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Kards sweep Mariners: Girls pull away early, boys pull away late in NLC victories

Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Kenai Central girls and boys basketball teams defeated visiting Homer on Friday in Northern Lights Conference action.

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Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Kenai's Kyle Rogers tries to rebound the ball in front of Homer's Luke Garvey in the first quarter Friday at Kenai.

In the girls game, the Kardinals grabbed a 25-0 lead on the way to a 58-27 victory. Kenai, after a 57-37 loss to visiting Dimond on Saturday, is to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the NLC, while Homer drops to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the league.

In the boys game, the Kardinals pulled away from the Mariners in the second half for a 53-40 victory. Kenai is 5-1 and 1-0, while Homer is now 1-1 in the league.

In the boys game, Homer was whistled for 22 fouls while Kenai committed 17.

"I know I haven't played in a game that was that physical, and I don't remember coaching in a game that was that physical," Kardinals boys coach Ken Felchle said. "There was just a lot of contact.

"Homer played hard, and we played just as hard."

Both Felchle and Homer coach Mark Casseri both said the referees did a good job in the hard-fought game.

The main problem for the Mariners was foul shooting. Homer finished 8-of-21 from the line, while the Kardinals were 17-of-27.

"That's easy. Free throws," said Casseri, when asked the difference in the game.

Kenai grabbed a 29-22 lead to open the second half on a layup by Colton Hayes, but Homer battled back into the game. A free throw by Devon Kennelty tied the score at 31 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

The Kardinals answered with a 7-0 run that ended when AJ Hull drained a foul shot with 22 seconds left in the third quarter for a 38-31 lead. The Mariners had chances to score during the spurt, but missed free throws and shots in the paint.

"That can be fixed," Casseri said of his team's free-throw shooting. "Instead of shooting free throws for 30 minutes at practice, we'll shoot for 45."

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Kenai hit its first three shots before Casseri called a timeout with his team trailing 45-35 with 6:10 left in the game.

"Without taking anything away from Homer and their effort, if there was a time they let down a little bit, that was it," Felchle said of the beginning of the fourth. "We were able to take advantage and open up a lead.

"In a game that physical, it was going to be tough for Homer to come back."

Homer, which was led by 10 points from Norm Anderson, would get no closer than 10 points for the rest of the game.

The Kardinals were led by Billy Kiefer with 13 points, Hayes with 11 points and Bo Reilly with 10 points, but Felchle said the key to his team's victory was effort and defense. He said he was very proud of his team for playing hard for 32 minutes for the first time this season.

"We held them to 22 points in the first half and 18 points in the second half," Felchle said. "I can't ask much more for my defense than that."

Kenai girls 58, Homer 27

A dominant first quarter was all the Kardinals needed. During the first eight minutes, Kenai forced Homer into 12 turnovers and made 11 of 18 shots from the field, getting points from five different players.

Homer coach Deb Lowney said the Mariners missed point guard Ashley Ketelle, who was injured in a Tuesday game against Skyview.

"They are just so intense on defense," Lowney said of the Kardinals. "They're always moving their feet, and they have active hands."

Lowney said her team also prides itself on defense, but that Homer did not defense the perimeter well in the first quarter against the Kardinals. Kenai's high field-goal percentage in the first quarter was not soley due to layups off steals. Seven of the 11 field goals were jump shots.

"We got contributions from everybody in our scoring," Kenai coach Stacia Rustad said. "That will be important when we play the northern teams. We can't rely on just a few people to score."

Rustad said the Kardinals work on shooting every day in practice. She said that work started to show in a 63-21 victory over Nikiski on Tuesday and in the 58-point performance Friday night.

The coach said it was nice to get 13 players playing time. Eleven of those players scored, including Kim Cabot, Freya Chay and Carolyn Kiefer getting their first varsity baskets. Lexi Beeson paced the Kardinals with 13 points, while Raquel Young had 12.

Both Lowney and Rustad gave Homer credit for not giving up after the first quarter. After spotting Kenai 25 points, Homer was only outscored by eight the rest of the way.

"Although we go into every game wanting to win, we did not focus on the scoreboard tonight," Lowney said. "We wanted to try and stay within ourselves and get better. We were able to accomplish that."

Lowney said Melissa Wood, who led the Mariners with 10 points, did a good job taking over at point guard. When the pressure was getting to Wood, Lowney was happy to see Alecia Stafford step up and take some of the ballhandling responsibilites without being asked.

Lowney also said Liz Needham was more assertive with her post moves, Jesse Erickson did a good job rebounding and taking care of the ball, and Krystal Edens put forth a lot of effort on defense.

Dimond girls 57, Kenai 37

The Lynx picked up a nonconference victory on Satuday at Kenai by controlling the third quarter.

Dimond led 21-18 at halftime, but outscored Kenai 18-5 in the third quarter. Keiahnna Engel was the key for Dimond all game, scoing 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field. Lauren Hanley added 11 points for Dimond on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor.

Kenai's biggest problem on offense came at the foul line. The Kardinals were just 9-of-26 from the charity stripe.

Samantha Hull had 13 points for Kenai, while Lexi Beeson added 12.

Girls

Kardinals 58, Mariners 27

Homer 0 8 8 11 --27

Kenai 23 16 11 8 --58

HOMER (27) -- Tutt 0 0-1 0, K. Edens 2 0-1 4, Needham 4 1-2 9, Stafford 2 0-2 4, B. Edens 0 0-0 0, Erikson 0 0-0 0, Evarts 0 0-0 0, Cordova 0 0-0 0, Woods 4 2-2 10. Totals -- 12 3-8 27.

KENAI CENTRAL (58) -- Hull 1 4-6 7, McGahan 2 0-0 4, L. Beeson 5 2-3 13, Kiefer 1 0-0 2, B. Beeson 1 0-0 2, Flanagan 1 0-0 2, Sandahl 0 0-0 0, Chay 1 0-0 2, Kelley 0 0-2 0, Wensley 3 0-0 8, Dunlap 2 0-0 4, Young 5 2-4 12, Cabot 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 23 8-15 58.

3-point goals -- Kenai Central 4 (Wensley 2, Hull 1, L. Beeson 1). Team fouls -- Homer 18, Kenai Central 16. Fouled out -- Woods.

Boys

Kardinals 53, Mariners 40

Homer 14 8 9 9 --40

Kenai 17 10 11 15 --53

HOMER (40) --Watry 0 0-0 0, Walsworth 3 1-2 7, Jimenez 0 0-0 0, Garvey 1 1-3 3, Cotney 0 0-2 0, Jester 2 0-0 4, Anderson 4 0-0 10, Day 0 0-0 0, Glosser 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Kennelty 2 5-12 9, Pate 3 1-2 7. Totals -- 15 8-21 40.

KENAI CENTRAL (53) -- Lowe 0 2-2 2, Ziehmer 0 0-0 0, Hull 2 4-6 8, Kiefer 4 4-6 13, Spalding 2 1-3 5, Landry 0 0-0 0, Sandahl 0 0-0 0, Reilly 3 4-5 10, Hayes 5 0-0 11, Wensley 0 0-0 0, Rogers 1 2-5 4. Totals -- 17 17-27 53.

3-point goals -- Homer 2 (Anderson 2); Kenai Central 2 (Kiefer 1, Hayes 1). Team fouls -- Homer 22, Kenai Central 19. Fouled out -- Kennelty.

Lynx 57, Kardinals 37

Dimond 11 10 18 5 --57

Kenai 8 10 5 14 --37

DIMOND (57) -- Fairchild 1 2-3 4, Huffman 0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 0-2 0, Prestegard 1 0-0 2, Rogers 0 5-6 5, Halverson 0 0-0 0, Engel 10 5-7 25, Lowe 0 0-0 0, Hanley 5 1-4 11, Bagsby 2 0-0 4, Anderson 3 0-0 6. Totals -- 22 13-22 57.

KENAI CENTRAL (37) -- Hull 4 4-11 13, McGahan 0 0-1 0, L. Beeson 4 3-4 12, B. Beeson 0 0-2 0, Flanagan 0 0-2 0, Wensley 1 1-2 3, Dunlap 2 0-4 4, Young 2 1-2 5, Cabot 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 13 9-26 37.

3-point goals -- Kenai 2 (Hull 1, L. Beeson 1). Team fouls -- Dimond 19, Kenai 19. Fouled out -- none.



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