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Warriors take 2 from Kardinals

Posted: Sunday, January 14, 2007

For most of the game, Kenai did a respectable job defending Wasilla’s big men, forcing them to miss shots they may have normally made.

Unfortunately for the Kardinals, that defensive magic lasted only once during each Warriors’ possession.

A smaller Kenai squad that kept the contest close throughout was dominated on the boards and allowed 16 second-chance points as the Warriors upended the Kardinals, 59-47, on Saturday night at Kenai Central High School in Northern Lights Conference action.

“I’ll guarantee you if we take away their second-chance points, we probably win the basketball game,” said Kardinals coach Jim Beeson. “That’s how many second-chance points we gave up.

“We play hard on the defensive end of the floor, but we stand around and watch way too much when the shot goes up. We are certainly not big enough to be able to do that,” he added. “It’s just something we work on every day and just hopefully we’re going to be better at it by the end of the year.”

Earlier in the season, Beeson said he thought Wasilla may be one of the top teams in the state.

Despite 21 turnovers — about eight above their average —and hitting only 7-of-15 free throws, the Warriors (6-3) lived up to that billing.

“I think we can play with them. Obviously, we have to prove that,” Beeson said. “We said before the game it was a measuring stick for us to see where we stack up with the Valley teams, because they’re certainly the best in the Valley. I’m not disappointed.”

And there’s no reason to be.

Kenai (7-1, 2-1) held its own in the opening half, climbing out of an eight-point first quarter hole and trimmed the deficit to two when Casey Ellis sank three free throws and then drained a deep jumper with 4:40 left in the second quarter.

After Wasilla’s Jesse Bean — who scored a team-high 16 points — stretched the lead to five with 2:01 to play, Ellis took the inbounds pass up for an easy lay-in and Wasilla led by only three at the break.

“That’s an unbelievable shooting team,” said Wasilla coach Jason Marvel. “They flat out shoot.”

The size difference (Wasilla has eight players six feet or taller to Kenai’s three) began to play a major role in the third quarter when the Warriors extended the lead to 39-26 after stringing together a 13-3 run which was capped by a Jack Troshynski put-back off a missed shot.

The Kardinals never quit, though, as Corey Toombs then netted five of his game-high 19 points, bringing Kenai within eight.

A trey by Daniel Gustkey and another bucket by Toombs closed the gap to three entering the final frame.

From there, however, it was all Wasilla.

The Warriors opened the period on an 8-0 spurt and ended it on a 7-0 run to seal the victory.

“I think we can play with them if we block out and rebound and give them one chance all the time,” Beeson said.

Wasilla 57, Kenai 28

The Warriors dominated the Kardinals to the tune of a 19-1 advantage after eight minutes and never looked back in beating Kenai on Saturday night.

“The thing that I was disappointed in was the first quarter. I felt like we played scared and we played like they were that much better than us,” said Kenai coach Ken Felchle. “To be honest with you, I did not think they were 25 points better than us.

“We spot a team like that, 19-1, that is too big of a deficit to try to come back from. Absolutely,” he added. “In the second quarter, we gritted our teeth and we came out and we played with them.”

The Kardinals scored 11 points in both the second and fourth quarters but it wasn’t enough to undo the earlier damage.

Sophomore Jenna Johnson paced the Warriors with 16 points while senior Anne Wesser added 10.

Senior Damaris Craig led Kenai (3-4) with six points and Samantha Navarre chipped in with five.

“We’ve just got to believe in ourselves and play to that ability and don’t play scared. And we’ll be all right,” Felchle said. “We are better than what we think right now. We just need to play that way.”

Kenai also lost at Homer on Friday night, 47-35.

Kenai 71, Homer 46

Toombs scored a game-high 18 points and Nate Saltzgiver added 17 in leading the Kardinals past the Mariners on Friday night.

Nathan Byrd also netted 12 points for Kenai, which lead 24-10 after the first period and 44-24 at halftime.

Noah McWilliams led Homer with 13 points while Taylor Layland chipped in 12.

Matthew Carroll can be reached at matthew.carroll@peninsulaclarion.com.

Saturday boys

WARRIORS 59, KARDINALS 47

Wasilla 19 7 16 17 — 59

Kenai 12 11 16 8 — 47

WASILLA (59) — Bean 6 1-2 16, Pierce 4 0-0 9, Collins 5 0-0 12, Troshynski 2 1-1 5, Green 2 3-6 7, Stearman 1 1-2 3, Williams 3 1-4 7. Totals — 23 7-15 59.

KENAI (47) — Saltzgiver 2 0-0 5, Toombs 7 0-0 19, Beeson 0 0-2 0, Ellis 4 3-3 11, Gustkey 2 0-0 5, Byrd 2 0-0 4, Chimphalee 1 1-2 3. Totals — 18 4-7 47.

3-point goals — Wasilla 6 (Bean 3, Collins 2, Pierce 1), Kenai 7 (Toombs 5, Gustkey 1, Saltzgiver 1). Total fouls — Wasilla 12, Kenai 15. Fouled out — none.

Saturday girls

WARRIORS 57, KARDINALS 28

Wasilla 19 12 16 10 — 57

Kenai 1 11 5 11 — 28

WASILLA (57) — Wesser 5 0-0 10, Fulton 2 1-1 7, Putnam 1 0-1 2, Brown 1 0-2 3, Johnson 8 0-1 16, Cronk 1 0-0 2, Husmann 1 0-0 2, Podbielski 3 1-2 7, Carter 4 0-0 8. Totals — 26 2-7 57.

KENAI (28) — Navarre 2 1-1 5, Delaney 0 2-4 2, Foley 0 0-3 0, Moore 0 0-0 0, Hull 1 2-2 4, Salisbury 0 1-2 1, Wortham 2 0-0 4, Craig 2 2-2 6, Gabriel 1 0-0 2, Steward 1 2-6 4. Totals — 9 10-20 28.

3-point goals — Wasilla 3 (Fulton 2, Brown 1). Total fouls — Wasilla 17, Kenai 13. Fouled out — none.

Friday boys

KARDINALS 71, MARINERS 46

Kenai 24 20 14 13 — 71

Homer 10 14 14 8 — 46

KENAI (71) — Saltzgiver 4 7-7 17, Werba 1 0-0 2, Toombs 6 5-6 18, Beeson 1 1-2 3, Ellis 3 2-2 8, Gustkey 3 3-5 9, Byrd 3 5-5 12, Lazaro 1 0-0 2, Chimphalee 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 23-27 71.

HOMER (46) — Sutherland 1 2-5 4, Edens 0 0-0 0, Tutt 2 0-2 4, Parker 1 0-2 2, Powe 2 2-5 7, Layland 4 4-7 12, Fielding 2 0-0 4, McWilliams 5 3-7 13. Totals — 17 11-28 46.

3-point goals — Kenai 4 (Saltzgiver 2, Toombs 1, Byrd 1), Homer 1 (Powe). Total fouls — Kenai 26, Homer 22. Fouled out — Chimphalee, Sutherland.



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