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Intensity takes Kardinals to Tip-off title

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2002

Work hard and good things happen -- convincing his players of that might have been the toughest thing Kenai Central High School boys basketball coach Rich Bartolowits had to do this weekend.

After all, once the Kardinals figured that out, everything else was gravy as they finished off the SoHi Tip-Off Tournament with a 55-39 victory over West High School to clinch the tournament championship Saturday in Soldotna.

In other games Saturday, the Kodiak Bears defeated the Seward Seahawks 51-32 to earn the consolation championship; the Bethel Warriors defeated the Homer Mariners 59-54 to take seventh place; and Skyview defeated Soldotna 56-42 to earn third-place honors.

"They had an attitude about them this week. They finally decided they had to play as hard as they can," Bartolowits said after his squad was awarded the first-place trophy.

"If you work hard, good things happen for you. If you don't, they can't."

The Kardinals showed their work ethic right out of the gate, taking a quick 10-2 lead on the strength 3-pointers by Ian Foley and Marcus Webster.

West battled back to tie the game at 14 early in the second quarter, but the Kardinals went on an 11-5 run to close out the half and take a 25-19 lead into the locker room.

West scored a pair of quick baskets to open the third quarter, drawing to within two points (25-23), but that would be the closest the Eagles would get.

Richard Alexander hit a foul shot and Foley netted his second trey of the night to give Kenai a six-point lead.

Foley sandwiched two technical foul shots around a put-back basket for two points by Joel Dunn, giving Kenai a 10-point lead it would maintain through the middle of the fourth quarter -- when it swelled to 16 points.

Webster scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a dunk late in the period to put an exclamation point on Kenai's win.

"This tournament, we've just been playing so intense and having fun at the same time. It's a blast," Webster said. "We knew we had to come out and play up-tempo on offense. We knew if we stepped it up on defense, the points would come. For these tournament games (defense was our strong suit)."

Dunn finished with 13 points, Foley had eight and Caleb Schooley chipped in with six points.

Ski Davis led West with 12 points while Mike Yates netted 11 points.

Kenai won the SoHi Tip-Off for the third time in the tournament's history, the first team to do so. West has won the title twice.

"(Winning this tournament) is not a surprise," Bartolowits said. "Every time you look at a tournament, you see yourself in the championship role if you go out and play hard. That's the key -- if you play hard. We played hard for three games in a row. That's a good sign for us for the rest of the season."

Skyview 56, Soldotna 42

Soldotna led 25-18 at the half, but the Panthers put together a 15-3 run in the third quarter for a five-point lead, then sealed the win with a big fourth quarter.

"We went strong to the basket," Soldotna coach Dave Blossom said of the Panthers in the second half. "In the first half, we weren't aggressive going to the basket. In the second half, we were. In the first half, we didn't block out well on the defensive boards. They had a couple of trips down where they had three or four offensive rebounds and scored. In the second half, it was one and out."

Josh Rowell finished with a game-high 27 points while teammate Mark McGarry scored 12 points.

Defensively, the Panthers were pleased to limit Soldotna's Adam Kiffmeyer to 11 points. Iver Kohler also scored 11 points for the Stars.

"In the second half, we pulled together and played as a team," said Skyview's Garrett St. Clair, the player primarily responsible for guarding Kiffmeyer. "We shut down their main player, and that gave us the win."

Soldotna coach Bill Withrow said he continues to see improvement in a team that started the season with just one player -- Kiffmeyer -- with much in the way of varsity experience.

"We're still trying to get four quarters together," Withrow said. " From Day 1 til now, the improvement is night and day. That's the fun part of this. It's a learning process. It's on-the-job training. We're learning as we go, and there's some guys that are stepping up.

"We're going to win or lose together. No one person is going to make a big difference for us. If we don't do it together, we're not going to do it."

Kodiak 51, Seward 32

James Bailie scored 16 points and Phil Nisbett chipped in with 12 for Kodiak as the Bears defeated Seward to take the consolation championship.

Jake Boulden scored 17 points for the Seahawks.

Bethel 59, Homer 51

Steven Stead's 17 points and another 12 from Aaron Smith weren't enough as the Mariners fell to the Warriors.

Kenny Reed scored 17 for Bethel while Scott Guinn and Nate Hoffman each scored 11 points.

All-Tournament Team -- Josh Rowell, Skyview; Phil Nisbett, Kodiak; Mike Reed, West; Joel Dunn, Kenai; Jake Boulden, Seward; Mark McGarry, Skyview; Alfie Agmata, Kodiak; Adam Kiffmeyer, Soldotna; Ski Davis, West.

Tournament MVP -- Marcus Webster, Kenai.

KARDINALS 55, EAGLES 39

Kenai 12 13 10 20 -- 55

West 6 13 6 14 -- 39

KENAI (55) -- Pault 1 0-0 2, Alexander 0 1-4 1, Foley 2 2-4 8, Webster 9 3-5 22, Carreon 0 0-0 0, Steiner 0 0-0 0, Schooley 2 2-3 6, Barnes 0 1-2 1, Dunn 5 3-4 13, Myers 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 20 12-22 55.

WEST (39) -- Wigren 0 0-0 0, Lewis 0 0-0 0, Olito 0 0-0 0, Morgan 2 0-0 4, Reed 2 6-6 10, Canady 0 0-0 0, Davis 6 0-0 12, Newman 0 0-0 0, Yates 4 1-2 11, Darrington 0 2-2 2. Totals -- 14 9-10 39.

3-point goals -- Kenai 3 (Foley 2, Webster), West 2 (Yates 2). Total fouls -- Kenai 11, West 18. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- Wigren, West bench.

PANTHERS 56, STARS 42

Skyview 9 9 15 23 -- 56

Soldotna 10 15 3 14 -- 42

SKYVIEW (56) -- McGarry 3 4-6 12, Shields 1 0-0 2, Travers 2 0-0 4, Matarrese 0 0-0 0, Malmquist 0 0-0 0, Lewis 0 0-1 0, Geller 0 0-0 0, St. Clair 1 0-0 2, Smith 0 0-0 0, Kosydar 1 1-2 3, Cooper 2 2-4 6, Rowell 12 3-4 27. Totals -- 22 10-17 56.

SOLDOTNA (42) -- Nettles 0 0-0 0, Histand 3 0-0 7, Kennedy 1 1-2 3, Richman 0 0-0 0, Sizemore 1 2-6 4, Kiffmeyer 4 3-4 11, Kohler 4 0-0 11, Michal 0 0-0 0, Simpson 3 0-1 6. Totals -- 16 6-13 42.

3-point goals -- Skyview 2 (McGarry 2), Soldotna 4 (Kohler 3, Histand). Total fouls -- Skyview 16, Soldotna 15. Fouled out -- none.

WARRIORS 59, MARINERS 54

Bethel 13 17 11 18 -- 59

Homer 15 10 15 14 -- 54

BETHEL (59) -- Venes 1 2-2 4, Pollock 3 0-0 6, Aloysius 0 0-0 0, Guinn 5 0-0 11, Reed 6 4-4 17, Burke 1 0-0 2, Sumpter 2 2-2 8, Hoffman 3 4-7 11. Totals -- 21 12-15 59.

HOMER (54) -- Mahan 3 0-0 6, Todd 1 0-0 2, Drake 2 2-6 7, Stead 7 3-3 17, A. Smith 5 2-4 12, E. Smith 1 1-2 3, Hunting 0 0-0 0, Crum 3 1-2 7. Totals -- 22 9-17 54.

3-point goals -- Bethel 5 (Sumpter 2, Hoffman, Reed, Guinn), Homer 1 (Drake). Total fouls -- Bethel 9, Homer 16. Fouled out -- none.

BEARS 51, SEAHAWKS 32

Seward 4 8 12 8 -- 32

Kodiak 11 15 13 12 -- 51

SEWARD (32) -- Miller 3 0-0 8, Elhard 0 0-0 0, Swiderski 2 1-2 15, Jones 1 0-0 2, Boulden 8 0-2 17, Rininger 0 0-0 0, Price 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 14 1-4 32.

KODIAK (51) -- Nisbett 5 2-4 12, Ortez 1 3-4 5, Agmata 1 0-0 2, Kilborn 2 1-2 5, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Bailie 7 2-2 16, Kinsley 1 1-1 3, Pabillore 0 0-0 0, Mortenson 4 0-1 8. Totals -- 21 9-14 51.

3-point goals -- Seward 3 (Miller 2, Boulden 1). Total fouls -- Seward 16, Kodiak 9. Fouled out -- none.



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