• Nikolaevsk boys split games against Seldovia and Unalakleet
By Sean Pearson
Four Nikolaevsk players scored in double figures as the Warrior boys’ team trounced the Seldovia Sea Otters 62-42 in Peninsula Conference play at home on Friday.
Eric Mametieff led the way for the Warriors with 17 points, while Anthony Yakunin had 16, Blake Klaich had 12 and Anatoli Fefelov had 10.
Nikolaevsk led by only three after the first quarter, and kept Seldovia in striking distance with a 33-24 halftime lead. A 13-4 third-quarter run took care of that, and the Warriors cruised to the win.
For Seldovia, Aidan Philpot had 16 points, while Dylan Waterbury added 13.
The Warriors had a tougher time on Saturday, giving up 26 first-quarter points to Unalakleet on their way to a 55-68 loss at home.
Nikolaevsk kept pace with Unalakleet throughout the rest of the game, but couldn’t overcome the deficit.
Mametieff again led the scoring for the Warriors, pumping in 15 points. Anatoli Fefelov added 13.
Despite his 32-point weekend effort, Mametieff said he will never be satisfied with how the team plays when he knows they can always do better.
Mametieff said he feels like all the pieces of the team are starting to fall together as the season winds down.
“This year’s Regionals will be tough, no doubt,” he said. “But I think whoever comes out ready to play will win.”
The senior said he has every confidence that his team will be ready – and can win.
“I’ve played with this team since eighth grade,” he said. “Now we are ready for this big step.”
Ladies on the warpath
The Nikolaevsk Lady Warriors continued their winning ways on Friday with a 59-6 crushing of the over-matched Seldovia Lady Sea Otters. Nikolaevsk dominated the game early, picking up 26 first-quarter points, while holding the Sea Otters scoreless. Kayla Stafford led the Lady Warriors to the Peninsula Conference win 10 points, while Naniella Dorvall and Elena Gordeev each chipped in eight.
In a much closer contest, Nikolaevsk beat Unalakleet 45-34 on Saturday following a big fourth-quarter performance.
The Lady Warriors got off to a slow start, falling behind 5-10 in the first quarter, before closing the gap to three at the half. With each team scoring nine points in the third quarter, the game was within either team’s grasp. Nikolaevsk put an end to any speculation about the game’s final score, rallying to the win with 16-2 fourth-quarter run.
Dorvall led the scoring for the Lady Warriors, putting up 17 points. Kilina Klaich added 10 and Sophia Kalugin had nine.
Both boys and girls teams finish up their seasons tomorrow against Cook Inlet Academy, before opening post-season play at Lumen Christi next weekend.
Ninilchik hosts tourney
Ninilchik senior Jack Wheeler amassed 114 points in four games to lead his Wolverines to second place in their own tournament over the weekend.
“I felt pretty good with my performance, but felt better about how we played as a team,” Wheeler said on Sunday. “Everyone knew their roles and stepped up when they needed to.”
Wheeler opened with 26 points in a 62-40 stomping of Chevak. Jayke Cooper added 17. The Wolverines picked up 22 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win, and moved on to play Unalakleet.
Wheeler picked up 29 points against Unalakleet, but gave up 27 points in the second quarter and fell 47-65.
The loss moved the Wolverines to the consolation bracket to face Noorvik, while Unalakleet moved on to the title game.
It took a 15-4 overtime performance and 34 points from Wheeler, but the Wolverines outlasted the Noorvik Bears 65-54 to make their way back up the bracket to face Unalakleet again; this time for the tourney championship. Cooper added 10.
After playing the long game against Noorvik, Ninilchik struggled to keep up in the title game, falling behind 20-45 at the half. Wheeler continued his scoring spree with 25 points, but succumbed to the stronger Unalakleet team 51-81.
Despite the loss, Wheeler said he feels good about where the team is at right now, and credits the team’s play for getting him fired up.
“Our goal this year is set high, as we not only want to win Regions, but also go to State,” he said. “After the way our team played this weekend, the sky is the limit. No one is standing in our way.”
The Ninilchik girls continued to struggle, losing four games at their home tournament. The Lady Wolverines opened against a bigger and faster junior varsity team from Soldotna on Wednesday, and promptly fell 19-40. The Soldotna JV competed in place of the Chevak girls, who were unable to make the trip. Krista Sinclair led Ninilchik with seven points.
The Cook Inlet Academy girls advanced to the finals of the tournament with a 56-9 victory over Ninilchik on Friday. The Lady Eagles went on to win the title after defeating Unalakleet 25-33 in the championship game.
Unalakleet opened the day with a 25-56 win over the Lady Wolverines. Jordan Finney had eight points. Ninilchik went on to face Noorvik, and fell 21-59 to end the tournament. Finney had 10 points for Ninilchik.
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