Severson with 31 points for Vikings

Petersburg win their first title since 1929

Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2007

ANCHORAGE - Petersburg better be ready for a celebration 78 years in the making.

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The Vikings' Cameron Severson hit a go-ahead jumper with 30 seconds left and then made a key steal in the ensuing possession to seal the Class 3A boys basketball championship with a 74-73 win over Ben Eielson High School at Sullivan Arena.

This is the first state championship for Petersburg High School since 1929.

"This is going to be great," Severson said. "We're going to celebrate this for a while."

Severson's intelligent play helped Petersburg down a gritty Ravens team from Fairbanks.

After hitting the go-ahead jumper, Severson perfectly read Eielson's next move. When the Ravens' Kyle McConnell tried to force a pass inside, Severson alertly picked it off and got fouled.

After hitting two free throws, Eielson made an inconsequential two-point basket as the Vikings rushed the floor to celebrate a historic title.

"Cameron does a lot of things," Petersburg coach Rick Brock said. "He's a great athlete, but what separates him is that his basketball IQ is off the charts."

Severson, David Mazzella and Trevor McCay all made the All-Tournament team for their efforts.

Severson finished with 31 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Cody Smith had 15 points and Mazzella contributed 11 points and eight boards for Petersburg. McCay added eight points and seven boards in the win.

"We have a great community, and it's very supportive of our basketball program," Brock said. "It feels great to win this and bring it back home for them."

Petersburg led 41-32 at halftime but Eielson refused to back down.

Despite playing a four-overtime thriller the night before, the Ravens chipped away at Petersburg's advantage before taking the lead late in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings, however, would not be denied a state championship.

"It means a whole lot," Severson said. "The whole town is into this."

Petersburg 74, Eielson 73

PHS - 18 23 17 16 - 74

EHS - 18 14 18 23 - 73

Petersburg (74) - J. Mazzella 2-4 1-2 7; Smith 5-9 3-3 15; Parr 0-0 0-0 0; McCay 3-6 2-2 8; Severson 12-18 7-7 31; D. Mazzella 5-11 1-2 11; Thompson 1-1 0-0 2; Birchell 0-1 0-0 0.

Eielson (73) - Hill 5-10 2-2 14; McConnell 5-8 2-2 14; Growden 6-16 0-0 12; Pew 12-17 0-1 25; Laurtizen 0-1 0-0 0; Josh Nickerson 0-1 2-2 2; Jeremy Nickerson 1-4 0-0 2; Fearon 2-4 0-1 4.

3-point shots - Petersburg 4-8 (J. Mazzella, Smith 2), Eielson 5-16 (Hill, McConnell 2).

Rebounds - Petersburg 36 (Severson 9), Eielson 19 (Pew 7).

Assists - Petersburg 13 (J. Mazzella, Severson 4), Eielson 8 (Hill 3).

Free throws - Petersburg 14-16, Eielson 6-8.

Fouled out - None.

Fouls - Petersburg 12, Eielson 14.



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