Petersburg Pilot -

Lady Vikings No. 1 going into State

 

james poulson / Sitka Sentinel

Kylie Wallace goes up for a tough jumper just outside the paint with Metlakatla's Drena Hayward draped all over her during championship game on Friday, March 11. Wallace scored a game-high 18 during the contest.

The Lady Vikings have been ranked No. 1 among 2A teams for the majority of the season. Winning the Region V title last weekend in Sitka solidified their strangle hold on the top seed at State this weekend where they take on the Dillingham Lady Wolverines in first round action.

"It was a great weekend, the atmosphere was incredible with the pep band, the cheerleaders, and all the teams supporting each other," said head coach Dino Brock. "The kids were ready to play and came out fired up."

On Thursday, the Lady Vikings started somewhat slow with only 11 first quarter points against the Craig Lady Panthers. The team had trouble moving the ball, bogging down their offensive momentum en route to a 19-13 lead at halftime. However, the Lady Vikings caught fire during the third quarter, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Lady Panthers.

Coach Brock changed up the strategy to start the second half, employing full-court pressure. The change worked and Petersburg put up 22 points in the third quarter, with five players contributing to the total. The team also stepped up the defense, holding Craig to 14 second half points, giving Petersburg a sizable victory to start the tournament, 53-27.

"We started pressing and running, we play better when we press," coach Brock said.

Standout Kylie Wallace continues to be a leader on the court and in the scorer's book. Wallace led the Lady Vikings with 17 points, and senior Adanna Kvernvik recorded nine points of her own. Ruby Brock was dealing with a cold during the tournament, but shook it off and dropped two 3-pointers and a free-throw to give her seven for the game.

The victory set the championship matchup against the Metlakatla Miss Chiefs, and coach Brock came out with pressure from the opening tip. The Lady Vikings started the game with just nine first quarter points, but solid team defense held the Miss Chiefs scoreless in the first period.

The game was well in hand by halftime, 21-6, giving coach Brock an opportunity to play all his squad in the second half. The big lead allowed younger players to gain valuable experience on a big stage, but the starters did not just idle by, he said.

"When the younger kids are getting a chance to play I really like the fact that our starters, our juniors and seniors, are so supportive of the younger group," coach Brock said. "They are on the bench cheering and yelling for them, encouraging them."

Petersburg took the championship contest 46-19, with Wallace and Brock leading the way. Wallace put up a game-high 18, including a 4-for-4 performance from the free-throw line, and Brock remained hot from long distance scoring all 12 of her points on four 3-pointers. Courtney Fredricksen, Emma Chase and Chandler Strickland added four points apiece.

james poulson / Sitka Sentinel

The Lady Vikings celebrate their 2A Region V championship with a locker room photo. Back: (left to right) Adanna Kvernvik, Maddie Parker, Kylie Wallace and Josie Prus. Middle: assistant coach Kerri Curtiss, Courtney Fredricksen, Emma Chase, Rikki Lewis, Sydney Guthrie and head coach Dino Brock. Front: Katie Brock, Ruby Brock and Chandler Strickland.

The girls have a solid reputation among those following the sport, but coach Brock is not listening to the chatter hyping the team going into State. Any team making it to the last tournament of the year deserves to be there, and a lot of people talking about Petersburg have not actually seen the team play, coach Brock said.

"It's cool that people are paying attention to us, but I was talking to the girls about it and we don't really have a basis of how good the other teams are," he said. "We'll go up and play the way that we play. We're going to run up and down the floor, we're going to press people. We're going to be aggressive offensively and defensively because that's the way we play."

Wallace will be a spotlight player going into the tournament and will be highlighted in the tournament booklet as a player to watch. She also received an all-conference team selection, along with Brock, Kvernvik, Strickland and Chase. Kvernvik and Strickland won the sportsmanship awards. Josie Prus, Brock, Kvernvik and Wallace also received all-academic

honors.

 

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