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Kenai wins Tip-Off title on buzzer beater

Seward comes up just short

Posted: December 17, 2011 - 10:41pm  |  Updated: December 17, 2011 - 10:47pm
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Photo by M. Scott Moon
Kenai’s Wyatt Fitt tries to keep a rebound from Seward’s Logan Clemens in the first quarter of Saturday’s SoHi Tip-Off championship.

AJ Hull spent all but three minutes of the first half sitting on the bench with foul trouble.
That didn’t stop him from leaving his stamp on the game.
The Kenai Central senior scored 17 points in the second half and hit the game-winning shot with two seconds remaining, lifting the Kardinals over Seward 58-56 in Saturday’s championship of the Powerade/Al Howard Tip-Off at Soldotna.
Hull, who sat from the 5:16 mark of the first quarter through halftime, took the ball the length of the floor off an inbounds pass after Jeff Buchanan tied the game with two free throws and banked home a runner in the lane with 2.6 to play.
Gabe Stovall’s desperation heave from midcourt slammed off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.
“It was either going to be: a) get the outlet if he missed (the free throw) and take those 10 seconds in the backcourt and dribble around,” Hull said of the exchange. “Or: b) get down the court and make contact and throw something up and hopefully it goes in.”
Seward led 54-48 late in the fourth, but Hull resuscitated the Kards with seven straight points.
He hit a pair of free throws to make it 54-50 with 2:30 to play, converted a three-point play off a turnover to cut it to 54-53 with 2:06 remaining, and gave his team a 55-54 lead on two more free throws at the 1:09 mark.
Colton Hayes split a pair of free throws to make it 56-54 with 17 seconds on the clock before Buchanan evened the score with two of his own at 8.6.
That’s when Hull delivered the deciding basket, giving him 19 points on a night he was 9 of 16 at the line despite sitting nearly half the game.
Kenai Central coach Ken Felchle said Hull was a difference maker, but that it was a collective effort.
“I am gifted with a lot of athletes on this basketball team. We have a lot of good basketball players,” Felchle said. “It’s truly a team. AJ is gifted. Lucky for us, he’s not the only thing we have.”
Kenai Central had struggled at the tournament in recent years, falling into the consolation bracket during early rounds. The Kards beat Galena in the first round Thursday and Bethel in the second Friday to advance to the final.
Felchle said he encouraged his players to focus on one game at a time and self-evaluate while on the court.
“Those things are probably the biggest reasons we won the tournament,” he said.
Not to be overlooked was Seward’s rise to the championship.
The Seahawks defeated Mt. Edgecumbe and SoHi despite having only seven players available, and played the majority of Saturday’s contest without Jalen Terry, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Terry picked up three fouls in the first half and was charged with No. 4 a minute into the third. He was held to nine points after pumping in 22 and 25 Thursday and Friday, respectively.
With the 6-foot-5 center on the bench in the third, Logan Clemens scored 13 of his team-high 18 points. Stovall added seven during the same span, helping the Seahawks to a 23-point quarter after they scored 22 the entire first half.
Seward has just two seniors returning from last year’s club, which placed fourth at the Class 3A state tournament.
Coach Dan Krier’s squad lost to SoHi 66-46 last weekend.
“Our bench really stepped it up today. The amount of improvement from last Saturday to this Saturday is phenomenal,” Krier said. “They were a lot more focused this weekend. They did a great job of listening, and we executed better.”
Buchanan finished with 14 points and hit 6 of 7 at the line, while Stovall finished with 10.
Terry never fouled out, but Clemens and teammate Matt Moore did. That strained the Seahawks even more.
The effort impressed Felchle.
“People underestimate them and then they come out and play like that. Coach Krier does an excellent job,” Felchle said. “I have the utmost respect for him and everything that he stands for. I told him tonight, ‘Coach, you’ve probably forgotten more about basketball than I know.’”
Soldotna 69, Bethel 55
The Stars took third place behind 27 points from Evan Withrow.
SoHi led 31-24 at halftime and bumped the lead to 51-38 after three quarters. Bethel knocked down nine 3-pointers to keep it close.
Mt. Edgecumbe 62,
Homer 30
In the fifth-place game, the Braves cruised past the Mariners. Kacy Green and Dominique Green combined for 35 points for Mt. Edgecumbe.
Homer was led by the 13 points of Quinn Daugherty.
North Pole 54, Galena 53
The Patriots earned seventh place with a narrow win over the Hawks, who hit 10 3-pointers.
Friday games
In Friday action, Seward and Kenai advanced to the championship game, while Homer and Mt. Edgecumbe advanced to the fifth-place game.
Seward advanced to the championship with a 49-47 victory over SoHi.
Terry led Seward with 25 points, including five 3-pointers. For SoHi, Cory Carver had 13 points before fouling out, while Garrett Bosick had 10 points.
Kenai topped Bethel 63-47. The Kards were behind 27-22 at halftime before outscoring the Warriors 22-8 in the third quarter.
Bo Reilly poured in 20 points for the Kards, while Hayes added 19 and Hull had 13.
In fifth-place bracket action on Friday, Mt. Edgecumbe routed North Pole 61-28.
Also, Homer reached the fifth-place game by topping Galena 54-43.
Daugherty had 16 points, while Heath Johnson had 10 points. Kody Vanderpool had 10 points for the Hawks.

Friday boys
Seahawks 49, Stars 47
Seward    12    15    12    10    —49
Soldotna    16    14    9    8    —47
SEWARD (49) — Buchanan 4 0-1 8, Stovali 0 1-2 1, Thomassen 0 0-0 0, Marshall 0 0-0 0, Clemens 3 0-0 6, Moore 4 1-1 9, Haddow 0 0-0 0, Terry 7 6-6 25. Totals — 18 8-10 49.
SOLDOTNA (47) — T. Fowler 1 0-0 2, Young 2 0-0 5, Darrow 4 1-2 9, Carver 5 0-0 13, Daugherty 0 0-0 0, Withrow 3 0-0 6, N. Fowler 0 0-0 0, Bosick 5 2-4 10. Totals — 20 3-6 47.
3-point goals — Seward 5 (Terry 5); Soldotna 4 (Carver 3, Young 1). Team fouls — Seward 10, Soldotna 14. Fouled out — Carver.

Kardinals 63, Warriors 47
Kenai    10    12    22    19    —63
Bethel    10    17    8    12    —47
KENAI CENTRAL (63) — Springer 0 0-0 0, McKee 0 0-0 0, Hull 5 3-4 13, Oliver 0 0-0 0, Fitt 1 0-2 2, Sandahl 1 0-0 2, Reilly 9 2-3 20, Spalding 3 1-3 7, Hayes 9 0-0 19, Hansen 0 0-0 0. Totals — 28 6-11 63.
BETHEL (47) — Miller 6 0-1 12, Naneng 1 2-2 4, Romer 3 4-4 12, Strickland 1 0-0 3, Hoffman 2 0-0 4, Koester 4 0-0 9, Olsen 1 1-4 3. Totals — 18 7-11 47.
3-point goals — Kenai 1 (Hayes 1); Bethel 4 (Romer 2, Strickland 1, Koester 1). Team fouls — Kenai 14, Bethel 10. Fouled out — Spalding.

Mariners 54, Hawks 43
Homer    11    15    16    12    —54
Galena    12    5    13    13    —43
HOMER (54) — Schneider 0 0-0 0, Reutov 1 0-0 2, Johnson 5 0-0 10, Daugherty 8 0-0 16, Blosser 1 0-2 2, Cotney 4 1-4 9, Day 3 2-2 9, Glasser 3 0-1 6, Livingston 0 0-0 0, Moyer 0 0-0 0. Totals — 25 3-9 54.
GALENA (43) — Ryton 1 0-0 3, Buchanan 0 0-0 0, Nickoli 0 2-4 2, Vanderpool 4 0-0 10, Richardson 3 0-0 8, Erickson 3 2-2 9, Miller 2 2-2 7, Solomon 2 0-0 4. Totals — 15 6-8 43.
3-point goals — Homer 1 (Day 1); Galena 7 (Vanderpool 2, Richardson 2, Ryton 1, Erickson 1, Miller 1); Team fouls — Homer 10, Galena 13. Fouled out — none.

Saturday
Championship
Kardinals 58, Seahawks 56
Kenai Central    9    19    15    15    —58
Seward    14    8    23    11    —56
KENAI CENTRAL (58) — Hull 5 9-16 19, Fitt 4 2-3 10, Sandahl 1 0-0 3, Reilly 3 1-3 8, Spalding 3 3-4 9, Hayes 3 1-4 9. Totals — 19 16-30 58.
SEWARD (56) — Buchanan 4 6-7 14, Stovall 4 2-4 10, Thomassen 0 0-1 0, Clemens 6 2-2 18, Moore 2 0-0 5, Haddow 0 0-0 0, Terry 1 6-7 9. Totals — 17 16-21 56.
3-point field goals — Kenai Central 4 (Hayes 2, Reilly, Sandahl), Seward 6 (Clemens 4, Moore, Terry). Fouls — Kenai Central 20, Seward 24. Fouled out — Clemens, Moore.

Third-place
Stars 69, Warriors 55
Bethel    13    11    14    17    —55
Soldotna    18    13    20    18    —69
BETHEL (55) — Miller 4 7-9 17, Naneng 7 0-1 18, Romer 3 2-2 9, Hoffman 2 1-2 6, Koester 2 0-0 5, Olsen 0 0-0. Totals — 18 10-15 55.
SOLDOTNA (69) — Tovoli 1 0-0 2, T. Fowler 6 3-4 16, Young 1 0-0 2, Darrow 0 0-0 0, Carver 2 1-4 6, Withrow 10 6-8 27, N. Fowler 1 0-0 2, Bosick 6 2-2 14. Totals — 27 12-18 69.
3-point field goals — Bethel 9 (Naneng 4, Miller 2, Romer, Hoffman, Koster), Soldotna 3 (T. Fowler, Withrow, Carver). Fouls — Bethel 13, Soldotna 16. Fouled out — none.

Fifth place
Braves 62, Mariners 30
Mt. Edgecumbe    14    23    11    14    —62
Homer 8    10    8    4    —30
MT. EDGECUMBE (62) — Sherman 0 1-4 1, Ford 7 1-1 18, Gregory 0 2-2 2, Green 3 8-11 17, Hall 8 1-2 18, Frankson 0 2-2 2, Prince 2 0-0 4, Nick 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 15-22 62.
HOMER (30) — Reutov 0 3-4 3, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Daugherty 6 0-0 13, M. Glosser 1 1-2 3, Day 1 0-0 2, R. Glosser 2 4-7 8, Moyer 0 0-0 0. Totals — 10 9-14 30.
3-point field goals — Mt. Edgecumbe 5 (Ford 3, Green, Hall), Homer 1 (Daugherty). Fouls — Mt. Edgecumbe 14, Homer 18. Fouled out — R. Glosser.

Seventh place
Patriots 54, Hawks 53
North Pole    12    19    11    12    —54
Galena    16    11    15    11    —53
NORTH POLE (54) — Hamsley 2 0-0 4, Gibson 7 1-2 15, Million 1 2-5 4, Hill 1 1-2 3, Garvin 3 0-0 8, Rady 3 0-2 6, Tucker 2 0-2 4, Tamse 1 2-2 5, Betts 2 1-3 5. Totals — 22 7-18 54.
GALENA (53) — Reiton 7 2-3 20, Buchanan 0 0-0 0, Nickoli 1 0-0 2, Vanderpool 3 1-2 8, Richardson 7 0-0 19, Miller 0 0-0 0, Solokan 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 5-7 53.
3-point field goals — North Pole 3 (Garvin 2, Tamse), Galena 10 (Richardson 5, Reitan 4, Vanderpool). Fouls — North Pole 16, Galena 15. Fouled out — none.

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