Kodiak’s girls basketball team ended a perfect regular season with a two-game sweep of Northern Lights Conference rival Wasilla.

The Bears picked up a 50-29 win on Friday and a 62-46 victory on Saturday at Kodiak High School.

This is the first team in the history of the girls program to post a perfect regular-season record.

“To be honest, most of the girls, if you asked them the record they wouldn’t even know,” senior Jerica Nelson said. “I don’t even think about it, and none of us really do. When we step out on the floor it is a new game and nothing else matters; win this one and think about today.”

Leading by only two points to begin the third quarter of Saturday’s game, Nelson huddled the team together for a pep talk. The 27-25 lead was the closest any team has been to Kodiak after the first half.

“I said we can control how hard we play in our hustle; just outwork them right now and turn the game around,” said Nelson, who hit three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points.

Kodiak did just that.

With pressure defense, the Bears pushed the score to 41-29 midway through the third quarter.

Wasilla, the three-time defending state champions, punched back and was within four with four minutes left in the game.

A technical foul on Wasilla coach Jeannie Herbert-Truax aided in an 8-4 Kodiak spurt that ended with a Nelson 3-pointer that gave the Bears a 51-43 cushion with 2:11 remaining.

Kodiak tacked on some easy buckets late to win by 16 points — the Bears’ 21st victory by more than double figures.

Carissa Cannon added 17 points, while Hannah Wandersee, who sat out the entire second quarter after picking up two quick fouls, ended with 13 points. Megan Pyles chipped in 10 points.

The team spent a little extra time in the locker room after the game.

“Since it was a close game the whole time, not really what we are used to, coach (Amy Fogle) explained to us that is how it is going to be the rest of the year,” Nelson said. “We can’t expect anything different. We need to be prepared to bring our A game every time.”

Kodiak victoreis against Wasilla are rare.

This is the first time that the KHS senior class has defeated Wasilla. The Bears snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Warriors and are now 3-31 against the Mat-Su Valley school dating back to the 1998-1999 season.

“That was what we were talking about with Amy down there (locker room),” Cannon said after Friday’s win. “This feels really good. It feels nice to take away a win from them, especially senior year.”

Cannon sent the crowd into a frenzy late in the second quarter of Friday’s game.

Wasilla’s Shayla Johnson had an uncontested layup when Cannon ran her down and knocked the ball out of her hands.

That resulted in a Truax technical foul and gave Kodiak a 20-10 halftime lead.

Cannon said the team was working on plays similar to that during last week’s practices.

“Honestly, all I was thinking was strip the ball from her,” she said. “It was kind of a Hail Mary play and then all of a sudden I heard the crowd screaming.”

Cannon ended with 14 points and earned praised from Fogle for filling in for Nelson, who had early foul trouble.

“When Jerica got her fourth foul Carissa not only had to be a scorer and rebounder, but also handle the ball and be the guard — that was pretty big and I thought she did a really great job with that,” Fogle said.

Cannon nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter that gave Kodiak a 35-19 lead.

The Warriors never threatened in the fourth.

Kodiak heads to Thursday’s NLC Championships at Colony as the No. 1 seed. The Bears will play either No. 4 Wasilla or No. 5 Palmer in a Friday semifinal game.

“This is a whole new season,” Fogle said. “One of the things that I talked to the girls about is that this is not Dec. 15 and it is certainly not Jan. 15, this is March 1; it is a whole new ballgame.”

Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.



Wasilla 6 10 9 9 — 29

Kodiak 8 12 15 15 — 50

Wasilla (29) — Kelly 0 0-0 0, Labuda 0 0-0 0, Johnson 5 2-2 15, Baham 0 0-0 0, Toews 1 0-0 2, Hutchins 1 0-0 2, Dinkel 2 3-3 8, Edwards 1 0-2 2. Totals: 10 5-7 29.

Kodiak (50) — McKechnie 0 0-0 0, Horn 0 2-2 2, Nelson 2 0-0 4, Cannon 5 2-8 14, Catt 1 0-2 2, Hiner 0 0-0 0, Pyles 4 0-0 8, Wandersee 9 1-1 19, Hughes 0 1-2 1. Totals: 21 6-17 50.

3-point goals: Wasilla 4 (Johnson 3, Dinkel 1); Kodiak 2 (Cannon 2). Team fouls: Wasilla 13, Kodiak 11. Fouled out — Hutchins.



Wasilla 9 16 8 13 — 46

Kodiak 16 11 14 21 — 62

Wasilla (46) — Kelly 0 0-0 0, Johnson 3 7-9 14, Baham 3 0-0 6, Toews 0 0-0 0, Hutchins 4 3-5 11, Dinkel 4 4-6 12, Edwards 1 1-2 3. Totals: 15 15-22 3.

Kodiak (62) — Horn 0 1-4 1, Nelson 6 6-13 21, Cannon 6 5-10 17, Catt 0 0-3 0, Hiner 0 0-0 0, Pyles 5 0-0 10, Wandersee 3 7-8 13. Totals: 20 19-38 62.

3-point goals: Wasilla 1 (Johnson 1); Kodiak 3 (Nelson 3). Team fouls: Wasilla 19, Kodiak 14. Fouled out — Hutchins, Horn.

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