The Falcons scored just one first-half field goal and five points as Petersburg cruised to a 49-20 win in the girls' basketball program's first high school game ever at Thunder Mountain High School.
Coach Tanya Nizich said she was glad to have the first game out of the way.
"I think they were a little bit nervous going into to tip-off," she said. "First-game jitters, it's out of the way, hopefully we can put that behind us."
"We were really nervous. It was a little difficult. It was fun, but it was kind of scary because we didn't know what to expect," sophomore forward Shale Kibby said. "That was the first time our varsity had played against another varsity team or even played together because we play our JV every day."
The Vikings led 7-0 when freshman guard Darbee Hickock stepped to the charity stripe and scored the first two points in Thunder Mountain history, but Petersburg took a 13-2 lead after one period.
The Vikings continued to extend their lead throughout the second period and held a 30-3 advantage when sophomore forward Donnita White banked in the Falcons' first field goal from about 10 feet out on the left block with 52 seconds left in the first half, setting the half-time score at 30-5.
The second half fared much better for the Falcons. Sophomore forward Holley White knocked down two free throws to start the second-half scoring, and then TMHS scored back-to-back buckets when freshman forward Kylie Ibias drilled a triple from the wing and sophomore Kibby scored a stickback to cut the deficit 34-12 with 3:04 to go in the third.
Freshman guard Jonelle Staveland's pull-up jumper from 12 feet out was the Falcons' eighth and ninth points of the third. The Vikings led 39-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
Petersburg outscored Thunder Mountain 10-6 in the fourth to set the final score. The Vikings won the turnover battle 30-20, and Kibby led TMHS with four points.
Nizich was happy with the way the Falcons came out in the second half.
"I was proud of them. They hustled and I was happy to see that they kept playing and didn't give up," she said. "They played all the way to the very last second, and that was good to see."
Turnovers cut out offensive opportunities as Falcons fall, 58-17
Saturday's matchup was more of the same, with Petersburg running out to a big early lead and never looking back, winning 58-17.
The Falcons had no answer inside for Petersburg sophomore forward Carolyn Kvernik, the tallest player on the floor who was a stickback machine early, scoring eight points in the first quarter alone. The Vikings led 13-2 when TMHS sophomore guard Sarah Solberg canned a triple from the wing, and held a 15-5 advantage after one quarter.
Petersburg scored the first eight points of the second quarter before TMHS sophomore forward Shale Kibby rattled in a jumper to make it 23-7, Vikings. Kibby hit a turnaround inside with 1:10 to go in the half, and the Vikings took a 27-9 lead into the break.
Petersburg had just two first-half turnovers to Thunder Mountain's 16.
"We need to cut back on the turnovers and letting them having fast breaks," coach Tanya Nizich admitted afterward. "That would help tremendously, and hustling back on defense. We talked about that at halftime, just not getting beat. That's an area we need to work more on - conditioning and hustling back."
The Vikings scored the first nine points of the third quarter before freshman guard Jonelle Staveland made a free throw at the 1:30 mark. Staveland then splashed a baseline jumper to cut the deficit to 38-12, and Petersburg led 40-12 after three.
Petersburg tacked on 18 more while the Falcons made five free throws in the fourth quarter to set the final score.
Nizich said her turnovers are killing her team's offensive opportunities.
"We want to take shots - good shots - if somebody's open," she said. "They have the green light. You're not going to score without shooting and it's just a matter of time before we get more accurate as the season goes on. Everything will piece together and we'll be all right."
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.