Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 9:54 PM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sea Otters win one in state 2A tournament

By Lindsay Johnson
Staff Writer

The Seldovia Sea Otters are small, but they know how to play basketball. The six-girl squad played three games in the state 2A tournament in Anchorage earlier this week.

Nanwalek freshmen Elena Peterson and Tanya Romanoff joined Seldovia's Sarah Geagel, Sarah O'Leary, Chaela Ogle-Hilts and Xandria Swick for a 12-11 season that brought the team to state for the first time since 2002. Amanda Gain was a defensive stopper for the team all season but did not make it to the tournament.

Their first game was against the Yakutat Eagles, who's won three of the last four Class 2A state titles. Seldovia Head Coach Buck Brown said his team was battling nerves going into the game, which showed in the first period.

"Yakutat was tough. They were heads above us in all aspects of the game," Brown said.

The Eagles grabbed an early lead with 27 points in the first half, which the Sea Otters could not make up. Even though they outscored Yakutat in the second and fourth periods, Seldovia lost 39-69.

Yakutat's Nadine Fraker paced the game with 27 points and Tina Evenshade added 20 for the team. Seldova's Geagel scored 19, O'Leary 13 and Ogle Hilts 7.

The Sea Otters rebounded the loss to beat the Chevak Comets 47-32 the next day.

"They came out and played to win today. I don't think they wanted to go home yet," said Brown on Tuesday.

The game looked much like the first game, with Seldovia netting 19 points in the first period for Chevak's two.

Geagel made 37 points during the game, boosted by good team passing.

"The other kids were doing a good job of setting her up in good positions to score," Brown said.

O'Leary had six assists, seven points and seven rebounds. Peterson grabbed five rebounds.

"We kept the pressure on and O'Leary and Geagel just closed the game out for us," he said.

In what they knew would be a fierce final game, the Sea Otters lost 28-74 to the Tikigaq (Point Hope) Harpooners Wednesday.

Brown said that even though the team was small and young — four freshman, one sophomore and two juniors — and geographically separated — there is no road between Nanwalek and Seldovia — they competed well against similar programs.

"It was a juggling act the whole season," Brown said.

The girls pulled it off, though. They got to state and they won a game.

"We played to our potential," Brown said.