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Wasilla girls topple SoHi for NLC title

Kenai boys take 3rd, Kenai girls take 4th

Posted: March 4, 2012 - 12:19am

WASILLA — Even in a lopsided loss, the Soldotna Stars showed a glimpse of what should be a bright future.

Wasilla used a 55-30 win over Soldotna to win the Northern Lights Conference Championships title game on Saturday night at Wasilla High.

As the Warriors celebrated, Soldotna head coach Doug Blossom said he had a clear message to his players.

“Of course it’s disappointing, but we’ve won the last 14 games,” Blossom said of his team’s work leading up to the title game. “I told the team we’re not going to hold our heads. We won our last 14 games, we’re going to state, we just played in the championship game.”

Soldotna and Wasilla played even early, and Kaillee Skjold gave the Stars the early 2-0 lead.

But then Wasilla fired off on an 8-0 run.

“We started of the game real well, but we got a little intimidated,” said Blossom, who was named the NLC Coach of the Year after the tournament. “Age maybe showed a bit.”

Soldotna features only one senior on the roster, post Savannah Smith, and features multiple sophomores in the starting lineup. Skjold, who was named NLC Co-Player of the Year, is only a junior.

Skjold scored all four of Soldotna’s points in the first quarter, and was held to only six in the first three quarters. Wasilla used its tenacious defense and a combination of juniors Alexis Imoe and Alysha Devine to contain the Stars’ versatile junior.

The Warrior defense held Soldotna to only eight points in the first half and 14 through the first three quarters.

Wasilla senior Alyssa Hutchins, who shared player of the year honors with Skjold, led the Warriors with 18 points in the game. She hit a 3-pointer and was 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Four of her points came during Wasilla’s 10-point first. Much like the semifinal win over Colony, the Warriors jumped out early.

“I think we definitely made a statement,” Hutchins said. “It was big, such a jump-start to the team.”

Skjold led the Stars with 14 points in the game, but eight came during the final quarter. Skjold spent much of her time on the floor blanketed by Imoe or Devine.

“Alexis did a great job defensively, Alysha too. Savannah (Burke) was stopping them inside. I thought Alyssa Hutchins had some great defense too,” Wasilla head coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax said.

Wasilla boys 68, Colony 46

The Warriors made a clean sweep of the titles as the boys cruised past the Knights on Saturday night.

Kenai boys 54, Kodiak 45

The Kardinals claimed third place at the tournament by topping the Bears.

Unfortunately for Kenai, third place in the NLC tourney no longer carries an automatic state berth. The Kards will now have to hope they qualify due to the Winning Percentage Index.

AJ Hull had 19 points for Kenai, hitting 6-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-5 from 3-point land.

Bo Reilly had 13 points for Kenai, while Colton Hayes had 12 and Shane Spalding had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Kards shot 44.7 percent from the floor while holding Kodiak to a 34.8 clip. Austin Frick had 12 points for the Bears, while Jemuel Medina had 10 points.

Colony girls 37, Kodiak 20

The Knights, the No. 3 seed from the Northern Division, knocked off Kodiak, the No. 2 seed from the north, in the third-place game.

Mary Klapperich had 16 points for Colony, while Puni Timu led Kodiak with eight points.

Kenai girls 52, Palmer 40

The Kardinals came back from a 16-8 deficit after the first quarter to claim fourth place.

Palmer still led 28-22 at halftime, but Kenai took control of the game by outscoring the Moose 21-7 in the third quarter.

Morgan Wensley had a huge game for the Kardinals, scoring 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-3 from 3-point land. Wensley also led the team with 13 rebounds.

Carolyn Kiefer added 10 points for Kenai on 4-of-7 shooting.

The Kards were able to hold Palmer scoring threat Taylor Blake to five points on 2-of-13 shooting. Tress Whitfield paced the Moose with 11 points, while Kasara Brandenburg added 10.

Palmer boys 71, Skyview 38

The Moose cruised to victory in the fourth-place game behind 24 points apiece from Connor Looney and Jared Straight.

Jackson Buresh added 16 points for Palmer, while Preston Penrod had 16 for Skyview.

 

Saturday boys

Moose 71, Panthers 38

Palmer20211416—71

Skyview138413—38

PALMER (71) — Nisbett 1 0-0 2, Looney 10 3-5 24, Jones 0 0-0 0, Christensen 0 0-0 0, Ramoth 1 0-0 3, Straight 8 5-6 24, Matik 0 0-0 0, Buresh 6 3-4 16, Jacobsen 0 0-0 0, Niekamp 0 0-0 0, Mayer 0 2-2 2. Totals — 26 13-17 71.

SKYVIEW (38) — Reynolds 2 0-0 4, Harling 1 0-0 2, Collier 0 1-5 1, McCollum 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 0-0 3, Penrod 7 2-2 16, Henderson 0 0-0 0, Hilbish 0 0-0 0, Schwartz 1 0-0 2, Deatherage 0 0-0 0, Ramirez 0 0-0 0, Diaz 4 2-2 10. Totals — 16 5-9 38.

3-point goals — Palmer 6 (Straight 3, Looney 1, Ramoth 1, Buresh 1); Team fouls — Palmer 7, Skyview 13. Fouled out — none.

 

Kardinals 54, Bears 45

KENAI CENTRAL (54) — Springer 0 0-0 0, Hull 6 4-7 19, Fitt 0 0-0 0, Sandahl 0 0-2 0, Reilly 2 9-10 13, Spalding 5 0-0 10, Hayes 4 4-6 12. Totals — 17 17-25 54.

KODIAK (45) — Frick 4 0-0 12, Medina 2 6-9 10, Gregory 0 0-0 0, Obas 1 0-0 2, Will 2 0-0 4, Swearingin 3 2-2 9, Hiner 4 0-0 8, Jimenez 0 0-0 0, Bezona 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 8-11 45.

3-point goals — Kenai 3 (Hull 3); Kodiak 5 (Frick 4, Swearingin 1). Team fouls — Kenai 12, Kodiak 18. Fouled out — none.

 

Saturday girls

Kardinals 52, Moose 40

Palmer161275—40

Kenai814219—52

PALMER (40) — Simmerman 1 0-0 2, DePriest 0 0-0 0, Scott 1 0-0 2, Jensen 1 0-0 2, Koehn 0 2-2 2, Blake 2 1-2 5, Whitfield 4 1-1 11, Brandenburg 4 2-3 10, Huffman 3 0-0 6. Totals — 16 6-8 40.

KENAI CENTRAL (52) — English 3 0-0 6, Beeson 5 2-2 12, Kiefer 4 2-4 10, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Ross 0 0-0 0, Tieaskie 0 0-0 0, Wensley 7 6-8 22. Totals — 20 10-14 40.

3-point goals — Palmer 2 (Whitfield 2); Kenai 2 (Wensley 2). Team fouls — Palmer 16, Kenai 9. Fouled out — Koehn.

 

Warriors 55, Stars 30

Soldotna44616—30

Wasilla10161613—55

SOLDOTNA (30) — Benson 1 2-2 4, Kress 2 0-0 4, Litchfield 1 2-6 4, Wong 0 0-0 0, Kerkvliet 1 0-0 2, Westerman 1 0-0 2, Skjold 4 6-6 14. Totals — 10 10-14 30.

WASILLA (55) — Ford 0 0-0 0, Hutchins 5 7-8 18, Imoe 4 0-0 8, Koso 1 0-0 2, Brumbaugh 2 0-0 4, Devine 6 0-1 12, Labuda 1 0-0 3, Towes 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Dinkle 3 0-0 6, Garcia 0 0-0 0, Burke 1 0-0 2. Totals — 23 7-9 55.

3-point goals — Wasilla 2 (Hutchins 1, Labuda 1). Team fouls — Soldotna 11, Wasilla 13. Fouled out — Hutchins.

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