Good things come to those who wait - and to those who work hard to get better.
The Thunder Mountain girls' basketball team picked up its first win in school history Thursday, topping Haines 50-45 on the first day of the Little Norway Tournament in Petersburg.
"A lot of smiles," Falcons coach Tanya Nizich said of the girls' reactions afterward. "There was a lot of looking around at each other like, 'Really? We did it?' It was a pretty nice feeling, especially for them. I'm so glad they could finally look at the scoreboard and walk out of the gym with a 'W'."
Thunder Mountain (1-2), which went winless in its inaugural season last year, held a two-point lead after one quarter and 24-23 advantage at the half. Haines rallied with a 13-point third quarter to take a 36-33 lead.
"We talked about coming out with intensity, but I think we turned lackadaisical there for a little bit," Nizich admitted. "We got beat on defense and got beat up the court. They had some easy lay-ups and that's not what you want to see."
But the Falcons exploded for 17 fourth-quarter points while holding the Glacier Bears to nine en route to Victory No. 1.
"Melissa Fisher took over and scored eight of her 14 points in the fourth quarter," Nizich said. "She really took control and took solid shots off good drives to the basket."
Fisher's 14 points led the Falcons. Jonelle Staveland made two 3-pointers and scored 12 points, and Janie White owned the boards, scoring 10 points, all on stickbacks.
"She was blocking out and doing all of the work down there (under the basket)," Nizich said of White.
Shale Kibby added four points, Eyerus Tingley and Katie Tarver each had three, and Kinsey Marshall and Kylie Ibias each added two. Mikayala Pierce played but did not score.
Even in victory, Nizich said she and the girls saw plenty of room for improvement.
"Overall, it was a sloppy game in my opinion - and the girls', too -żand there were definitely some places we could have cleaned up," she said. "But all in all in the end, the difference seeing them jogging off the court after the game with a win was definitely fun to see."
The Falcons are back in action against Petersburg today at 8:15 p.m., and then play Kotzebue on Saturday at 3:15.
Service drops TMHS boys
Service rolled 73-36 over the Thunder Mountain boys Thursday in the first round of the 31st Annual Service Cougar Tip Off Tournament in Anchorage.
Josh Jones and Keith Ainsworth each scored eight points for the Falcons (0-3).
In other tourney games, Bartlett rallied in the fourth quarter for a 63-54 win over South, which held a 16-point lead at one point. Damon Sherman-Newsome scored 20 for Bartlett, and Jal Deng added 16.
T.J. McKinney and Tommy Hobbs scored 21 and 19 points, respectively, for South.
Point Hope hit 10 3-pointers in a 75-58 win over Lumen Christi. Adam Sage and Zach Lane combined to score 52 of Point Hope's points, while the Sturfulewski brothers, Ted and Hugh, scored 37 points for Lumen Christi.
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