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Soldotna, Kenai cagers split

SoHi girls finish 9-1 in NLC, Kenai boys finish 8-2

Posted: February 25, 2012 - 11:48pm  |  Updated: February 26, 2012 - 12:18am

The Kenai Central boys pulled away from Soldotna in the third quarter of a close game to win their final regular season Northern Lights Conference game 56-45 Saturday night at Soldotna.
With a slim 26-25 lead at halftime, Kenai managed to outscore Soldotna 15-8 in the third quarter, and 15-12 in the fourth to seal the win.
“It is expected of the seniors and juniors on the team,” Kenai head coach Ken Felchle said of the team’s high level of play. “We are responding how Soldotna did two years ago when they were loaded with seniors.”
Senior Bo Reilly led Kenai with 20 points, and teammate AJ Hull had 17.
Soldotna head coach Matt Johnson is not dispirited by the loss.
“We played well for a half, and then we lost our defensive game,” Johnson said. “Bo Reilly got some great shots at the basket, and we can’t just give great players great shots like that.”
Evan Withrow had 14 points to pace Soldotna.
Soldotna ends the regular season with a conference record 4-6, which Johnson says is not exactly indicative of their level of play.
“I’ve said all along, we’re right there, we really are in every game we play, and if we can learn how to win tight games, that would flip the switch,” he said.
Kenai begins its quest for a region title with an 8-2 NLC regular season record.
“I’m just so proud of our team all season, there was a little bump in the road, but we did some things this year that haven’t been done in our program for quite awhile,” Felchle said. “We beat two of the Valley teams this year, and to be honest, I can’t remember the last time that happened.”
Soldotna girls 51, Kenai 31
The Stars put away the Kardinals early on to end the regular season on a high note Saturday at Soldotna.
Leading by three points after one quarter, Soldotna outscored Kenai 16-3 in the second quarter, then officially took command in the second half by outscoring Kenai 22-18.
“Our effort was just a takeoff from last weekend where we beat two really good teams (Colony and Palmer),” Soldotna head coach Doug Blossom said. “We handled today’s game really well, even though it got rough at times, and we are just playing really good defense. The girls are putting themselves in the position they want to be.”
Soldotna was led by Julie Litchfield, who had 18 points, and teammate Kaillee Skjold had 14. Kenai’s top scorer was Bailey Beeson with 15 points.
Soldotna heads into the region tournament with a 9-1 conference record, while Kenai moves forward with the No. 2 seed from the Southern Division and a 5-5 record.

Saturday boys
Kardinals 56, Stars 45
Kenai    13    13    15    15    —56
Soldotna    14    11    8    12    —45
KENAI (56) — Springer 0 0-0 0, McKee 0 0-0 0, Hull 6 4-7 17, Oliver 0 0-0 0, Berg 0 0-0 0, Fitt 1 0-0 3, Sandahl 1 0-0 2, Reilly 9 0-4 20, Spalding 1 1-2 3, Hayes 4 3-4 11, Hansen 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 8-17 56.
SOLDOTNA (45) — Tovoli 0 0-0 0, Fowler 1 0-0 2, Young 2 0-0 5, Darrow 1 2-2 5, Carver 3 0-0 7, Calloway 0 0-0 0, Daugherty 0 0-0 0, Withrow 5 2-2 14, Fowler 3 0-0 6, Bosick 2 2-2 6, Kruse 0 0-0 0, McElroy 0 0-0 0, Conradi 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 6-6 45.
3-point goals — Kenai 4 (Reilly 2, Fitt 1, Hull 1); Soldotna 5 (Withrow 2, Young 1, Darrow 1, Carver 1)
Team fouls — Kenai 6, Soldotna 16. Fouled out — none.

Saturday girls
Stars 51, Kardinals 31
Soldotna    13    16    12    10    —51
Kenai    10    3    10    8    —31
SOLDOTNA (51) — Benson 1 0-0 2, Kress 1 1-2 3, Litchfield 9 0-2 18, Wong 3 0-0 6, Kerkvliet 1 0-0 2, Westerman 3 0-0 6, Skjold 7 0-0 14, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 1-4 51.
KENAI (31) — English 3 0-0 6, Beeson 6 3-4 15, Kiefer 0 0-0 0, Taylor 1 1-2 3, Ross 0 0-0 0, Tieaskie 1 0-0 2, Wensley. Totals 13 4-6 31.
3-point goals — Soldotna 0; Kenai 1 (Wensley 1).
Team fouls — Soldotna 11, Kenai 7. Fouled out — none.

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