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Homer girls turn tables on Soldotna

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004

What goes around comes around -- and then some.

After losing -- often by a large margin -- to the Stars over the past couple of seasons, the Homer Mariners got a little bit of payback Thursday, opening the Peninsula Challenge girls basketball tournament with a 53-17 win over Soldotna at Skyview High School.

It did take the Mariners a little while to get themselves into the flow of things -- their first points, a two-point field goal by Bailey Lowney -- came with nearly six minutes gone in the first quarter and cut Soldotna's lead to 4-2. Both teams missed open shots early in the game.

Once the Mariners got a basket to fall, though, they were able to set up their full-court trapping press and took control of the game from there.

"I was kind of nervous at the beginning, jittery," said Homer's Chantrelle Cousins. "We were going too fast. We needed to slow down and get relaxed."

Homer took its first lead of the game, 6-4, on a basket by Kayla Creamer late in the first quarter.

Soldotna's Brittany Howard hit a pair of foul shots to tie the score with 13 seconds left in the quarter, but Homer's Megan Mahan drained a 3-pointer to close out the quarter, and the Mariners never looked back.

"I think today our team clicked," Cousins said.

Soldotna was able to stay close through the first half, heading to the locker room down 21-10 at the half, but the second half proved to be a learning experience for the young Stars.

"I want us to play well for a whole game," Soldotna coach Mark Tuter said. "I think we played OK in the first half, (but in the second half) the pressure began taking its toll. We fell into the trap of just throwing the ball away."

Indeed, the Stars frequently had trouble just getting the ball to midcourt against Homer's defense, and the Mariners outscored Soldotna 23-5 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

Cousins said playing full-court defense is what makes the game fun.

"If we don't do that, it gets boring," Cousins said.

"We kept up our defensive intensity real well, and kept it up for the whole game," said Homer coach Mark Mahan.

Cousins said the Mariners were able to try some new things on offense, something that will pay dividends as the competition gets stiffer throughout the season.

"We were working on all our plays that we don't usually get a chance to work on," Cousins said.

As for the Stars, Tuter said he'd like to see his squad come back and finish the tournament strong.

"Our goal now is to play well in the next two games," Tuter said.

Chugiak 71, Nikiski 22

The Mustangs dominated a showdown between last year's Class 4A champion and last year's Class 3A champion.

Chugiak lost just one starter from last year's championship team.

The Mustangs showed off their firepower Thursday, with Elyse Hartman scoring 27, Sarah Neuschwander netting 12, Brihtani Lassiter pumping in 11 and Courtney Waters hitting for 10.

Sarah Herrin paced Nikiski with 11 points.

Seward 45, Kenai 28

The Seahawks topped the Kardinals for the second time this season, again holding Kenai under 30 points.

Seward was ahead 10-7 after the first period, but opened a 24-13 lead by halftime.

Emma Seigel paced the Seahawks with 12 points, while Breanna Bardarson added 11.

Amber McGlasson had eight points for the Kardinals.

MARINERS 53, STARS 17

Homer 9 12 23 9 -- 53

Soldotna 6 4 5 2 -- 17

HOMER (53) -- Me. Mahan 3 0-0 7, Pollack 1 0-0 2, Creamer 4 0-0 8, Riley 0 0-0 0, Cousins 6 2-5 14, Morawitz 0 0-4 0, McKinstry 2 0-0 4, Mo. Mahan 0 0-0 0, Lowney 3 0-0 6, Setterquist 6 0-5 12, Lightcap 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 25 2-14 53.

SOLDOTNA (17) -- Smith 0 0-0 0, McCown 2 0-0 4, Jones 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 0 1-2 1, Marinkovski 0 0-0 0, Mills 0 0-0 0, Howard 3 2-2 8, Bell 1 0-0 2, Marey 1 0-0 2, Wilbanks 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 7 3-4 17.

3-point goals -- Homer 1 (Me. Mahan). Total fouls -- Homer 7, Soldotna 16. Fouled out -- none.

MUSTANGS 71, BULLDOGS 22

Chugiak 8 23 18 22 --71

Nikiski 1 10 6 5 --22

CHUGIAK (71) -- Waters 5 0-0 10, Sacks 0 0-0 0, Lassiter 4 0-0 11, Hartman 13 1-2 27, Griffin 3 1-1 7, Doughty 1 0-0 2, Smith 0 0-0 0, Courtright 1 0-0 2, Neuschwander 6 0-1 12. Totals -- 31 2-4 71.

NIKISKI (22) -- Salonen 1 0-0 3, Ellis 0 0-0 0, Gladden 0 1-2 1, Griffel 0 0-0 0, Auldridge 1 1-2 3, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Herrin 5 0-0 11, Hitchcock 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 9 2-4 22.

3-point goals -- Chugiak 3 (Lassiter 3); Nikiski 2 (Salonen 1, Herrin 1). Total fouls -- Chugiak 11, Nikiski 7. Fouled out -- none.

SEAHAWKS 45, KARDINALS 28

Seward 10 14 14 7 --45

Kenai 7 6 10 5 --28

SEWARD (45) -- Gaule 1 0-0 2, Hetrick 3 0-1 6, Bardarson 4 3-5 11, Steinbrecher 1 1-2 3, Hoogland 0 1-2 1, Regis 2 1-3 5, Boulden 1 1-4 3, Loomis 1 0-0 2, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Seigel 5 2-2 12, Adelmann 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18 9-19 45.

KENAI (28) -- Saltzgiver 2 1-2 5, Keener 1 3-5 5, Foley 0 0-0 0, Dunn 0 0-0 0, McGlasson 2 4-6 8, Steiner 0 0-0 0, Moore 1 0-0 2, Calderwood 1 0-0 2, Peterson 1 0-2 2, Navarre 1 0-0 2, Kiel 1 0-0 2, Brewer 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 10 8-15 28.

3-point goals -- none. Total fouls -- Seward 14, Kenai 14. Fouled out -- none.



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