Hoops roundup: Wasilla girls, boys sweep Soldotna

The Wasilla Warriors continued their reign of terror on the peninsula Thursday with a clean sweep of the Soldotna High basketball squads at SoHi, winning the girls game 53-24 and the boys 49-33.

 

In their annual weekend visit to the peninsula, both Wasilla teams notched Wednesday wins over Kenai Central before turning their attention to SoHi. The triumphs pushed the Wasilla girls to 8-0 in the Northern Lights Conference and 12-4 overall, while the Wasilla boys lifted their season to 7-1 in NLC and 13-3 overall. The losses dropped the SoHi girls to 3-4 in conference and 9-10 overall, while the SoHi boys went to 3-4 and 9-11.

The girls game started fast as the Warriors streaked out on a 12-0 run with a ferocious press, forcing several turnovers and second-chance opportunities.

Olivia Davies went off for 19 points against Wasilla, including a 6-0 run by herself late in the second quarter that helped the Warriors to a commanding 32-5 lead at the half. Wasilla led 14-2 after one quarter and outscored the Stars 18-3 in the second.

Head coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax said Davies is coming off an injury, so to see her putting together big games is a good sign.

“She’s starting to find her game again,” Hebert-Truax said. “And Cheyenne (Green) helps take pressure off Olivia. She’s been a benefit to our team.”

Green finished with 10 points, one night after pouring on 23 points against Kenai, and Diondra Lawhead scored 10.

Aliann Schmidt paced the Stars with seven points, while Drista Crosby-Schneider had six and Kiana Holland chipped in four. SoHi head coach Kyle McFall said SoHi fell into a state of disarray after Schmidt went to the bench early in the first quarter after a poke to the eye. Schmidt only rested for a few minutes, but in that time, Wasilla turned its 6-0 lead to 14-0 in short order.

“We got a bit rattled,” McFall said. “The kid’s got out of rotation and it was kind of a big snowball effect.

“We’ve just got to handle those situations better.”

Against a powerhouse like Wasilla, which has won five of the last seven state girls titles in Class 4A, McFall said the goal was to compete, which he believed the team did early before Schmidt’s exit.

However, in preparation for Friday’s matchup against NLC rival Colony, McFall said he is hoping to see a closer game and possibly a victory. SoHi narrowly lost to Colony earlier in the year 37-35.

“When we get in close games, we’ve got to be able to play outside our comfort zone,” he said. “We need mental toughness.”

McFall added that he thought Holland did well in defending Green, a 5-foot-11 junior that is tough to handle in the post.

In the boys game, Aeron Milliron dominated down the stretch to secure the victory for Wasilla, scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, while Reilly Devine added 11. SoHi was led by Sam McElroy’s 13 and Caleb Spence’s eight.

The Stars came close to cutting the Warriors lead to a single possession in the second half, but each SoHi run was answered with a Wasilla bucket as Milliron and Devine were able to find space under the rim for backdoor shots on several occasions.

SoHi coach Nolan Rose said Milliron, a 6-3 senior, changed the game for the home squad.

“He killed us inside,” Rose said. “We had to go to a man defense late in the game, and he was able to get (isolated) post-ups on the block.”

SoHi did take a brief 17-16 lead late in the second quarter on a McElroy jumper, but Wasilla got to halftime with a 19-17 advantage.

Coming out of the break, Wasilla began breaking down SoHi’s defense with more efficiency with look by Daniel Headdings and Milliron. Both players put in buckets to extend the gap to near double digits.

Caleb Spence connected on a 3-pointer for SoHi with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 37-30, but the Warriors answered with a 5-0 run in the next two minutes to forge an 11-point lead and secure the win.

“Ultimately it comes down to us having to score more than 33 points against elite teams,” Rose said. “We’ve got to make more shots too.”

SoHi will face Colony Friday at home, with the girls game tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.

Colony girls 54, Kenai 33

The visiting Knights notched a Northern Lights Conference victory Thursday.

Kenai trailed just 6-4 after the first quarter and 19-15 at halftime, but Colony pulled away with an 18-4 third quarter.

For the Knights, Alex Carlton had 12 points, while Kali Bull and Tori Schwantes had 11 points apiece. Kenai’s Brooke Satathite had 14 points to lead all scorers.

Colony boys 72, Kenai 60

The visiting Knights overcame a 35-31 deficit at the half to claim the Northern Lights Conference victory on Thursday.

Sullivan Menard had 19 points for the Knights, while Will Freeman had 17 and Patrick McMahan added 14. For Kenai, Preben Strende and Adam Trujillo each had 18, while Luke Beiser had 14.

Grace Hardwood Classic

The Nikiski girls basketball team started the Grace Hardwood Classic in Anchorage with a 54-37 victory over Mt. Edgecumbe.

The Bulldogs took control early with a 21-5 lead after the first quarter. Bethany Carstens had 30 points for Nikiski, while Kaycee Bostic and Emma Wik each had six, Angela Druesdow had four, Kaitlyn Johnson and America Jeffreys each had three and Lillian Carstens had two.

Homer lost to Barrow at the tournament. Nikiski plays Barrow today at 6 p.m. in the semifinals, while Homer faces Mt. Edgecumbe at 3 p.m.

Homer C boys 45, CIA 43

The host Mariners held off the Eagles in nonconference action Thursday.

Thursday girls

Warriors 53, Stars 24

Wasilla 14 18 19 2 —53

Soldotna 2 3 10 9 —24

WASILLA (53) — Brandenburg 2 4-4 8, Davies 8 1-1 19, McSorley 0 0-0 0, Vasquez 0 0-0 0, Obremski 0 0-0 0, Anderson 2 0-0 6, Lawhead 4 2-2 10, Green 5 0-0 10, Horton 0 0-0 0, Titus 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 7-7 53.

SOLDOTNA (24) — McGillivray 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2, Blossom 0 0-0 0, A. Schmidt 3 0-0 7, Buckbee 0 0-0 0, Holland 2 0-0 4, Wurst 1 0-0 2, Crosby-Schneider 3 0-0 6, D. Schmidt 1 1-2 3, McDonald 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 1-2 24.

3-point goals — Wasilla 4 (Davies 2, Anderson 2); Soldotna 1 (A. Schmidt).

Team fouls — Wasilla 9, Soldotna 7. Fouled out — none.

Knights 54, Kardinals 33

Colony 6 13 18 17 — 54

Kenai 4 11 4 14 — 33

COLONY (54) — Haylee Duguid 3 0-0 9, Hannah Duguid 1 0-2 3, A. Smith 1 0-0 2, Dunlop 2 0-0 4, Kenley 0 0-0 0, Bull 3 5-6 11, Novelli 0 0-0 0, Schwantes 4 3-3 11, Carlton 5 1-3 12, Smith 1 0-0 2, Simpson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 9-14 54.

KENAI CENTRAL (33) — Calvert 3 0-0 6, Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Maw 1 0-1 2, Erlich 0 0-0 0, Hanson 2 0-0 4, Paxton 0 0-0 0, Carrasco 3 0-0 7, Satathite 4 6-6 14, Streiff 0 0-0 0. Totals — 12 6-7 33.

3-point goals — Colony 5 (Haylee Duguid 3, Hannah Duguid, Carlton); Kenai 3 (Calvert 2, Carrasco). Team fouls — Colony 15, Kenai 13. Fouled out — none.

Thursday boys

Warriors 49, Stars 33

Wasilla 12 7 14 16 —49

Soldotna 9 8 8 8 —33

WASILLA (49) — Knight 2 0-0 4, Houck 2 1-1 5, Headdings 4 0-1 9, Devine 3 5-6 11, Wheeler 0 0-0 0, Dudley 0 1-2 1, Graham 0 0-0 0, Kauffman 0 0-0 0, Milliron 8 3-6 19, Devine 0 0-0 0, Campbell 0 0-0 0, Kovall 0 0-0 0, Wagle 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 10-16 49.

SOLDOTNA (33) — Truesdell 1 2-2 4, Trammell 1 0-0 3, Spence 3 1-2 8, Sheridan 1 0-0 2, Crowder 1 0-0 3, Tuisaula 0 0-0 0, MIchael 0 0-0 0, McElroy 5 2-3 13. Totals 12 5-7 33.

3-point goals — Wasilla 1 (Headdings); Soldotna 4 (Trammell 1, Spence 1, Crowder 1, McElroy 1).

Team fouls — Wasilla 11; Soldotna 14. Fouled out — none.

Knights 72, Kardinals 60

Colony 16 15 17 24 — 72

Kenai 22 13 9 16 — 60

COLONY (72) — Pomrenke 3 0-0 6, McMahan 4 4-6 14, Freeman 4 7-8 17, Menard 6 4-6 19, Spencer 2 0-0 5, Kiser 0 2-2 2, Villastrigo 2 1-4 5, Hersrud 1 2-3 4, Wright 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 20-29 72.

KENAI CENTRAL (60) — Efta 0 0-2 0, Felchle 1 0-0 2, Baker 3 0-0 6, T. Riddall 0 0-0 0, Beiser 5 4-6 14, Goodman 1 0-0 2, Trujillo 8 1-1 18, Strende 5 4-6 18. Totals — 23 9-15 60.

3-point goals — Colony 8 (Menard 3, McMahan 2, Freeman 2, Spencer); Kenai 5 (Strende 4, Trujillo). Team fouls — Colony 16, Kenai 18. Fouled out — Beiser.

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