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Late surge lifts Kardinals

Nikiski boys battle back from 16-point deficit, then lose

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004

The Nikiski High School boys basketball team battled back from a 16-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but Kenai Central was able to put together a late run and claim the victory, 67-53, in the opening round of the SoHi Tipoff Tournament Thursday at Soldotna.

In Thursday's other games, Skyview opened the tournament with a 64-39 win over Seward, Homer edged Anchorage Christian 50-48, and the host Stars defeated the Kodiak junior varsity squad 51-40.

In Thursday's game, the Kenai boys closed out the first half with a 13-2 run to take a 33-19 lead into the locker room. Jordan Jenckes accounted for eight of those points, scoring a pair of baskets in the paint and adding four more from the foul line.

The Kardinals fed Jenckes for the first points of the third quarter, giving them their largest lead of the game, 35-19.

Led by the play of Jeremiah Taylor, Nikiski was able to narrow the gap to eight by the end of the third quarter, and the Bulldogs tied the game up at 52 when Kevin Epperheimer drained a 3-pointer with 3:43 to play in the fourth quarter.

However, the Bulldogs managed to add just one more point the rest of the way while the Kardinals responded to Epperheimer's trey with nine unanswered points.

"We just had to slow it down," said Kenai's Geoffrey Gemmell of the Kardinals' late run. "We had to keep it at our pace instead of theirs. We knew we could get it back."

Indeed, the Bulldogs' game plan was to turn the game into a track meet, running and gunning at every opportunity. Taylor led the team with 19 points while Epperheimer contributed 16.

The Kardinals were more successful when they were able to penetrate, working the ball inside with some nice passing.

Kenai coach Rich Bartolowits said he liked seeing his team play an up-tempo game, but added that he'd also like to see his squad use some lower gears from time to time.

"I like the fast-paced game, but we need to be able to slow it down," Bartolowits said. "I was real happy to see the willingness to give up the ball to a teammate in better position, though."

That unselfish play led to four Kenai players scoring in double-digits: Jenckes led the team with 21 points, Gemmell netted 17 and Josh Bennett and Nick Barnes each scored 12.

Skyview 64, Seward 39

The Panthers outscored the Seahawks 18-6 in the opening quarter and maintained their advantage throughout the game.

Four Panthers scored in double-figures, with Ryan Geller leading the team with 19 points. Cody Hatfield scored 14, Kaleb Shields netted 12 and Zack Rowell contributed 11 points.

Blake Pullins paced the Seahawks with 14 points.

Ho mer 50, ACS 48

The Mariners trailed by six after the first quarter of play but cut the deficit to three at the half and led by a point, 33-32, entering the fourth quarter.

Luke Gilbert and Steven Golson each scored 13 to lead the Mariners. John Kuipers and Casey Siekaniec each netted seven points for Homer.

Bobby Dunbar scored 15 and Chet Dyson added 14 to lead the Lions.

Soldotna 51, Kodiak JV 40

The Stars picked up their first victory of the season to advance to the second round of their own tournament.

Soldotna, which led 13-5 after one quarter, received 17 points from Matt Hicks and 14 points from Ryan Hall.

Kodiak's junior varsity squad received nine points from Stuart McFarland.

PANTHERS 64, SEAHAWKS 39

Seward 6 11 10 12 -- 39

Skyview 18 15 19 12 -- 64

SEWARD (39) -- Hetrick 1 0-1 2, Pullins 4 5-6 14, Thayse 0 0-0 0, Amberg 0 0-0 0, Hubbard 1 0-1 2, Beck 0 0-0 0, Chase 0 2-2 2, Swiderski 2 2-4 7, Elhard 0 2-2 2, Dieckgraeff 3 1-1 7, Banse 1 1-1 3. Totals -- 12 13-18 39.

SKYVIEW (64) -- Smith 0 1-2 1, Shields 5 2-4 12, Dolifka 0 0-0 0, Rowell 4 3-4 11, St. Clair 2 0-0 4, Blossom 0 0-0 0, Schmidt 1 1-2 3, Hatfield 5 4-6 14, Geller 9 1-2 19. Totals -- 26 12-20 64.

3-point goals -- Seward 2 (Pullins, Swiderski). Total fouls -- Seward 16, Skyview 20. Fouled out -- none. Ejected -- St. Clair.

MARINERS 50, LIONS 48

ACS 15 9 8 16 -- 48

Homer 9 12 12 17 -- 50

ANCHORAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (48) -- Slepecki 0 0-0 0, Hegge 5 1-2 11, Fuller 2 0-0 4, Dunbar 6 3-6 15, Gogain 1 0-0 2, Dyson 6 0-0 14, Hawkins 1 0-2 2, Dwyer 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 21 4-10 48.

HOMER (50) -- Taylor 0 1-3 1, Kuipers 3 0-4 7, Gilbert 5 0-0 13, Ju. Smith 2 1-1 5, Siekaniec 3 1-2 7, Szymoniak 0 0-0 0, Ja. Smith 1 2-2 4, Golson 1 10-13 13, Trowbridge 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 15-25 50.

3-point goals -- ACS 2 (Dyson 2), Homer 5 (Gilbert 3, Kuipers, Golson). Total fouls -- ACS 18, Homer 12. Fouled out -- Hegge.

KARDINALS 67, BULLDOGS 53

Nikiski 9 10 19 15 -- 53

Kenai 15 18 13 21 -- 67

NIKISKI (53) -- Jorgensen 4 0-2 8, Curren 1 0-0 3, Taylor 7 5-5 19, Epperheimer 6 2-4 16, Anderson 0 0-0 0, McGahan 3 1-4 7. Totals -- 21 8-15 53.

KENAI (67) -- Hansen 0 0-0 0, C. Chappell 2 0-0 5, Craig 0 0-0 0, Jenckes 6 9-12 21, Gemmell 7 3-3 17, Bennett 6 0-0 12, Barnes 6 0-3 12, McLeod 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 27 3-18 67.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 3 (Epperheimer 2, Curren), Kenai 1 (C. Chappell). Total fouls -- Nikiski 18, Kenai 16. Fouled out -- Jorgensen.

STARS 51, BEARS JV 40

Kodiak 5 16 5 14 --40

Soldotna 13 17 11 10 --51

KODIAK (40) -- Colderon 3 2-2 8, Catt 1 1-2 3, Miller 4 0-0 8, McFarland 3 3-8 9, Simpson 2 1-2 5, Palo 0 1-2 1, Sweeney 0 0-0 0, Buenaluz 2 2-2 6, Starett 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 15 10-18 40.

SOLDOTNA (51) -- Pate 3 0-3 6, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Hall 4 5-6 14, Spindler 2 2-2 6, Besse 0 0-0 0, Stone 0 0-0 0, Hicks 8 1-2 17, Seggerman 2 2-2 6, Roberts 1 0-0 2, Gomulak 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 20 10-15 51.

3-point goals -- Kodiak 0; Soldotna 1 (Hall 1). Total fouls -- Kodiak 15, Soldotna 17. Fouled out -- Miller.



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