A hot start and wild finish leave the Lady Hawks with high hopes for their next tournament.
During the Seward Classic Basketball Tournament, the Seward girls varsity basketball team went 1-2, just missing out on second place. The Lady Hawks went up against Eielson, Hutchison and Unalaska, the latter of which would be a come from behind overtime thriller.
In the opening round, the Lady Hawks met the Eielson Ravens.
During the first period Seward kept a steady pace of scoring, but it was the defense that looked sharp.
Holding Eielson to only two baskets in the first period, the Lady Hawks creates a 12-4 lead at the end of the first.
Eielson tried to slow Seward down with a zone defense in the second period, but to no avail.
The Lady Hawks got the job done behind the arc nailing a trio of three pointers. Two by Senior Riley von Borstel and one from fellow senior Ashley Jackson.
The success behind the arc created more opportunities for the Seahawks to drive to the basket, of which they took full advantage. With the offense running on all cylinders and the defense crippling Eielson, the Lady Hawks lead 30 to 11 at the half.
After halftime the Lady Hawks picked up where they left off. This time getting the job done in the paint. Dropping another 16 points against the Ravens for a 46 to 20 lead at the end of the third.
The fourth period was a little slower paced, but the lead would hold as the Seahawks eased their way past Eielson.
Head Coach Curtis Berry praised the team for their performance and for sticking to the game plan.
“I thought we might go south on it for a bit early in the first,” Berry said. “They had one girl who stood out and hit some baskets early in the game, but they stuck with it and stayed positive the whole game and we won.”
Leading the team in scoring was Riley von Borstel with 17 points. Also scoring double digits for the Seahawks was sophomore Sequoia Sieverts with 15, and Ashley Jackson with 14.
“This game gave us a lot of confidence,” Sieverts said. “I think everyone got some shots up and I think we felt more in control. I’m proud of my teammates,” she added.
Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Hawks was Shelly Sewell with six points, sophomore Katelyn Lemme with four, and sophomore Anavey Ambrosiani and freshman Hannah Schilling with two.
Sieverts was named player of the game for Seward.
Looking to move into the championship game, Seward looked like they may win on their home turf, but second half mistakes cost them a chance at the title in their 51 to 37 loss to Hutchison.
In the opening period senior Riley von Borstel kicked things off with a three pointer, guiding the Lady Hawks to an early 7-2 lead.
A pair of three pointers from Hutchison erased the lead half way through the period. The Seahawks ended the first period tied at ten, Borstel scoring eight of the team’s first ten points.
Hutchison relied heavily on three-point shooting in the second period, but also found themselves in foul trouble. Seward was able to capitalize on that by getting it done at the free throw line.
In the first half the Lady Hawks shot 75 percent from the free throw line making nine out of 12 attempts.
Hutchinson's foul trouble got some of their shooters off the quart of which the Lady Hawks took advantage of, complemented with the free throw shooting, they only trailed by four at halftime 29-25.
Seward got a little beaten up after halftime. Two players had to come out of the game for a few minutes as a result of some minor injuries during the third period.
The Lady Hawks struggled on both sides of the ball. Almost anything that could go wrong, did. Turnovers were abundant, bad passes, tando silly mistakes; like traveling and double dribbles; kept the Lady Hawks playing defense for the majority of the third period.
Then the foul trouble kicked in.
“Fouls kept a few of our taller girls off the court,” Berry said, “That was one of the differences in the game. Hutchisons a good team and they have some shooters, but I think our girls played with them well. I think we showed a lot of heart.”
Senior Ashley Jackson was the only player to score in the period for the Lady Hawks and it came six minutes into the period. Leaving Seward on the wrong side of the scoreboard 42 to 29.
In the fourth period, two Lady Hawks fouled out and the scoring picked up for Seward. But the hole had been dug and the Lady Hawks fell 51-37.
Riley von Borstel lead the team in scoring with 13 points followed by Jackson with 11. Jackson was also named player of the game for Seward.
“We always learn from our experiences,” Jackson said, “I think we’ve learned to keep ourselves calm and stay tough. We set goals every game, and I think we worked really hard to meet our goal and we are going to continue to do that moving forward.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Hawks was sophomore Sequoia Sieverts with five points, junior Shelly Sewell with four, and sophomore Katelyn Lemme and freshman Shelby Sieminski each with two.
In a battle for second place, the Seward girls varsity basketball team, ended the Seward Classic Basketball Tournament with a game to remember.
Despite a slow start, both teams picked up the pace in the second half. Unalaska doubled its half time score while Seward tripled theirs. With the clocking winding down Sophomore Sequoia Sieverts hit a field goal to the tie the ball game up and send the final girl’s game of the tournament into overtime. A familiar place for the Lady Hawks who came up short in an overtime thriller last week against Redington.
The first half of the game went by slowly as Hutchison got into foul trouble early with four fouls in the first three minutes.
Seward struggled to score in the first half. Half of the Lady Hawks first-half points came from free throws by senior Ashley Jackson. Two of Jackson's free throws were also the only points scored in the second period.
Unalaska also struggled to put points on the board, but had more success in the second period than the Lady Hawks. The Lady Hawks found themselves trailing 15 to 9 at the end of the half.
Coming out of the locker room at the half, the Lady Hawks and the fans were fired up and the girls came out swinging.
Within the first two minutes Seward closed the gap and made it a two-point game. One minute later the Lady Hawks would reclaim the lead 20-19.
With the crowd on their feet and momentum on their side, the Lady Hawks cruised into the fourth period leading 25 to 23.
In the final period, it was a defensive matchup with neither team allowing the other to score until half way through the period when Unalaska tied the game up at 25. Seward and Unalaska would exchange baskets one more time to tie it up at 27 with a minute and half to play.
Senior Riley von Borstel would give Seward its last lead of the period with a free throw. Putting the Lady Hawks up by one with a minute to play.
Unalaska made things interesting by converting a three-point play to go up 30 to 28 with 45 seconds left in regulation. But in the final ten seconds, Sequoia Sieverts hit a field goal to tie the game up and the defense forced the game into overtime.
In overtime, Unalaska managed to put seven points on the board in a hurry. But the Seahawks struggled to finish shots. Borstel scored the Lady Hawks lone basket, a three pointer with 46 seconds left.
Forced to foul to preserve the clock, Unalaska took advantage of two more free throws to seal the win, 39 to 33.
Ashley Jackson lead the Lady Hawks in scoring with 12 points, followed closely by Borstel with eleven. Sieverts would end the game with six points, and sophomore Anavey Ambrosiani finished with four.
Seward’s top scorers for the tournament were Borstel with 40 points and Jackson with 37.
“I think they’ve seen what they are capable of doing,” Coach Berry said, “We take every game one at a time and look at it as an opportunity to grow and get better and that’s what it’s all about.”
The Lady Hawks will hit the road to Homer next weekend for their fourth tournament of the season.