The girls from Thunder Mountain had a banner weekend in Petersburg, picking up the first two wins in the program's varsity history and finishing 2-1 in the Little Norway Tournament, taking second place overall.
The Falcons topped Haines 50-45 Thursday before knocking off host Petersburg 54-47 Friday. Kotzebue won the round-robin tournament's de facto championship game, 51-32 over the Falcons on Saturday.
Kotzebue led 13-7 after one quarter and 21-12 at the half. Junior forward Shale Kibby led the Falcons with 14 points, junior guard Melissa Fisher added 6, and sophomore forward Jonelle Staveland and sophomore guard Katie Tarver added 5 points each.
On Friday, Staveland and Tarver combined for 46 of the Falcons' 54 points.
Tarver, who had 20 points, said it was matter of teammates feeding the hot hands.
"We find the players that are in a rhythm, and try to get the ball in their hands," she said. "It was a great team effort. We started off kind of slow and then got off to a good pace with good intensity. We pressed them most of the time and the more good things we did, the more the team was able to boost itself."
Staveland was a dead-eye from downtown, splashing the nets with seven 3-pointers en route to 26 points.
"Every individual player has gotten a lot better," Staveland said of the Falcons, who are now 2-3 after not winning a game all of last year. "It feels really good to start the season strong. I think we'll progress more as games go by and we'll learn a lot more."
Coach Tanya Nizich credited senior forward Janie White for being a beast on the boards all weekend. White said one of the biggest differences from last year is each player is more aware of what their specific role on the team is.
"It's pretty good going from last season to this season and winning two right off the bat," she said. "We've just all come together. We go into each game with a lot of personal and team goals. We know what our job is and we focus on that. That's helped a lot."
Nizich treated the team to dinner for its first-ever win.
"All in all it was a great weekend and a great tournament for us," Nizich said. "I can't wait to see every game from here on out because there's so much to be taught, and there's so much more room for improvement. It's exciting that we're only five games into the season."
The Falcons are back on the court Jan. 6 at Kodiak.
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