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Palmer cagers sweep Kenai Central

Posted: February 15, 2013 - 12:04am  |  Updated: February 15, 2013 - 12:07am

PALMER — The Palmer girls needed a rally to overcome a slow start. But there was nothing slow about the way the Palmer boys started.

Senior Connor Looney scored 16 of his game-high 28 points to help spark a 29-point Palmer first-half run, as the Moose cruised to a 60-22 boys basketball win over the Kenai Central Kardinals at Palmer High on Thursday night.

In girls action, the Moose used 27 second-half points to score a 53-42, come-from-behind victory over the Kards.

Looney buried four of his game-best six 3-pointers during the first eight minutes of the game.

Kenai actually opened the game with an early lead thanks to Gugliellmo Battistelli’s long baseline jumper right off the opening tip. But after that Battistelli shot, it was nothing but Palmer.

The Moose capped the quarter with 27 straight points, and extended its run to 29 early in the second quarter.

“That’s the best we’ve come out in the first quarter all season,” Palmer head coach Jason Marvel said. “Those guys just came out ready to play. We shared the ball well, shot the ball really well. I’m really proud of them. They did a nice job.”

Nathan Mayer also hit a 3-pointer during the run, and Mayer and Brian Selmer also combined for nine points during the first quarter.

Following the Battistelli bucket in the opening seconds, Kenai would have to wait about 12 minutes for another field goal. Kirk Kibling snapped the draught with a layup at the 4:08 mark of the second quarter.

Battistelli led the Kards with five points in the loss.

Marvel praised his team for not playing complacent or overconfident about the big, early run.

“The toughest challenge when you come out that fast, when you’re on first like that, is to keep the momentum going,” Marvel said. “I felt the guys weren’t complacent. There were a couple lulls in the game, but they stayed aggressive.”

In girls action, Kenai controlled for more than two quarters, but the Moose rallied.

Justice English scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half, and helped Kenai post a 27-23 halftime lead. After Palmer’s Carly Venzke tied the score at 23 late in the first half, English closed the quarter with four straight points.

She pushed her team’s lead to four points, with a layup just before the buzzer.

Kenai had led by as many as seven points during the first half.

Kenai led 12-7 after the first quarter, but Palmer senior Taylor Blake helped spark the Palmer rally. Blake scored 10 of her game-high 28 points in the second quarter, and added nine in the third.

Freshman Leya DePriest also had four key points in the third quarter.

The Moose and Kards traded one-possesion leads in the third quarter. But Palmer didn’t lead until Blake knocked down a free throw with 3:14 left in the third.

Blake, who hit shots to tie the score at 29 and 33, went 1 for 2 from the line at the 3:14 mark to give Palmer the 34-33 advantage.

Kenai took it right back with a Carly Norvelle shot.

Blake scored again at the 1:11 mark to make it 36-35.

Palmer closed the quarter on a 4-1 run, and outscored Kenai 10-6 during the final eight minutes.

 

Palmer boys 60, Kenai 22

Thursday, Palmer High School

Kenai 2-6-9-5—22

Palmer 27-8-16-9—60

Kenai (22) — Theisen 1 0-0 2, Baltistelli 2 1-2 5, J. McKee 0 3-6 3, Spry 1 0-0 3, Fitt 1 0-0 2, Spalding 1 0-0 2, Kibling 1 0-0 2; Totals: 7 4-8 22.

Palmer (60) — Ramoth 2 0-0 4, Looney 9 4-4 28, Mayer 2 0-0 5, C. Christiansen 2 0-0 4, Nisbett 1 0-0 3, Selmer 4 0-0 8, Niekamp 3 2-4 8; Totals: 23 6-10 60.

 

Palmer girls 52, Kenai 43

Thursday, Palmer High

Kenai 12-15-10-6—43

Palmer 7-16-17-10—52

Kenai (43) — English 5 3-6 14, Taylor 5 0-0 10, Steinbeck 2 0-0 4, Norvelle 1 4-6 6, Ross 2 0-0 5, Barcus 2 0-2 4: Totals: 17 7-14 43.

Palmer (52) — Southwick 1 0-0 2, Venzke 1 0-0 2, K. DePriest 2 0-2 4, Scott 0 2-2 2, Osiensky 0 4-4 4, Straight 1 0-2 2, Blake 9 10-12 28, L. DePriest 4 0-2 8; Totals: 18 16-26 52.

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