Hoops

DEREK CLARKSTON/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Kodiak’s Marielle Mangrobang shoots over a Nikiski defender during Wednesday’s basketball game at the 54th Joe Floyd Christmas Tournament in Kodiak. 

Riding the shooting of Beatrize Gumtang, Kodiak girls couldn’t have finished the 54th Joe Floyd Christmas Tournament any better. 

Kodiak closed out its home basketball tournament with a 42-30 victory over Nikiski Wednesday at Kodiak High. 

The victory gave the Bears fourth place in the longest-running prep basketball tournament in the state and pushed their season record to 2-4. 

Gumtang was simply in a zone. The 5-foot-5 senior buried four 3-pointers en route to posting a career-high 14 points. 

She scored eight points in 52 seconds late in the second half, which gave her team a commanding 22-13 lead at halftime.

“It felt really nice,” Gumtang said. 

After sitting out of Tuesday’s loss to Bethel, Gumtang was ready to showcase the shooting skills she developed as a youngster. 

“When I was a kid, I would always play with the boys, and they would always shoot outside. I always copied them,” she said. 

It wasn’t all shooting for Gumtang. In the third quarter, she grabbed a steal and delivered a sweet assist to Serenity Bushell that increased the Bears’ lead to 15 points. 

Gumtang was cooking so much that she played herself into more court time. 

“There was a point where I was going to try to put in more people, but she had a rhythm,” Kodiak fill-in coach Debbie Rohrer said. “When somebody has that momentum going in their favor, that is not when you want to sub them out.” 

With a comfortable second-half cushion, Rohrer was able to get all 13 players who dressed into the game. That made the win — Rohrer’s first as a varsity hoops coach — even better. 

“They looked like they really enjoyed playing and enjoyed the game. That is huge,” Rohrer said. 

Kodiak’s bench erupted when senior Gabby Craig — seeing her first action of the season — pumped in a bucket late in the fourth quarter. The 5-foot-11 post also grabbed a few rebounds — something the team has struggled to do early in the season. 

“She looked thrilled. She looked super excited,” Rohrer said. 

The first 13 minutes was a close game filled with trips to the free-throw line. Kodiak broke a tie game by finishing the first half on a 12-3 run. 

The third quarter was the Avie Arevalo show. Kodiak’s 4-foot-11 guard scored eight of her 12 points in the frame, including three consecutive breakaway layups that gave the Bears their biggest lead at 16 points. 

The 42 points were a season-high for a team that went into Tuesday’s game averaging 28.4 points per game. 

Kodiak (2-4) started The Floyd with a 45-28 loss to Soldotna and a 45-26 loss to Bethel. 

“Each game, I feel like I have seen more improvement in different areas,” Rohrer said. 

“After the game, I asked them how does it feel to win.”

The girls responded with resounding “goods” and then piled on Rohrer for a team photo. 

As fill-in coach, Rohrer’s final game on the sideline is at 5 p.m. tonight against Soldotna in a Northern Lights Conference game. 

“It told the girls one more, and I’m out. It has been fun,” Rohrer said. “It does make me miss coaching.” 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

In the championship game, North Pole finished on a 15-2 run to top Soldotna 39-27. 

Tournament most valuable player Alicia Guzman led the Patriots to their first Floyd title since 1989. In the decisive fourth quarter, the 5-foot-4 junior sprung for eight of her game-high 18 points. 

Freshman Tiahna Guzman chipped in 14 for North Pole. 

Soldotna’s Katelyn Morrison had 12 points.  

 

SOLDOTNA 42, BETHEL 33

Katelyn Morrison’s 13 points pushed Soldotna past Bethel and into the championship game. 

In the third quarter, the Stars put the game away, outscoring the Warriors 23-6. Soldotna drained all three of its 3-pointers in the fourth. 

Ava Lieb led Bethel with 12 points.  

 

BEARS 42, BULLDOGS 30

Nikiski  5 8 6 11 — 30

Kodiak  7 15 16 4 — 42

Nikiski (30) — Jeffreys 1 1-4 3, Sticj 2 202 7, White 1 2-4 4, Ellis 1 0-1 2, Nelson 0 0-0 0, Abel 1 1-2 3, McGahan 1 0-2 2, Langston 1 0-0 2, Weeks 1 0-0 2, Sstynsberg 1 2-2 5. TotalsL 10 8-17 30. 

Kodiak (42) — Arevallo 5 2-4 12, Sanchez 0 0-2 0, Holland 1 0-0 2, Nero 0 0-0 0, Mangrobang 0 0-3 0, Vizchocho 0 0-0 0, Quiambao 0 4-6 4, Enriquez 0 0-0 0, Bushell 2 2-5 6, Gumtang 5 0-0 14, Craig 1 0-0 2, Solomon 1 0-4 2, Howell 0 0-1 0. Totals: 15 8-25 42. 

3-point goals: Nikiski 2 (Stock, Stynsberg); Kodiak 4 (Gumtang 4). Fouls: Nikiski 18, Kodiak 16. Fouled out — none. 

 

 

 

MVP

Alicia Guzman, North Pole

 

All-tournament team

Bryn Garrison, Bethel; Tiahna Guzman, North Pole; Ava Lieb, Bethel, Avie Areval, Kodiak; Rhys Cannava, Soldotna; Kinlee Jefferys, Nikiski, Tanner Imman, Soldotna. 

 

Hoop shot winner — Ava Lieb, Bethel

3-point winner — Ellie Burns, Soldotna. 

 

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