Vikings rally to earn state berth

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002

The Petersburg High School girls basketball team will be returning to the Class 3A state tournament after a three-year absence.

The unranked Vikings earned a berth in next weekend's state tournament by knocking off the state's fifth-ranked Craig Panthers 58-33 on Thursday afternoon at the Region V-Class 3A tournament at Juneau-Douglas High School.

"We went my freshman year, and I was the only freshman on the team," Petersburg senior forward Karna Williams said. "It's nice to be able to go again in my senior year."

Petersburg also earned a spot in today's Region V-Class 3A championship game, where the Vikings will face three-time defending champion Mount Edgecumbe. The No. 3 Braves earned their fifth straight trip to state with a 53-33 victory over Haines in Thursday's other semifinal.

Petersburg and Mount Edgecumbe will play for the region title at 3:30 p.m. today. In today's consolation games, Wrangell and Metlakatla played at 8 a.m. for fifth place while Haines and Craig played at 11:45 a.m. for third.

While Petersburg (14-7 overall) wound up winning Thursday's semifinal game by 25 points, the Vikings had tough going early in the game.

Craig's Heather Douville scored eight of her team's first 10 points as the Panthers (15-6 overall) jumped out to a 10-4 lead. But the Vikings switched to a 2-3 zone defense to slow Douville down, then went to a full-court trap when Douville picked up her third foul in the first quarter and her fourth foul midway through the second period.

"I think it was kind of scary," Petersburg senior guard Brita Lyons said. "But we weren't nervous."

"We knew we had to pick up the intensity," Petersburg senior guard Jennifer Smith added. "Switching to the trap got us moving and we were getting steals. Plus, Heather sat out a little bit. This makes up for last year a little bit."

Petersburg had a team it thought was the second best team in the region last year, but the Vikings wound up having to face Mount Edgecumbe in the semifinals at the region tournament. Petersburg fell behind by 18 points in the first quarter, but pulled to within one point of the Braves late in last year's game before finally losing 49-43.

The bracket worked out better for Petersburg this year, which beat Craig twice the only two times the teams played earlier this season. The Vikings lost all four of their games with Mount Edgecumbe, but two weekends ago Petersburg had large leads entering the fourth quarter in both games only to lose four points and two points.

"We should have won that second game," Williams said. "We lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter."

In Thursday's game, Petersburg's opening struggles forced coach Dino Brock to call a time out to calm his team down. That's when the Vikings switched to the zone defense, which kept Douville from finding open lanes to the basket. When Douville got into foul trouble, it was time to trap.

"It tooks us a while to wake up," Petersburg's Kayleigh Short said. "We picked up the intensity with the trap. it felt like we had to step up."

"We had to take our time more on offense," Petersburg's Krista Birchell added "We heard they were ranked fifth, so we knew we had to play our best."

Short scored 12 points and dished out four assists to lead Petersburg, while Birchell came off the bench to score eight points and grab 10 rebounds. Williams also scored eight points for the Vikings, who had all but one player score points Thursday. Tessa Bergmann and Brandy Cole each grabbed five rebounds and Smith dished out three assists.

Douville led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Jerian Kampnich added seven points.

"We were all pretty excited," Douville said. "We wanted to make them work, and it felt like our other girls were stepping up. We'll be back next year."

"We knew it would come down to numbers," Craig coach Troy Thain said. "My girls just ran out of steam. We've got some good girls, but when the ball got into the low post they (the Vikings) went 6-foot, 5-11, 5-11 inside."

Braves 53, Glacier Bears 33

Led by the senior guard combo of Prema Warren and Melanie Beans, Mount Edgecumbe kept its dreams of a fourth straight Region V-Class 3A title alive with a victory over Haines in Thursday's other semifinal game.

Beans scored 15 points to lead the Braves (18-5 overall), while Warren added 13. Ella Morris chipped in 10 points for Mount Edgecumbe, and Bernadine Keyes added eight.

Keely Falcon scored 10 points to lead Haines (6-14 overall) and freshman guard Drew Fossman chipped in eight.

Mount Edgecumbe jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and the Braves were never threatened. But Mount Edgecumbe coach Paul Johnson said his team could have played better, even if it did earn its fifth straight trip to the Class 3A state tournament.

"We won with athleticism today," Johnson said. "We didn't win with a disciplined halfcourt offense. We won because of our two senior guards. We didn't win by playing poised basketball."

Charles Bingham can be reached at


Thursday's Region V-3A girls game from JDHS

CRAIG (33) -- Heather Douville 6 8-12 20, Jerian Kampnich 3 0-0 7, Vanessa James 1 0-0 3, Leilani James 0 1-2 1, Jill May 1 0-0 2, Keala Durgan 0 0-0 0, Stephanie Lowery 0 0-0 0, Beccy Moots 0 0-0 0, Chanel McKinley 0 0-0 0, Stephanie Claus 0 0-0 0, Amanda Volosh 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 9-14 33.

PETERSBURG (58) -- Jennifer Smith 2 0-0 4, Karna Williams 4 0-0 8, Brandy Cole 1 4-6 6, Britni Birchell 1 2-2 4, Kayleigh Short 4 4-5 12, Brita Lyons 1 0-0 3, Krista Birchell 3 2-2 8, Tessa Bergmann 1 1-1 3, Autumn Streuli 3 0-0 6, Katrina Berg 0 0-0 0, Emily Moran 1 0-0 2, Lynsey Richards 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 13-16 58.

CRAIG 10 6 4 13 -- 33

PETERSBURG 13 22 11 12 -- 58

3-point goals -- Craig 2 (Kampnich 1, V. James 1), Petersburg 1 (Lyons 1). Fouled out -- Craig 1 (L. James), Petersburg 1 (Cole). Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- Craig 15, Petersburg 16.


Thursday's Region V-3A girls game from JDHS

MOUNT EDGECUMBE (53) -- Prema Warren 4 3-4 13, Melanie Beans 6 2-3 15, Meridith Akaran 1 3-4 5, Bernadine Keyes 4 0-0 8, Ella Morris 4 2-4 10, Jolene Chikigak 0 0-0 0, Moriah Sallaffie 1 0-0 2, Grace Stickman 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Evan 0 0-0 0, Ellie Jackson 0 0-0 0, Sonta Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Anesha Wallace 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 10-15 53.

HAINES (33) -- Amy Gross 1 2-3 4, Ivanca Jones 2 0-0 4, Keely Falcon 5 0-0 10, Drew Fossman 3 2-2 8, Lori Sele 1 0-0 2, Meagan Nye 0 0-0 0, Kim Ferrin 0 3-3 3, Alexa Mark 0 0-0 0, Kendra Jones 0 0-0 0, Samantha Darling 1 0-0 2, Tomomi Nagaoka 0 0-0 0, Breanna Bagley 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 7-8 33.

MOUNT EDGECUMBE 18 9 7 19 -- 53

HAINES 4 12 7 10 -- 33

3-point goals -- Mount Edgecumbe 3 (Warren 2, Beans 1), Haines 0. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- Mount Edgecumbe 10, Haines 14.

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