Kenai defense stops SoHi

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2002

There are two ways to get in a locked door without a key. The first is to use intricate tools and technique. The second is to resort to spartan intensity and simply bust the door down.

When it came to defense, the Kenai Central High School basketball team used method No. 2 to shut down Soldotna and advance to the title game of the Soldotna Tip-off Tournament with a 58-29 victory Friday night. The rivals played in a nearly packed gym.

In other Friday games, West High of Anchorage topped Skyview 56-45 to advance to a championship clash with Kenai. Seward and Kodiak won games to advance to the fifth-place matchup.

"I was real happy with the intensity on defense, but we're still making basic errors," said Kenai coach Rich Bartolowits after his team forced Soldotna into an 11-of-42 night from the field. "Once you've got intensity, you can get the execution.

"But if you only have execution without intensity, it's not going to get you very far."

The Stars were able to hang with the Kardinals for a quarter as a 3-pointer from Ben Histand cut Kenai's lead to 12-10 with six seconds left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Kenai's man-to-man defense started to wear Soldotna down.

"It was great to see our team come out with that intensity on defense, because it was something we had worked on in practice all week," said Kenai's Marcus Webster, who paced all scorers with 16 points. "Once our defense got going, that got our offense going."

Kenai opened the second quarter with an 11-0 run, getting four points apiece in the rally from Webster and Caleb Schooley. Joel Dunn capped the run by squirting off a back pick for an open layup that made the score 23-10 with 42 seconds left until halftime. The Stars didn't score in the second quarter until Iver Kohler bottomed out a trey with 21 seconds left.

Dunn finished with 12 points on the evening, with most of them coming from working that back pick against Soldotna's man-to-man.

"That thing worked awesome tonight," Dunn said. "It's something we try to do every game. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

"We kept waiting for them to figure it out tonight, but they never did. We'll see what happens next time we play them."

Soldotna coach Bill Withrow, whose team allowed Kenai to shoot 27-of-53 from the floor, said his team knew the back pick was coming. The Stars' inability to adjust properly is due to their inexperience.

"This is all still Education 101 for these guys," Withrow said after his team fell to 2-4. "It's OJT on the job training.

"These guys are consistently getting better. The whole thing is to be ready for regions."

Soldotna's Adam Kiffmeyer, who paced his team with 13 points, started the second half with the hot hand, scoring four points in a 6-2 spurt by Soldotna. When Caleb Sizemore rolled in a nifty post move, the Stars had cut the gap to 25-19 with 4:33 left in the third.

Kenai responded with a 12-2 burst, taking a 37-21 lead with 11 seconds left in the third quarter when Dunn scored on another uncontested layup. Soldotna never threatened after that. The victory evened Kenai's record at 4-4.

West 56, Skyview 45

The Panthers fell behind early and never could come back due to a dismal shooting night, finishing 14-of-53 from the floor.

Skyview coach Dave Blossom said his team took most of its shots within 10 feet of the basket, but they just weren't dropping.

"They've got good leapers, and they were getting hands in our face," Blossom said. "I could tell they were too worried about getting their shot blocked. I could see it. They'd be tentative, and the shot would go too short or long."

Meanwhile, West was stroking 3-pointers with metronomic consistency. The Eagles buried 10 trifectas on the evening. Simon Wagren hit four of those 3-pointers en route to a team-high 14 points, while Mike Reed twicked a pair of threes to join Wagren in double figured with 10 points.

"It's hard to beat a team when they make 10 3-pointers," Blossom said.

The only reason Skyview was able to stay somewhat close to the Eagles was foul shooting. The Panthers finished 17-of-22 from the line. That included a 4-of-4 effort from Josh Rowell, who lead all scorers with 16 points.

Seward 56, Bethel 34

The Seahawks outscored the Warriors 18-5 in the fourth quarter to advance to the fifth-place game.

Jonah Swiderski led Seward with 15 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Jake Boulden pitched in 12 for the Seahawks.

Kenny Reed dumped in 14 points for Bethel.

Kodiak 62, Homer 42

Phil Nisbett lit up the Mariners for 20 points, leading the Bears into the fifth-place game.

Kodiak trailed 14-9 after the first quarter, but outscored Homer 23-13 in the second quarter and 14-4 in the fourth quarter.

Homer's David Drake canned three 3-pointers en route to 11 points, while Steven Stead and Aaron Smith joined him in double figures with 10 points apiece.

Friday

KARDINALS 58, STARS 29

Kenai 12 11 14 21 --58

Soldotna 10 3 9 7 --29

KENAI (58) -- Pault 1 1-2 3, Alexander 3 0-0 6, Foley 3 0-0 7, Webster 8 0-0 16, Carreon 0 0-0 0, Steiner 2 0-0 5, Schooley 3 1-2 7, Barns 1 0-0 2, Dunn 6 0-0 12, Myers 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 27 2-4 58.

SOLDOTNA (29) -- Nettles 1 0-0 3, Histand 1 0-0 3, Kennedy 0 0-0 0, Richman 0 0-0 0, Sizemore 2 0-1 4, Kiffmeyer 6 1-2 13, Kohler 1 1-3 4, Michal 0 0-0 0, Simpson 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 12 2-6 29.

3-point goals -- Kenai 2 (Foley 1, Schooley 1); Soldotna 3 (Nettles 1, Histand 1, Kohler 1). Total fouls -- Kenai 7, Soldotna 4. Fouled out -- none.

EAGLES 56, PANTHERS 45

West 19 13 11 13 --56

Skyview 12 5 11 17 --45

WEST (56) -- Wigren 5 0-0 14, Lewis 0 0-0 0, Olito 0 0-0 0, Morgan 2 2-3 8, Reed 4 0-1 10, Davis 4 0-2 9, Newman 0 0-0 0, Yates 5 0-0 11, Darrington 1 0-0 2, Maloney 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 22 2-6 56.

SKYVIEW (45) -- McGarry 2 1-2 5, Shields 0 0-0 0, Travers 1 4-4 6, Matarrese 0 2-2 2, Malmquist 1 0-0 2, Lewis 3 0-0 6, Gellar 0 2-5 2, St. Clair 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Kosydar 1 3-3 5, Cooper 0 1-2 1, Rowell 6 4-4 16. Totals -- 14 17-22 45.

3-point goals -- West 10 (Wigren 4, Morgan 2, Reed 2, Davis 1, Yates 1); Skyview 0. Total fouls -- West 20, Skyview 14. Fouled out -- none.

SEAHAWKS 56, WARRIORS 34

Bethel 9 7 13 5 --34

Seward 14 14 10 18 --56

BETHEL (34) -- Venes 1 0-0 2, Pollock 0 0-0 0, Aloysius 1 0-0 2, Guinn 2 0-0 4, Early 0 0-0 0, Reed 6 2-4 14, Burke 1 1-2 3, Sumpter 4 1-2 9, Hoffman 0 0-1 0. Totals -- 15 4-9 34.

SEWARD (56) -- Miller 4 1-3 9, Davis 1 0-0 2, Rininger 0 2-2 2, Boulden 6 0-0 12, Elhard 4 1-2 9, Swiderski 7 1-3 15, Jones 2 1-2 5, Price 1 0-1 2. Totals -- 25 6-13 56.

3-point goals -- Bethel 0, Seward 0. Total fouls -- Bethel 12, Seward 14. Fouled out -- none.

BEARS 62, MARINERS 42

Kodiak 9 23 16 14 --62

Homer 14 13 11 4 --42

KODIAK (62) -- Nisbett 9 2-2 20, Ortez 2 1-2 5, Agmata 2 0-0 4, Kilborn 4 0-0 8, Johnson 3 0-0 6, Balie 2 0-0 4, Kinsley 2 1-2 5, Pabillore 1 0-0 2, Mortenson 3 2-4 8. Totals -- 28 6-10 62.

HOMER (42) -- Mahan 2 0-1 4, Todd 0 0-0 0, Drake 4 0-0 11, Stead 5 0-0 10, Isenhour 0 0-0 0, A. Smith 2 6-7 10, E. Smith 1 0-0 2, Hunting 0 0-0 0, Crum 2 0-1 5. Totals -- 16 6-8 42.

3-point goals -- Kodiak 0, Homer 3 (Drake 3). Total fouls -- Kodiak 13, Homer 13. Fouled out -- none.



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