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Photo by Klas Stolpe/Juneau Empire
Kenai's AJ Hull splits Dimond defenders Damon Cikanek (10) and Brock Crowe during the Kardinals quarterfinal game against the Lynx in the 4A Boys state basketball championships at Anchorage's Sullivan Arena on Thursday.

Dimond boys blow out Kenai at state

Posted: March 15, 2012 - 4:23pm  |  Updated: March 15, 2012 - 9:37pm
Kenai guard Alex Springer brings the ball down the floor during a loss to Dimond in the first round of the state tournament Thursday in Anchorage.  Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman
Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman
Kenai guard Alex Springer brings the ball down the floor during a loss to Dimond in the first round of the state tournament Thursday in Anchorage.

With a tough opponent in the Dimond Lynx, the Kenai boys attempted an upset in the first round of the Class 4A boys state tournament, but were instead overwhelmed 61-22 on Thursday at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

“You’re not going to win a lot of basketball games when you shoot 23 percent from the field, 33 percent from the free-throw line, and 22 percent from the 3-point line,” Kenai head coach Ken Felchle said.

Reduced shooting percentages from Kenai could be attributed to the size of the Lynx players, as they have two 6-foot-7 players, and one 6-8 player, but Felchle did not want to make that excuse.

“They have some big guys, but we have to play harder, and be more prepared mentally for that,” he said. “We have to forget about this, because nothing we say is going to help us or change the outcome of the game.”

Kenai senior Bo Reilly said the length of the No. 2 seed Lynx presented some problems for the No. 7 seed Kardinals.

“With long arms like they have, it’s tough to make any kind of play,” Reilly said. “But getting transitions and boxing out as best as we could was important, and it was important we played as hard as we possibly could to get in the next round.”

In 2008, Kenai had pulled off a memorable 74-73 overtime upset of the Lynx in the first round at state. Dimond made sure that would not happen this time.

Reilly had 11 points in the game, which was the most for Kenai. One of the team’s key players, AJ Hull, only managed five points.

“When we played Palmer, we came back from 14 down, so we talked about that at halftime,” Reilly said. “Defense and heart is what got us back into that game, but today it didn’t quite work.

“There’s going to be battles, man-to-man, and whoever has the better team will win.”

Ryden Hines, who is 6-8, racked up the most points for the Lynx with 20.

Midway through the first quarter, Kenai was keeping pace with Dimond, as they were tied at 4 with 4 minutes, 34 seconds, left.

However, from that point on, Dimond made it clear who was going to win the match, as they produced a 16-1 run to close the quarter, and outscored the Kardinals 29-7 in the second half. 

Felchle said the team is only going to look forward from this point on.

“I need to go in the locker room and ask those juniors and seniors to be more mentally tough and be ready to come out and play tomorrow in the consolation bracket and see if we can’t give Colony a game,” he said.

The Knights and Kardinals play at 9:45 a.m. in a rematch of the Northern Lights Conference semifinals, which the Knights won. Kenai defeated Colony in the regular season.


ASAA First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships

Thursday boys

Lynx 61, Kardinals 22



DIMOND (61) — Crow 2 0-0 5, Pili 0 0-0 0, Cikanek 4 0-0 9, Lauwers 1 0-0 3, Lasher 2 4-4 9, Harris 0 0-0 0, Osborne 1 0-0 2, Roschin 1 0-0 2, Adams 3 1-1 7, Hines 9 2-3 20, Torrance 1 0-0 2, Afoa 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 7-8 61.

KENAI (22) — Springer 0 0-0 0, McKee 0 0-0 0, Hull 2 1-4 5, Berg 0 0-0 0, Fitt 0 0-0 0, Sandahl 0 0-0 0, Reilly 4 1-2 11, Spalding 2 0-0 4, Kibling 0 0-0 0, Hayes 1 0-0 2, Hansen 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 2-6 22.

3-point goals — Dimond 4 (Crow 1, Cikanek 1, Lauwers 1, Lasher 1); Kenai 2 (Reilly 2).

Team fouls — Dimond 7, Kenai 9. Fouled out — none.

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