The Nikolaevsk Warriors took care of the Seldovia Otters in men’s and women’s basketball last Friday in true number one seed fashion. The Lady Warriors beat the Lady Otters 57-14 and the Warriors, led by Jaruby Nelson’s 35 points, beat the Otters 66-51. The Nikolaevsk men’s and women’s have taken care of business this season and hold the number one seed going into the regional tournament this week at Skyview High School in Soldotna.
Friday was senior night for the Warriors and the players and coaches honored Anthony Yakunin, Nianiella Dorvall and Sophia Kalugin.
“I coached Nianiella and Sophia since they were in elementary up until they were eligible to play on varsity as eighth graders,” said Bea Klaich, head coach of the Lady Warriors.
The Warriors only won eight games that year but according to Klaich, Nikolaevsk wouldn’t have had a girls basketball team if eighth graders weren’t allowed to play.
“Those girls (Nianiella and Sophia) are like daughters to me, and it was hard for me to watch them play their last home game as Lady Warriors.”
According to Warriors Head Coach Steve Klaich, both games were good contests.
“In our game, the score was tied at the half and we made some defensive adjustments that helped us pull away in the second half,” Klaich added. “Both teams played well and competed to the end.”
Aside from Nelson’s 35, Nikit Fefelov had 10 points, Jonah Fefelov had eight and Yakunin rounded out the top scorers for the Warriors with seven points.
For the Lady Warriors, Dorvall led all scorers with 15 points and the combo of Sophia and Serafima Kalugin each had 14. Finishing off the scoring for the Lady Warriors were Kayla Stafford with six points and Vera Fefelov with four. Both Seldovia and Nikolaevsk take their teams to Soldotna this week to compete in the regional tournament with a chance for a trip to the state tournament on the line.
Michael Tozzo is a teacher and
freelance writer who lives in Ninilchik.
For hoops fans despairing that both the Northern Lights Conference and Southcentral Conference tournaments are happening off the Kenai Peninsula this year, don’t despair.
There is still basketball this weekend at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Skyview High School. A lot of basketball.
The tournament opened with eight games Wednesday, with a total of 27 games scheduled to be played by the time the tournament wraps up Saturday.