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Kards top Homer for Tip-Off crown

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004

Kenai's Jordan Jenckes keyed a 10-2 Kenai run in the fourth quarter, and the Kardinals were able to hang on down the stretch for a 49-43 win in the championship game of the Subway/SoHi Tip-Off Tournament Saturday.

With the Mariners clinging to a 36-34 lead entering the final quarter, Kenai sophomore Austin McLeod hit his only bucket of the night to tie the score at 36. Moments later, Homer center Charlie Trowbridge made a layup to give Homer what would be its last lead of the game.

Jenckes then took control, ripping down an offensive rebound and going back up strong to once again tie what was a back-and-forth affair throughout. The game was tied seven times and featured eight lead changes, as neither team could take more than a five-point lead until Kenai's run.

Jenckes put Kenai ahead for good with a jumper, with 5:10 to play, which was followed closely by a transition layup from tournament MVP Nick Barnes to put the Kards up by four. Barnes finished the game with 12 points, including eight in the second half.

Another Jenckes bucket down low game Kenai a 44-38 lead with just under four minutes to play, causing Homer coach Steve Smith to call timeout.

Following the game, Jenckes credited his teammates for their unselfish play, enabling him to get a number of open looks at the basket.

"We were passing the ball really good," Jenckes said. "We played as a team and just came together."

Out of the timeout, Homer came out in a full-court press, forcing two quick Kenai turnovers. The second led to a Jeremy Kuipers layup that cut the lead to 44-41 after Kuipers was fouled and converted his free-throw attempt.

Homer then fouled Jenckes, who was unable to convert on his one-and-one attempt. On the rebound, Kenai forward Geoffrey Gemmell committed his fifth foul, sending him to the bench with a game-high 14 points. Homer was unable to convert its free throw, but an ill-advised 3-pointer from Gemmell's replacement, Josh Bennett, led to a quick Homer bucket, cutting the lead to 44-43.

Kenai coach Rich Bartolowits then called a timeout to steady his troops with 2:02 to play. The timeout proved to be just what the Kards needed, as Kenai went on to score the game's final five points to seal the victory.

Following the game, Bartolowits said he's happy with the win, though he believes Kenai still has a lot of work left to do.

"I've been trying to tell them my expectations are higher," Bartolowits said. "We've got a long way to go to get to where I believe we should be."

 

Kenai's Nick Barnes moves the ball past Homer's Steven Golson in the fourth quarter of Saturday's championship game of the SoHi Tip-Off tournament.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Kenai committed 23 turnovers on the game to 15 for the Mariners, something Bartolowits said his squad will have to work on if it wants to win when Kenai and Homer again face each other in two weeks.

"We need a lot of work on our fundamentals," he said.

Still, he said he's happy with the level of effort his team put forward in picking up the tournament victory.

"If you play hard, those good things will happen," he said.

Homer coach Smith gave the Kards credit for playing aggressive defense and keeping the Mariners out of their offensive rhythm.

"We shot very poorly," Smith said. "I give (Kenai) a tremendous amount of credit."

Kenai managed to keep Homer's offensive stars in check all game, holding Homer's all-tournament performers Luke Gilbert and Steven Golson to just eight combined points. Homer was led by Casey Siekaniec's 11 points, while Trowbridge chipped in eight.

Following the game, Golson said the Mariners simply couldn't get their shots to drop against the pesky Kardinals.

"We just weren't on top of our game today," he said. "The shots just weren't falling."

Golson said the Mariners weren't expecting anything less in the championship game.

"I was expecting a really tough matchup," he said.

The Mariners won't lose too much sleep over Friday's championship loss, though, as Golson said he's already looking forward to meeting up with Kenai again.

"We got 'em again in two weeks ... we'll be ready."

Skyview 71, Soldotna 34

The Skyview Panthers used a 21-8 first quarter run to put Saturday's third-place game out of reach, cruising to a 71-34 victory over the Soldotna Stars.

All-tournament selection Ryan Geller chipped in eight first-half points to lead the Panthers to a 38-13 lead at the end of the first half. Following the game, Geller said Skyview's hard-nosed defensive pressure was the key to his squad's big win.

"All we wanted to do was come out and play good, hard, solid defense," Geller said.

Skyview forced eight turnovers in the opening quarter, bewildering Soldotna's young guards and converting a number of easy transition baskets. In addition, Skyview kept Soldotna center Matt Hicks from getting the ball inside, leaving Soldotna to try to force off-balance shots from the perimeter.

"It was our defense," said Skyview coach Dave Blossom. "We came out playing with defensive intensity and that was it."

Soldotna tried to slow down Skyview with a zone press, but more often than not, the Panthers were able to beat the press for easy buckets.

"You've got to attack a zone," Blossom said. "We did and it paid off."

Soldotna did manage to pick things up in the second half, forcing a number of turnovers with its own defensive pressure. Soldotna actually outscored Skyview 12-8 in the third quarter, but it was not nearly enough cut into Skyview's big lead.

Skyview roared back in the fourth quarter, scoring 25 points to Soldotna's nine. Skyview was led by a game-high 19 from Cody Hatfield, who erupted for 12 points down the stretch as Soldotna's pressure defense began to wear down. Skyview also got double-digit scoring from Kaleb Shields, who had 12.

The Stars were led on the night by junior guard Ryan Hall, who scored 11 points, and freshman guard Kelly Seggerman, who chipped in six.

Nikiski 68, ACS 44

Nikiski outscored ACS in every quarter in rolling to a 68-44 win to claim fifth place. Jeremiah Taylor scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half, and Chris Curren dropped in 14 for the Bulldogs. Alex Hawkins and Hunter Hegge each scored 13 to lead ACS.

Seward 54, Kodiak JV 48 (3 OT)

Seward made four of five free throws in the third overtime to pull out a 54-48 win over the Kodiak JV in Saturday's seventh-place game. The Seahawks were led by Ryan Dieckgraeff's 15 points. Jed Buenaluz led Kodiak with 11.

KARDINALS 49, MARINERS 43

Kenai 10 14 10 15 -- 49

Soldotna 11 14 11 7 -- 43

KENAI (49) -- Hansen 1 0-0 2, C. Chappell 1 2-6 4, Craig 0 0-0 0, Jenckes 5 1-3 11, Gemmell 6 2-5 14, Bennett 2 0-0 4, Barnes 5 2-4 12, McLeod 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 21 7-18 49.

HOMER (43) -- Taylor 0 0-0 0, Kuipers 2 2-3 6, Gilbert 2 2-2 6, Ju. Smith 0 0-0 0, Siekaniec 4 3-4 11, Winne 2 0-1 4, Szymoniak 2 0-0 4, Ja. Smith 1 0-2 2, Golson 1 0-3 2, Trowbridge 4 0-0 8. Totals -- 18 7-15 43.

3-point goals -- none. Total fouls -- Kenai 17, Homer 18. Fouled out -- Gemmell, Bennett.

PANTHERS 71, STARS 34

Skyview 21 17 8 25 -- 71

Soldotna 8 5 12 9 -- 34

SKYVIEW (71) -- Smith 0 0-0 0, Shields 5 2-4 12, Dolifka 2 0-0 4, Rowell 1 3-6 5, St.Clair 2 5-8 9, Blossom 2 1-2 5, Schmidt 2 2-5 6, Hatfield 9 1-2 19, Geller 2 6-8 11. Totals -- 25 20-35 71.

SOLDOTNA (34) -- Pate 1 2-2 4, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Hall 5 1-2 11, Spindler 1 0-0 2, Besse 1 0-1 2, Stone 0 1-2 1, Hicks 2 2-2 6, Seggerman 2 0-2 4, Gomulak 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 14 6-11 34.

3-point goals -- Skyview 1 (Geller). Total fouls -- Skyview 14, Soldotna 24. Fouled out --Schmidt, Hicks. Techinical fouls -- Soldotna, Coach Withrow, 4:50 fourth.

BULLDOGS 68, LIONS 44

Nikiski 10 18 22 18 -- 68

ACS 8 10 10 16 -- 44

NIKISKI (68) -- Jorgensen 1 3-7 5, Quesnel 4 0-0 10, Curren 6 0-0 14, Taylor 7 4-6 18, Epperheimer 3 2-3 9, Anderson 1 1-2 3, Boye 0 0-0 0, McGahan 2 5-5 9. Totals -- 24 15-23 68.

ACS (44) -- Slepecki 2 0-0 4, Volstan 0 0-0 0, Hegge 6 1-1 13, Fuller 3 0-0 6, Dunbar 3 0-6 6, Gogain 1 0-0 2, Hawkins 6 1-2 13, Dwyer 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 21 2-7 44.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 5 (Quesnel 2, Curren 2, Epperheimer). Total fouls -- Nikiski 13, ACS 19. Fouled out --Fuller.

SEAHAWKS 54, BEARS 46

Seward 12 7 10 9 2 6 8 -- 54

Kodiak JV 5 13 10 10 2 6 2 -- 48

SEWARD (54) -- Hetrick 3 5-6 11, Pullins 2 1-2 6, Amberg 0 0-0 0, Hubbard 0 2-3 2, Beck 3 3-4 9, Chase 0 3-4 3, Swiderski 3 0-0 6, Elhard 0 0-0 0, Dieckgraeff 6 2-2 15, Banse 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 17 14-19 54.

KODIAK JV (48) -- Calderon 2 0-0 4, Catt 1 0-0 2, Miller 3 2-4 8, McFarland 2 3-4 7, Simpson 7 16, Palo 0 0-0 0, Sweeney 0 0-0 0, Buenaluz 4 2-3 11, Starett 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19 8-13 48.

3-point goals -- Seward 2 (Pullins, Dieckgraeff), Kodiak JV 2 (Buenaluz, Simpson). Total fouls -- Seward 18, Kodiak JV 16. Fouled out -- Pullins.



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