Kards sweep Panthers in Friday hoops action

The Kenai Central basketball teams both took victories against former conference rival Skyview at Kenai on Friday night. 


The Kenai girls took a dominating 53-12 win earlier in the night, before the boys followed that up with an equally demanding 50-26 win. Both games were non-conference, and the boys contest was played as an endowment game.

In the girls game, senior co-captain Cassie Ross led the Kards with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while senior teammate Sydney Taylor (co-captain) added 13 points. Senior Sam Reynolds led Skyview’s effort with four points, and Hayley Ramsell, Camila O’Toole and Miranda Donham each added two.

“A lot of that just came from our defensive intensity and pressure,” Kenai coach Stacia Rustad said. “We stressed that from day one that if we are going to be competitive in this tough league we have to do that. Defense and rebounding is a focus for us every single practice. That’s going to lead for easier baskets and some offensive momentum.”

After a slow start for both teams in the first quarter, Kenai began to catch fire, as they scored 22 unanswered points to beef their lead to 24-2 midway through the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, Kenai outscored Skyview 15-2 to the joy of the home crowd. It was a big step up from two weeks ago at the Kenai River Classic tournament, when the Kards managed only one basket in the entire second half against North Pole.

“That’s something that we need for our own self-confidence,” Rustad said. “Hopefully we have gained some much needed confidence to get us going as we head into conference play.”

Kenai will take a break from action, before they confront Colony at home on January 9.

Kenai 50, Skyview 26

Much like the girls games, the Kenai boys had the game iced up rather early, as they jumped out to an 11-4 lead after one quarter.

Senior Shane Spalding led the Kards with 17 points on the night, followed by teammate Josh McKee with 12. Skyview’s top scorer was Kaleb Henderson with 10 points. All of Henderson’s points came in the second half, and eight in the fourth quarter alone.

“I thought we played pretty good defense, and I though they had some good looks at the basket but the shots weren’t falling our way,” Skyview coach Jesse Settlemyer said. “We’re going to be practicing more on shots, and putting a defender in their way so they get used to it. If you’re going to get looks like that in games, then we need to practice it.”

Holding a halftime lead of 23-8, Kenai continued to hammer the boards in the third quarter, using rebounds to their advantage to facilitate scoring opportunities. An 8-2 run to start the third quarter essentially nailed the coffin lid shut.

“We played Skyview last week, and one of our goals is to get better every day and every practice,” Kenai coach Ken Felchle said. “There were times today when we performed well and times when we didn’t so much. We’re happy with the win and it’s great but we want to improve all the time.

“When we are disciplined and not a bunch of individuals, we have great success.”

Felchle was overall happy with the Kards’ defensive effort. 

“We have to play like that all the time,” he said. “For the most part, we controlled the boards and outrebounded them, and anytime you do that, you’re going to have success.”


Friday girls

Kardinals 53, Panthers 12

Kenai 10 17 11 15 —53

Skyview 2 4 4 2—12

KENAI (53) — Ross 6 2-3 14, Taylor 6 0-0 13, Ostrander 2 1-3 5, English 3 4-6 10, Drury 1 0-0 2, Steinbeck 1 0-0 2, Barcus 0 0-0 0, Every 3 1-2 7. Totals 21 8-14 53.

SKYVIEW (12) — Reynolds 1 2-5 4, Halverson 0 0-4 0, Glonek 0 0-0 0, Link 0 1-2 1, White 0 0-0 0, Derflinger 0 0-4 0, Tromblee 0 1-2 1, Ramsell 1 0-2 2, O’Toole 1 0-2 2, Donham 1 0-1 2. Totals 4 4-23 12. 

3-point goals — Kenai 1 (Taylor); Skyview 0. 

Team fouls — Kenai 13; Skyview 17. Fouled out — English.


Friday boys

Kardinals 50, Panthers 26

Kenai 11 12 15 12 —50

Skyview 4 4 6 12 —26

KENAI (50) — Spalding 7 3-4 17, Battistelli 2 2-2 6, McKee 6 0-0 12, Shirnberg 1 0-0 2, Fitt 0 0-0 0, Berg 3 2-3 8, O’Neal 0 0-0 0, Kibling 2 1-2 5. Totals 21 8-11 50.

SKYVIEW (26) — Henderson 5 0-0 10, Duke 1 0-0 2, Carlson 1 3-4 5, Collier 1 1-1 3, Cunningham 2 0-0 4, Saunders 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 4-5 26.

3-point goals — Kenai 0; Skyview 0.


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