the two teams; before last season, Edgecumbe had posted 20 straight wins on Petersburg.

"They started out so strong and we got back into it at halftime," Petersburg coach Dino Brock said. "Edgecumbe deserves a lot of credit. They made us work."

Mount Edgecumbe built a 12-5 lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter, three Petersburg steals led to three straight baskets by senior Kayleigh Short to bring the Vikings to within one - 14-13. The Braves maintained a 20-18 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Petersburg senior Tessa Bergmann scored a basket off a steal to tie the game at 22-all before Mount Edgecumbe built a four-point lead, 28-24, on a driving layup by junior Colleen Nicoli.

The Braves led 30-28 entering the final period.

In the fourth, Viking senior post Britni Birchell scored a basket to tie the game at 30-all, and Short was fouled after a steal and sank both free throws to put the Vikings up 32-30 with 5:08 to play.

Mount Edgecumbe retook the lead briefly - 34-32 - with 2:35 to play, but Petersburg scored the last five points of the game. The Braves missed a 3-point try with two seconds left.

"It feels great," Short said of the title. "We wanted to beat them on their home court and defend our title."

But, she noted, "it was way too close for comfort."

Birchell led the Vikings (21-1 overall) with 14 points and Short added 10.

Senior Bunky Keyes and junior Ellie Jackson each scored 10 points to lead Mount Edgecumbe (13-10 overall).

"I told them I've never had a team that has ever done as much with the talent they had as this group did," Braves coach Rich Calkins said. "They played tremendous defense. Offensively, it might not be the prettiest thing to watch, but we do what we do well. ...

"We're looking forward (to state). Petersburg is ranked No. 1 and we played 'em tough."

Both teams qualify for the state tournament later this week in Anchorage.

Craig 53, Metlakatla 49

Down by one point with less than a minute to play, the Craig girls scored the last five points of the game on clutch free-throw shooting by senior Vanessa James and junior Jill May to beat Metlakatla and claim third place in the region.

May hit two shots from the charity stripe with 50 seconds left to put the Panthers up 50-49, and James followed with two free throws 15 seconds later to but Craig up by three en route to the win.

Teammate Stacia Miller whispered in James' ear before James made her shots.

"She said, 'no pressure, knock 'em down,'" James said.

"Craig has never come this far from what I remember," she said. "Metlakatla put up a great fight, and it was a great win."

Craig coach Cary Calvert said James has provided a lot of leadership for the Panthers in her senior year.

"Vanessa keeps us together," he said. "She went out her way."

James scored 24 points and May had 17 for Craig (11-14 overall). Aleasha Hayward scored 16 points and Jodi Boyd added 11 for Metlakatla (10-11 overall).

Wrangell 62, Haines 30

The Wolves scored 15 points in the second quarter while holding the Glacier Bears scoreless in the period en route to a victory in the fifth-sixth place game.

Wrangell's Tessa Appleman followed up by scoring 11 of her 13 points in the third quarter to further the Wolves' edge.

Laurie Brown scored 14 points to lead Wrangell (6-13 overall), and Jessica Blunt added 10.

Lilly Ward scored 13 points and Kim Ferrin added 11 for Haines (4-16 overall).

• Andrew Krueger can be reached at andrew.krueger@juneauempire.com.

REGION V TOURNAMENT

CLASS 3A GIRLS

VIKINGS 37, BRAVES 34

Friday's Region V-Class 3A tournament girls championship game from Mount Edgecumbe High School

PETERSBURG (37) - Tessa Bergmann 2 1-2 5, Gillian Severson 0 0-0 0, Emily Moran 1 0-0 2, Britni Birchell 5 4-6 14, Autumn Streuli 2 0-0 4, Kayleigh Short 4 2-2 10, Katrina Berg 0 2-2 2, Lynsey Richards 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 9-12 37.

MOUNT EDGECUMBE (34) - Coleen Nicoli 1 0-2 2, Nicole Akaran 0 2-3 2, Amber Vaska 3 0-2 6, Desiree Merculief 1 0-0 2, Ellie Jackson 5 0-0 10, Bunky Keyes 4 2-3 10, Jolene Jackinsky 0 2-2 2. Totals: 14 6-12 34.

PETERSBURG 5 13 10 9 - 37

MOUNT EDGECUMBE 12 8 10 4 - 34

3-point goals - None. Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Petersburg 13, Mount Edgecumbe 15.

PANTHERS 53, MISSCHIEFS 49

Friday's Region V-Class 3A tournament third-fourth place girls game from Mount Edgecumbe High School

CRAIG (53) - Jill May 6 5-8 17, Stacia Miller 3 0-2 8, Emily Haydu 0 0-4 0, Keala Durgan 1 0-0 2, Vanessa James 7 9-13 24, Brianne Goheen 1 0-1 2, Andria Skaflestad 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 14-27 53.

METLAKATLA (49) - Jodi Boyd 4 3-7 11, Aleasha Hayward 7 1-1 16, Erin Hayward 0 0-0 0, Candi McGilton 2 0-1 4, Sally King 2 0-0 4, Christina Brendible 2 0-2 4, Kristy Didrickson 3 3-5 9, Amber Dundas 0 0-0 0, Hannah Henderson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20 8-16 49.

CRAIG 12 11 16 14 - 53

METLAKATLA 15 12 12 10 - 49

3-point goals - Craig 3 (Miller 2, James 1), Metlakatla 1 (A. Hayward 1). Fouled out - Craig 1 (Haydu), Metlakatla 2 (A. Hayward, Brendible). Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Craig 16, Metlakatla 19.

WOLVES 62, GLACIER BEARS 30

Friday's Region V-Class 3A tournament fifth-sixth place girls game from Mount Edgecumbe High School

HAINES (30) - Lilly Ward 4 5-8 13, Carrie Wilkins 0 0-0 0, Kim Ferrin 5 1-3 11, Kelly Hansen 0 0-0 0, Ivanca Jones 2 1-3 6, Brianna Phillips 0 0-2 0. Totals: 10 7-16 30.

WRANGELL (62) - Laurie Brown 7 0-0 14, Tasha Peterman 0 0-0 0, Kristy Brown 2 0-0 4, Tessa Appleman 5 3-4 13, Sarah Helgeson 4 0-0 8, Laura McCay 3 1-1 7, Marlo Mathis 1 0-0 2, Brook Williams 2 0-0 4, Jessica Blunt 3 4-6 10. Totals: 27 7-10 62.

HAINES 7 0 13 10 - 30

WRANGELL 10 15 19 18 - 62

3-point goals - None. Fouled out - Haines 1 (Ferrin), Wrangell 0. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Haines 13, Wrangell 17.



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