Dimond girls defeat SoHi in 4th-place game

The Soldotna girls ended their season Saturday at the UAA Wells Fargo Sports Arena in Anchorage with a 66-55 loss against Dimond in the fourth-place game of the Class 4A state basketball tournament.

Junior Kaillee Skjold had 24 points to lead Soldotna, and sophomore teammate Julie Litchfield had 15 points.

“Coach was saying we have to keep up our defensive pressure, and keeping us at 100 percent, and we know we can stay with him,” Litchfield said. “They started getting rebounds on us, and we got off in our offense, and we had missed shots.”

The Stars had another off game of shooting, hitting 11 of 44 from the field, but were able to stay on pace with the Lynx for most of the game.

“I wanted them to play with the same energy and intensity they’ve had and be focused and relaxed, and shoot the ball well,” Soldotna head coach Doug Blossom said. “We didn’t shoot well to begin with, and we spent the rest of the half coming back.”

Tied at 30 points each at halftime, Soldotna was able to take the lead midway through the third quarter, as Skjold, Katelynn Kerkvliet and Natalie Kress each had field goals.

However, Sierra Afoa from Dimond made a shot with 7 minutes, 40 seconds, left in the game to take the lead for the final time.

“We play very up-tempo basketball, we push the ball a lot, try to predicate our offense off of our defense,” Dimond head coach Jim Young said. “We’re a team that runs, we usually have one run where we can pull away.”

Blossom said Soldotna’s effort was big, but the shots just were not going in.

“Right to the end there, we forced a few things that let them stretch it out,” he said.

As for the offseason, Blossom said the team will be working on shooting. The Stars lose senior Savannah Smith.

“For one, I hope that we’re all committed to each other to spend some time in the offseason and next fall getting better and improving our shooting,” he said.

 

ASAA First National Bank Alaska Basketball State Championships

Saturday girls

Lynx 66, Stars 55

Dimond14161521—66

Soldotna13171312—55

DIMOND (66) — Huss 5 1-2 11, Liggon 1 0-0 2, Rogers 2 0-2 6, Fischer 2 0-0 5, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Cole 5 3-5 13, Afoa 10 3-3 23, Carter 1 0-1 2. Totals 28 7-13 66.

SOLDOTNA (55) — Benson 0 0-4 0, Kress 1 0-0 2, Litchfield 5 4-5 15, Wong 0 0-0 0, Hendricks 0 0-0 0, Kerkvliet 3 0-0 6, Westerman 1 2-3 4, Skjold 6 7-8 24, Miller 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 2-2 4. Totals 17 15-22 55.

3-point goals — Dimond 3 (Rogers 2, Fischer 1); Soldotna 6 (Skjold 5, Litchfield 1).

Team fouls — Dimond 18, Soldotna 16. Fouled out — Skjold.

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