JUNEAU, ALASKA (KINY) - The Sitka Lady Wolves defeated the Monroe Catholic Rams on Friday in the 2021 March Madness Alaska 3A Girls Basketball State Championship semifinals at Wasilla High School.
The Lady Wolves topped the Rams 49-36.
Sitka held a 7-5 advantage over Monroe after eight minutes of play and led 16-13 at the break behind the inside work of senior post Jocelyn Brady, who tallied 11 of her game-high 17 points in the first half; junior Chloe Morrison, who scored six of her eight points in the second half; senior Makenna Smith, who had seven rebounds; and junior guard Tawny Smith, who hit six of eight free throws in the game and had seven rebounds and two steals.
Monroe junior Katrina Bast kept the Rams in the game with five three-point shots.
Sitka coach Mindy Bartolaba said the Lady Wolves’ free throws and inside-out offense were key.
“Free throws were clutch and sealed it for us,” Bartolaba said. “And once they settled in, the girls became more comfortable with the ball movement and looked inside and out to score.”
Sitka and Monroe traded baskets through the third quarter with the Lady Wolves leading 29-26 starting the final eight minutes of action.
Sitka went on a 9-4 run to start the fourth quarter, opening a 38-28 advantage with three minutes remaining. The Lady Wolves outscored the Rams 11-8 in the final minutes including a barrage of free throws by T. Smith, freshman Maitlin Young and J. Brady.
Sitka hit 19 for 28 at the free throw line, Monroe went zero for six. The Lady Wolves hit 12 of 34 field goals, the Rams 14 of 61. Sitka had nine turnovers, Monroe 17.
“We broke it down quarter by quarter,” Bartolaba said. “The girls cut down on turnovers and stayed steady the second half. I was very proud of their effort today.”
The Lady Wolves advance to play the Anchorage Christian School Lions at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Palmer High School.
ACS topped Homer 69-11 and Kotzebue 72-22 en route to the title game. Sitka defeated Kenai 57-27 on Thursday.
Sitka Jocelyn Brady 17 (11 rebounds); Tawny Smith 12 (2 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals); Chloe Morrison 8 (1 ast, 3 rb); Maitlin Young 6 (3 rb), Makenna Smith 5 (2 ast, 7 rb, 1 st); Naia Nelson 1 (2 ast, 9 rb, 1 st); Ava Brady 1 ast, 6 rb).
Monroe: Katrina Bast 17 (1 ast, 3 rb, 4 st); Shelby Eidenmiller 8 (2 ast, 4 st); Tatyana Snowden 6 (8 rb); Margaret Zaverl 5 (2 ast, 6 rb); Jane Menard (4 rb).