Hoops roundup: Nanwalek boys clinch historic state berth

For the first time in its history, Nanwalek boys team goes to state.

Staff report

Lumen Christi swept the Peninsula Conference titles for the second straight year last Friday at the conference tournament at Lumen Christi in Anchorage.

The Archangels boys toppled Cook Inlet Academy 77-35 in the championship game, while the Lumen girls outlasted Birchwood Christian 28-20.

The Lumen Christi girls and boys both earned berths to the Class 1A state tournament from March 16 to 19 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

Saturday, the Nanwalek boys and Birchwood Christian girls took second place at the tournament to take the second berths to state.

The Nanwalek boys are going to state for the first time in the history of the program. Nanwalek boys coach Kevin Seville said he started the program 14 years ago.

“I’m excited to get home,” Seville said. “I know the village will be there to meet us. The community will be proud of their effort.”

Nanwalek only has five players on the team, but that didn’t stop the squad from winning twice Saturday to make state.

“We don’t have bench players,” said Seville, who also was happy the girls team earned the sportsmanship award. “The boys played their hearts out and earned the trip. I’m proud of their effort.”

The Eagles started the day with a 53-15 victory over Birchwood Christian. Tikhon Kvasnikoff paced Nanwalek with 18 points, while Sean Moonin had 17, Matthias Evans had 12, Julius Kvasnikoff had four and Cruz Kvasnikoff had two.

Nanwalek then faced Cook Inlet Academy in the second-place game. CIA had defeated Nanwalek three times this season, including in the opening round of the tournament Friday.

Nanwalek was able to pull off a 42-32 victory as CIA ended its season at 9-12 overall. Nanwalek led 10-5 after the first quarter, 25-18 at halftime and 29-24 after the third period.

Seville said the key to the game was Moonin’s defense on CIA star James Boyd, who was held to five points. Boyd had 29 in the opening round victory over Nanwalek.

“Our guard did the magic,” Seville said of Moonin. “He was in his pocket all night. He worked his tail off.

“Everybody else closed up the paint and secured rebounds when they needed to.”

Tikhon Kvasnikoff had 16, while Moonin had 13, Julius Kvasnikoff had six, Evans had five and Cruz Kvasnikoff had two.

For CIA, Abraham Henderson had nine, Ian McGarry had eight, and Boyd, Brady Baeten and Jeremy Dillingham all had five.

The CIA girls also came up a game short of state, losing to Birchwood 37-22 to finish at 6-14 overall.

For Birchwood, Ella Phillips had 16 while Maddy Buyse had 11, Derby Buyse had five, Lanei Brisson had three and Annemarie Weihrich had two.

For CIA, Tatum Rozak had 10, Hope Hillyer had eight, and Katya Vitryachenko and Kaitlyn Liles each had two.

In the boys championship Friday, Lumen took control early, leading 25-8 after the first quarter.

Tim Bennett poured in 31 points for the Archangels, while Brenden Gregory added 29. Also for Lumen, Robert Wilcox had eight, Sam Kaplan had three, and Kellen Cain, Kade Jackson and Michael Henry all had two.

For the Eagles, McGarry had 12, Abraham Henderson had 10, Dillingham had seven, Boyd had four and Paxton McKnight added two.

In the girls championship, Lumen led 8-5 after the first quarter, 16-9 at halftime and 24-14 headed to the fourth quarter.

For the Archangels, Natalie Grubba had 11, Emily Ross had eight, Amara Warren had seven and Laura Renfro had two. For Birchwood, Maddy Buyse led the way with nine points.

The tournament started Friday with CIA toppling Nanwalek 67-41 in the opening round. This semifinal was supposed to happen Thursday, but was postponed to early Friday due to travel issues.

CIA led 15-4 after the first quarter and 31-16 at halftime.

Boyd poured in 29 for CIA, while McGarry had 16, Dillingham had 10, Henderson had seven, Baeten had three and Eric McKinley had two.

For Nanwalek, Evans had 14, Moonin had 12, Tikmon Kvasnikoff had nine, Julius Kvasnikoff had four and Cruz Kvasnikoff had two.

Later Friday, the Nanwalek boys stayed alive in the second-place bracket by defeating Holy Rosary 74-36. Nanwalek led 23-9 after the first quarter.

Evans led the charge with 27 points, while Tikhon Kvasnikoff had 19, Moonin had 17, Julius Kvasnikoff had nine and Cruz Kvasnikoff had two. For Holy Rosary, Damien Fournier had 23, Miles Minnery had eight and Sean Cooley had five.

Also Friday, the CIA girls advanced to the second-place game by defeating Nanwalek 47-18. CIA took control of the game with a 19-0 burst in the first quarter.

Rozak pumped in 24 points to pace CIA, while Hillyer had 17 and Liles added six.

For Nanwalek, Alyson Seville had nine, Haley Hetrick had four, Aggie Jimmie had three and Aggie Huntsman had two.

The tournament MVPs were Lumen’s Tim Bennett and Brenden Gregory on the boys side and Natalie Grubba and Amara Warren on the girls side. The boys coach of the year was Adam Trombley of Lumen, while the girls coach of the year was Tom Gregory of Lumen.

The girls all-tournament team was Aggie Jimmie of Nanwalek, Ella Phillips of Birchwood, Emily Ross of Lumen, Sabrina Warren of Lumen, Darby Buyse of Birchwood, Hope Hillyer of CIA, Katya Vitryachenko of CIA, Tatum Rozak of CIA and Maddy Buyse of Birchwood.

The boys all-tournament team was Kaleb Worley of Birchwood, Joseph Moriarity of Lumen, Ian McGarry of CIA, Damien Fournier of Holy Rosary, Sean Moonin of Nanwalek, Abraham Henderson of CIA, Julius Kvasnikoff of Nanwalek, James Boyd of CIA and Robert Wilcox of Lumen.

Palmer girls 56, Soldotna 42

The visiting Stars finished up their regular season with a loss to Palmer on Saturday in Northern Lights Conference play. SoHi finishes 2-8 in the league and 9-13 overall.

The Moose grabbed an 11-3 lead after the first quarter, then led 25-12 at halftime and 38-27 after three quarters.

Leading the Palmer attack were Kylie Henry with 14, Paige Marshall with 11 and Alyssa Clark with 10.

Katelyn Morrison pumped in 14 points for the Stars, with Josie Sheridan adding 12. Also for SoHi, Montana Fischer and Kaitlyn McAnelly had four, Jolie Widaman, Adarra Hagelund and Tanner Inman had two, and Ellie Burns and Regan Hunt had one.

Palmer boys 67, Soldotna 38

The host Moose topped the Stars in Northern Lights Conference action. SoHi finishes the regular season at 0-10 in the league and 9-16 overall.

Palmer put five in double figures — Kael Galliher with 15, Evan Rothenbuhler with 13, Elzavier Bradley with 12 and Gavin Obrien and Arin Mathis with 10 each.

For SoHi, Maleda Denbrock had 10, Gavin Jones and Ethan Sewell had seven, Zac Buckbee had five, Nate Johnson had four, Jakob Brown had three and Brock Wilson had two.

Redington girls 45, Nikiski 15

The host Huskies notched a nonconference victory Saturday. Nikiski finishes the regular season 1-22.

Redington boys 75, Nikiski 58

The host Huskies picked up a nonconference victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday. Nikiski finishes the regular season 7-17 overall.

Leading the way for Redington were Logan Seymore with 23, Doyle Bond with 13, Trevor Bowman with 11 and Wayde Bowman with 10.

Brady Bostic pumped in 19 points for the Bulldogs, who trailed 23-3 after the first quarter. Also for Nikiski, Dillon Hanson had 15, Simon Grenier had eight, Braeden Porter had seven, Charlie Chamberlain had four, David Weathers had three and Seth Payne had two.

Grace girls 48, Homer 24

The host Grizzlies notched a Peninsula Conference victory Saturday. Homer finishes the regular season 3-5 and 8-12.

Grace boys 67, Homer 13

The host Grizzlies toppled the Mariners in Peninsula Conference play Saturday. Homer finishes the regular season 5-3 and 11-11.

Seward girls 43, Ninilchik 14

The visiting Seahawks notched a nonconference victory over the Wolverines on Friday. Seward moves to 9-11 overall, while the Wolverines fall to 4-18.

Shelby Sieminski paced Seward with 12 points, while Lena Jagielski had 10, Hannah Schilling had eight, Hailey Ingalls had six, Robin Cronin had five and Renee Elhard had two.

For Ninilchik, Autumn Calabrese had six, Zoya Fefelov had five, Rebecca Okonek had two and Riley Tucker had one.

Ninilchik boys 81, Seward 35

The host Wolverines rolled past the Seahawks in nonconference play. Ninilchik is 20-0, while Seward falls to 5-15.

Landon Colburn paced five Ninilchik scorers in double figures with 19. Lukah Kalugin and Cole Moore each had 18, while Jaylin Scott had 12 and Justin Trail added 10. Blake Lemons and Cody Blossom each added two.

For Seward, Tommy Cronin had 16, Ozzy Deel had five, Bergen Davis had five, Nick Ambrosiani had two and Ben Ambrosiani had two.

Houston girls 56, Nikiski 36

The host Hawks notched a nonconference victory over the Bulldogs on Friday. Nikiski dropped to 1-21 overall.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 10-9 lead after the first quarter, but Houston led 25-17 at the half and 40-28 after three quarters.

Leading the Houston attack were Abbie Baird and Anna Whitted with 13 points apiece.

For the Bulldogs, Kinlee Jeffreys had 10 points before fouling out. Also. Ashlynne Playle had seven, Rylee Ellis and Ember Nelson each had six, Emma Weeks had four, Avery White had two and Avery Ellis had one.

Houston boys 86, Nikiski 39

The host Hawks toppled the Bulldogs in nonconference play Friday. Nikiski is now 7-16 overall.

Houston led 15-9 after the first quarter and 39-22 at halftime. The Hawks put five players in double figures — Cody Wyrick with 18, Braden Cork with 17, Cole Taylor with 16, Hayden Howard with 13 and Colton Bunn with 10.

For the Bulldogs, Dillon Hanson pumped in 14, while Brady Bostic had 13. Also for Nikiski, Braeden Porter had six, Seth Payne had four and Charlie Chamberlain had two.

Redington boys 45, Homer 40

The host Huskies notched a nonconference victory Friday to drop the Mariners to 11-10 overall. The Homer girls also lost at Redington but a score was not available. The Mariners fell to 8-11 overall.