Kenai girls basketball downs East

The Kenai Central girls basketball team defeated East 46-40 on Thursday in Anchorage in nonconference action.

“It was a big win for us,” Kenai Central coach Stacia Rustad said.

The big news for Kenai came with Morgan Wensley’s 21-point effort. Wensley was diagnosed with mono in mid-December. She had been cleared to practice a few weeks ago.

“Getting Morgan back is big,” Rustad said. “With her energy, this is the first time we started to see the old Morgan back on the court.”

Rustad said the key to the victory was defense. Kenai was able to win despite scoring just two points in the third quarter.

The coach said she challenged her team to win the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. The Kardinals responded by scoring two quick buckets and then were able to keep the lead between four and six for the rest of the game.

“Our defense did a really nice job,” Rustad said.

Nicole Tieaskie added eight points for the Kardinals, while Bailey Beeson had seven, Carolyn Kiefer had six and Sydney Taylor had four.

“In Morgan’s absence, Bailey did a phenomenal job,” Rustad said. “For us to win five games while Morgan was gone is huge.”

The Kardinals face Houston on the road today at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Kenai plays at Wasilla at 3 p.m.

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