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Kenai boys cagers take down Colony, Palmer

Kardinals girls suffer 2 close losses

Posted: February 18, 2012 - 1:57am  |  Updated: February 18, 2012 - 10:38pm
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Photo by M. Scott Moon
Kenai’s Bo Reilly tries to shoot over Colony’s Nathan Umbarger in the first period Friday.

The Kenai Central basketball teams split with Colony in two thrilling games Friday at Kenai in Northern Lights Conference action.

The Kenai boys won 53-50 in overtime, while the girls lost 37-34.

Kenai boys coach Ken Felchle praised the improved defensive effort of the team after a tough recent six-game stretch in which the Kardinals went 2-4.

“When the defense goes, that’s when you’re in trouble, and that’s our foundation,” Felchle said. “We said tonight that we have to get back to that foundation, and then everything after that, we’ll build on it.” 

Colony led 34-23 after the first half, but Kenai rallied back to tie the game at 50 with 35 seconds left in regulation when Kenai senior AJ Hull sank two free throws.

Kenai junior Shane Spalding scored in overtime on a driving pass from Hull with 34 seconds left to break the tie.

“You have to trust your teammates, and when they’re there for you, you can get it done,” Hull said. 

“That’s a pretty good shot over a 6-6 guy,” Hull said of Spalding’s shot over Colony guard Hunter Eisenhower.

Felchle mentioned a quote he saw during the team’s recent trip to Kodiak.

“Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard,” Felchle recited. “Tonight, we did a good job at stepping out, not getting killed on the boards and not getting out-rebounded, like we have in the last six games.”

“We were playing hard but we needed better defense, and to close out a little better,” Hull said. “They didn’t get many points in the paint.”

Spalding led Kenai with 17 points, while Hull had 15. 

Colony was led by Nathan Umbarger, who had 14 points. 

Felchle continued to emphasize that the team is playing to win, and not playing to not lose.

“When you take a shot going to the rim, you are playing to win,” Felchle said. “When you take a shot like a fadeaway, you’re hoping not to lose, so our mentality, when we spread the floor, and they gave us a little space, we’re spreading the floor with the intention of scoring. AJ drove, felt the pressure, and made a great pass to Shane, and Shane went hard to the rim and finished the layup.”

Kenai now owns an 11-7 overall record, and 5-2 in the Northern Lights Conference.

Colony leaves with an 8-7 record, and 3-3 in the NLC. 

Colony girls 37, Kenai 34

Much like the Kenai boys later in the night, the Colony girls rallied back to win a close game at Kenai on Friday.

Down 28-22 early in the fourth quarter, the Knights managed to turn up their defense while getting help offensively from junior Mary Klapperich, who led Colony with 13 points. 

“Our coach told us to look at this opportunity that we have to get better, so we triumphed through adversity, we held our composure, ran when we wanted to, and when we got fouled we made our free throws and the pressure was off,” Klapperich said. “Kenai was pretty strong, we weren’t expecting that. They’re scrappy.”

Colony freshman Faith Farris managed to steal the ball after a shot by Klapperich to score a quick basket that tied the game at 32 with 1:35 remaining.

Klapperich made a free throw with 22 seconds left to take the lead for the first time, and sophomore Jerica Nelson sealed the win with two free throws with a second remaining.

“Kenai was good all night defensively, and both (Bailey) Beeson and (Morgan) Wensley were tough all night, and their rebounding was absolutely terrific,” Colony coach Jeff Bowker said. “We changed some things up in the fourth quarter, with some full-court plays, and we made some shots.”

The Kardinals were led by seniors Beeson, who had 15 points, and Wensley with 12 points. 

Kenai head coach Stacia Rustad didn’t mince words about a disappointing loss.

“We needed to take care of the ball and handle the pressure, and make shots, and unfortunately we were unable to do that,” Rustad said. “We outplayed them for 30 minutes, but unfortunately it’s a 32-minute game, and we didn’t get it done the last two minutes.”

Bowker was thrilled to leave Kenai with the win.

“Kenai does a good job of not letting you do what you want to do,” Bowker said. “They’re physical, tough, smart and we’re very fortunate coming out of here with the win.”

Palmer girls 49, Kenai 43

The Kardinals girls were unable to claw back after losing the lead early to Palmer in NLC play Saturday at Kenai.

Trailing 25-22 at the half, Kenai held even with Palmer through the third quarter, but got no closer.

Wensley led Kenai with 21 points, and Beeson helped out with nine points. 

Kasara Brandenburg led Palmer with 21 points, and Taylor Blake had 13.

Kenai boys 52, Palmer 51

The Kenai boys were able to sneak their way past Palmer in the fourth quarter to edge the Moose on Saturday at Kenai.

Trailing by five points at halftime, the Kardinals cut that lead to one with one quarter to go. 

Hull paced Kenai with 16 points, while Spalding and Bo Reilly each had 12 points. 

Connor Looney and Jared Straight had 17 points apiece to lead Palmer. 

 

Friday boys

Kardinals 53, Knights 50, OT

Kenai12111893—53

Colony1717880—50

KENAI (53) — Springer 0 0-0 0, McKee 0 0-0 0, Hull 4 7-10 15, Fitt 1 0-0 2, Sandahl 0 0-0 0, Reilly 4 2-2 12, Spalding 7 3-4 17, Hayes 2 1-2 7. Totals 18 13-18 53.

COLONY (50) — Smith 2 1-1 6, Fulp 3 2-2 10, Turner 2 0-0 5, Umbarger 5 3-4 14, Peliteir 3 0-0 7, Hightower 0 0-0 0, Eisenhower 3 2-2 8. Totals 18 8-9 50.

3-point goals — Kenai 4 (Reilly 2, Hayes 2); Colony 6 (Fulp 2, Smith 1, Turner 1, Umbarger 1, Peliteir 1).

Team fouls -— Kenai 12, Colony 16. Fouled out — Smith.

 

Friday girls

Knights 37, Kardinals 34

Colony821215—37

Kenai511108—34

COLONY (37) — Klapperich 5 3-6 13, Farris 3 0-2 6, Tweed 0 0-2 0, Nelson 3 6-6 12, Simmons 0 0-0 0, Willardson 0 0-0 0, Brumbaugh 0 0-0 0, Payne 0 0-0 0, Stefanski 1 0-0 2, Solano 1 2-2 4. Totals 13 11-18 37.

KENAI (34) — English 0 0-0 0, Beeson 5 5-8 15, Kiefer 0 1-2 1, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Ross 0 0-0 0, Tieaskie 2 0-0 4, Wensley 4 2-4 12. Totals 12 8-14 34.

3-point goals — Colony 0; Kenai 2 (Wensley 2). 

Team fouls — Colony 15, Kenai 12. Fouled out — none.

 

Saturday girls

Moose 49, Kardinals 43

Palmer13121113—49

Kenai9131110—43

PALMER (49) — Scott 1 1-2 4, Jensen 2 0-0 4, Koehn 0 1-2 1, Blake 4 5-7 13, Whitfield 0 2-4 2, Brandenburg 7 7-10 21, Huffman 2 0-2 4. Totals 16 16-27 49. 

KENAI (43) — English 1 0-0 2, Beeson 4 1-8 9, Kiefer 2 1-2 5, Taylor 2 0-0 4, Ross 0 0-0 0, Tieaskie 1 0-0 2, Wensley 6 8-12 21. Totals 16 10-22 43.

3-point goals — Palmer 1 (Scott 1); Kenai 1 (Wensley 1).

Team fouls — Palmer 16, Kenai 21. Fouled out — none. 

 

Saturday boys

Kardinals 52, Moose 51

Kenai16111411—52

Palmer1715109—51

KENAI (52) — Springer 0 0-0 0, Hull 6 4-4 16, Fitt 1 1-1 3, Sandahl 0 0-0 0, Reilly 5 2-2 12, Spalding 6 0-2 12, Hayes 4 1-1 9. Totals 22 8-10 52.

PALMER (51) — Nisbett 2 1-2 5, Looney 7 3-4 17, Straight 5 4-4 17, Buresh 5 0-0 10, Niekamp 1 0-0 2, Mayer 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 8-10 51.

3-point goals — Kenai  0; Palmer 3 (Straight 3). 

Team fouls — Kenai 14, Palmer 11. Fouled out — none.  

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