Mt. Edgecumbe falls to Eielson, 46-40

Posted: Friday, March 24, 2000

ANCHORAGE - The Mount Edgecumbe girls basketball team entered the Class 3A state tournament with high hopes of winning their first state

title.

But there will be no championship for the Braves this year as the Eielson Ravens claimed a 46-40 victory over Mount Edgecumbe in the tournament opener Thursday at Sullivan Arena.

The Ravens led throughout the game as they used a decided height advantage to outrebound Mount Edgecumbe 53-40. Down the stretch, whenever the Braves would close to within one possession, Eielson made seven of its nine free-throw attempts during the game's final 3 minutes, 5 seconds to seal the victory.

``We've been working on our free throws a lot,'' Eielson's Denisha Lamb said after leading the Ravens with 15 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and six blocked shots. ``We missed a few early (in the fourth quarter), but we made them when we had to.''

In other first-round Class 3A girls games, the defending state champion Valdez Buccaneers beat the Wrangell Wolves 61-33, the Anchorage Christian Schools Lions beat the Barrow Whalers 63-33 and the Nikiski Bulldogs beat the Bethel Warriors 53-22.

Mount Edgecumbe fell behind 14-10 in the first quarter and trailed 23-17 late in the second quarter before closing to within 23-20 at halftime. The Eielson lead would range from two points to six points the rest of the way, but Mount Edgecumbe could never get the tie.

``We didn't really rebound or box out," said Mount Edgecumbe guard Prema Warren, who scored 11 points for the Braves, adding that Eielson's 3- to 5-inch height advantage shouldn't have made a difference. ``We have heart over height. We didn't come out swinging. If we played 'em again, I think we can beat 'em.''

``I don't know what happened,'' Mount Edgecumbe forward Teresa Squartsoff

said. "We were pretty nervous. But we could have played a lot better. Usually we play a lot better. Usually we're really focussed at the end of the game. That's where we usually win them. Besides Lamb's production, Eielson picked up 12 points and 14 rebounds from Wendy Buzby, while Jessica Hill scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Hill and Lamb combined to make 10 of 17 free throws in the fourth quarter. Mount Edgecumbe had 14 points and three assists from Halane Isidore and four points and seven rebounds from Squartsoff, in addition to Warren's points. However, Adrienne Taalak, who has been leading the Braves in recent games, only scored six points although she grabbed eight rebounds and made three steals.

"We didn't know anything about them (the Braves). We kind of had blinders on," Lamb said. "We knew who their top scorers were, but that

was about it. But this is our third year at state, and we've never been

this confident before."

Valdez 61, Wrangell 33

The Wolves found out why the Buccaneers are the defending Class 3A

state champions as Valdez jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and never

looked back.

Even though the Buccaneers return just five players from their state

championship team of last year, Valdez still used its basic game plan of

getting the other team to make turnovers at halfcourt and scoring on

breakaways or kicking it in to the paint for one of the three 6-footers

on the roster. Valdez, which has no seniors on its roster this year,

doesn't rebuild. It reloads.

Emily Kellett, one of the Valdez 6-footers, scored 16 points and

grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Buccaneers. Jamie Lee, a guard,

scored 11 points and made four steals, while Susan Neilson scored eight

points off the bench, Kristina Lawrence scored seven points and made

four steals and Keyshea Gibbs had six points, seven assists and three

steals.

"We have good programs coming up from the junior highs," Kellett said.

"We've been working hard all season for this. I think we have a bigger

team this year."

"We've got a good JV program and great teamwork," Valdez coach Barb

Lyons said.

Wrangell, which was making its first trip to state since 1995, was led

by Lizzy Romane with 12 points and 11 rebounds. But Romane also had 13

of Wrangell's 35 turnovers. Valdez only committed 14 turnovers when it

had the ball. Camilla Owens added seven points for the Wolves, who had

no other players score more than four points.

"We could have done a lot better," Wrangell forward Kaelene Wilson said

after scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds. "This is the first

time we've ever been in the state tournament."

Wrangell forward Jennifer Davies said Valdez's height advantage played

into the victory, but there was another reason Valdez won.

"Oh, it was their shooting," Davies said. "They were on today."

RAVENS 46 BRAVES 40

Thursday's Class 3A girls first-round game

EIELSON (46)

Nicole Lacey 0 0-0 0, Jessica Hill 3 7-13 13, Diaysha Henderson 0 0-0

0, Brandi Henderson 0 0-0 0, Alisa Ham 0 0-0 0, Morgan Mebus 0 0-0 0,

Kathryn Harris 0 0-0 0, Cynthia DeLoach 0 0-0 0, Wendy Buzby 6 0-2 12,

Denisha Lamb 4 7-10 15, Janelle Nicholas 1 0-0 2, Juliana Henderson 2

0-0 4. Totals: 16 14-25 46.

MOUNT EDEGCUMBE (40)

Dana Diehl 0 0-0 0, Renee Kochuten 0 0-0 0, Stephanie Long 0 0-0 0,

Adrienne Taalak 3 0-1 6, Teresa Squartsoff 2 0-0 4, Prema Warren 4 1-3

11, Melanie Beans 0 0-0 0, Sara Squartsoff 0 3-5 3, Halane isidore 5 2-4

14, Moriah Sallaffie 0 0-0 0, Geneva Head 1 0-0 2, Andrea Aiken 0 0-0 0.

Totals: 15 6-13 40.

EIELSON 14 9 9 14 -- 46

MOUNT EDGECUMBE 10 12 6 12 -- 40

3-point goals -- Eielson 0, Mount Edgecumbe 4 (Warren 2, Isidore 2).

Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- Eielson 17,

Mount Edgecumbe 14.

BUCCANEERS 61 WOLVES 33

Thursday's Class 3A girls first-round game WRANGELL (33)

Carly Seimears 2 0-0 4, Nicole Jamieson 1 2-2 4, Lindsey Garbisch 0 0-0

0, Alice Miller 0 0-0 0, Alesha Cooper 0 0-0 0, Lizzy Romane 3 5-11 12,

Camilla Owens 2 3-4 7, Letitia Churchill 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Davies 1 0-0

2, Adrienne McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Kaelene Wilson 1 2-2 4. Totals: 10 12-19

VALDEZ (61)

Amanda Alexander 0 3-5 3, Susan Neilsen 2 4-4 8, Lynsea Garrison 0 0-0

0, Audra McCann 0 0-0 0, Shannon Arts 2 0-0 4, Kristina Lawrence 2 3-4

6, Jamie Lee 5 1-2 11, Keyshea Gibbs 2 2-2 6, Audrey Cotter 1 0-0 2,

Cookie Huddy 0 0-0 0, Emily Kellett 7 2-2 16, Kate Goudreau 2 0-0 4.

Totals: 23 15-19 61.

WRANGELL 8 9 7 9 -- 33

VALDEZ 20 12 14 15 -- 61

3-point goals -- Wrangell 1 (Romane 1), Valdez 0. Fouled out --

Wrangell 1 (Owens), Valdez 0. Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls --

Wrangell 13, Valdez 13.



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