Kodiak Daily Mirror - Kodiak bench plays role in state title
Kodiak bench plays role in state title
by Derek Clarkston
Mar 27, 2014 | 93 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kodiak's bench celebrates during the 4A girls state championship basketball game, Saturday at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Kodiak beat Colony 65-41. (Derek Clarkston photo)
Kodiak's bench celebrates during the 4A girls state championship basketball game, Saturday at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Kodiak beat Colony 65-41. (Derek Clarkston photo)
Kodiak’s starting five put up video-game numbers at the girls 4A state basketball championships, but it was also the five on the bench that helped the Bears clinch their first championship in more than three decades.

Kodiak’s reserve players — seniors Isabelle Hiner, Kaydee Hughes and Summer McKechnie and juniors Danikka Catt and Charmaine Fabricante — played significant minutes — 82 to be exact — during the three-day tournament that was capped with a 65-41 win over Colony on Saturday.

“Those five who haven’t played a bunch have just been there and supported and understood,” Fogle said. “Sometimes as a coach you never know if you made the right decision on who you keep … but I love this group. They just mesh well together. Going undefeated is tough, and they did it.”

The Bears finished 27-0, the second time a Kodiak basketball team has had a perfect season. Fogle coached the boys to a 28-0 record in 2001.

“We have been looking forward to this for a really long time,” Catt said. “We have always told each other that all of our hard work was for this moment — to cut down the net, to make our coaches proud and our whole community proud.”

The bench was pressed into early action when all-state players Jerica Nelson and Hannah Wandersee encountered first-half foul trouble in Kodiak’s opening game against Dimond.

Catt played 16 minutes and converted two big baskets in the second quarter of the Bears’ 14-point win over the eighth-seeded Lynx and played a combined 19 minutes the next two days.

Hiner and Hughes both filled in for Wandersee in Thursday’s game and played a combined 39 minutes during the tournament.

“We have grown up together and have been friends on and off. It is just really cool to come to this point,” Hiner said. “It is sad, though, because it is all over with now.”

When Hughes wasn’t playing, she was the one leading the cheers from the bench.

“I’m just happy to be a part of it. It is really fun being with the girls — they are all my best friends,” said Hughes, who moved back to Kodiak for her senior season. “I love watching them play. I love cheering for them and pumping them up.”

McKechnie, who returned to the team after missing the past two seasons, played the entire fourth quarter of Friday’s 57-21 thumping of West Valley.

“This is awesome. I am so excited for everyone,” she said. “It is just a great feeling to be part of the team and to be able to win state.”

Fabricante, who played in six of Kodiak’s 24 games during the regular season, played two minutes — one in the first half of the Bears’ 24-point championship victory. The junior was nervous when Fogle called her number.

“I was freaking out, but I really liked it,” Fabricante said.

Fabricante played on both the junior varsity and varsity teams.

‘I’m so thankful to be on this team,” she said. “It is an honor to be playing with them every day.”

Fabricante and Catt, both juniors, will be the only two players returning next season. Kodiak’s other eight players are all seniors.

“This team is special to be me and I love being with them. They have been my friends for a very long time,” Fabricante said. “It is going to be different not playing with them.”

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

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