Kenai Central girls get past Palmer

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Kenai Central girls basketball team beat the Palmer Moose 33-31 Friday night in a game in which the Kardinals fought from behind until taking the lead with two minutes remaining.

The theme of the game was defense, as Kenai guards Carolyn Kiefer and Allie McGahan denied easy ball movement for the Moose.

Palmer countered with its own smothering defense. What differed in Palmer's defensive effort was the amount of whistles. Palmer put the Kardinals into the bonus early into the second quarter, and again in the fourth.

Fortunately for head coach Paul Reid and the Moose, the Kardinals were less than perfect from the line, hitting nine of their 14 shots.

The Moose energized a methodically slow attack with a spark when senior Kendal Venzke took two steals coast-to-coast for buckets, putting the Moose up four, where they would stay for much of the game.

The Moose started the second half pushing a much faster pace. Though the speed changed, the results stayed much the same.

With just over two minutes left, McGahan took the ball right over the heart of the Moose defense and off the glass for the go-ahead basket for Kenai.

Palmer failed to cut the lead. And though it had not hurt them all game until the end, Palmer's fouls finally came back to haunt them in the form of Carolyn Keifer hitting a pair to extend the Kardinals' lead to four points.

Palmer boys 55, Kenai 27

Sean Niekamp scored 17 points to lead the Moose to victory over the Kardinals on Friday. Palmer dominated the offensive boards as well as playing stifling defense to earn a lopsided 55-27 win.

Palmer ran its offensive sets to perfection, and when Kenai attempted to up the pace, the Moose also executed their fast-break offense well.

While both Tyler and Shane Spalding tower over Moose center Niekamp, he had no problem going around, over and through the Kenai defense for offensive rebounds time and again.

Palmer defensive specialist Jackson Buresh chipped in 11 points.

Tyler Spalding finished with a team-high 10 points for the Kardinals.

Colony boys 57, Kenai Central 47

The host Knights notched a Northern Lights Conference victory on Saturday.

Colony girls 48, Kenai Central 31

The Kards jumped out to an 18-16 lead, but it was all Colony in the second half as the Knights came back for a 48-31 win.

Racquel Young scored 13 points and hauled in eight rebounds to lead Kenai Central (8-2 overall, 2-1 league).

Kenai Central coach Stacia Rustad said the team gained confidence despite the loss.

"When you can come to the valley and split two games, it's a good trip," she said. "We are very pleased to go 1-1."

Friday boys

Moose 55, Kardinals 27

Kenai 7 6 6 8 --27

Palmer 13 16 17 9 --55

KENAI CENTRAL (27) -- Risung 0 0-1 0, Ziehmer 0 0-0 0, Landry 1 2-2 4, Hull 2 1-10 5, T. Spalding 3 4-4 10, Sandahl 0 0-0 0, Reilly 0 2-2 2, S. Spalding 1 0-0 2, Wensley 0 0-0 0, Hayes 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 9 9-19 27.

PALMER (55) -- Odom 2 0-0 4, Looney 2 0-0 4, Nisbett 1 2-4 4, Hunt 0 0-0 0, Dean 3 0-0 8, Straight 0 0-0 0, Buresh 4 2-2 11, Montgomery 1 0-1 2, Niekamp 8 1-4 17, Fullmer 2 0-0 5. Totals -- 23 5-11 55.

3-point goals -- Palmer 4 (Dean 2, Buresh 1, Fullmer 1). Team fouls -- Kenai 7, Palmer 11. Fouled out -- none.

Friday girls

Kardinals 33, Moose 31

Kenai 4 11 7 11 --33

Palmer 6 7 8 10 --31

KENAI CENTRAL (33) -- Sandahl 0 0-0 0, McGahan 1 0-1 2, Kiefer 2 4-4 8, Dunlap 1 0-0 3, Kelley 0 0-2 0, M. Wensley 3 0-0 7, R. Wensley 4 5-7 13. Totals -- 11 9-14 33.

PALMER (31) -- Van Hoomissen 0 0-0 0, Venske 3 1-3 7, Scott 4 0-0 10, Houchen 0 0-0 0, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Koehn 4 1-2 10, Blake 1 0-2 2, LaMere 0 0-0 0, Braudenburg 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 13 2-7 31.

3-point goals -- Kenai 2 (Dunlap 1, M. Wensley 1); Palmer 3 (Scott 2, Koehn 1). Team fouls -- Kenai 12, Palmer 20. Fouled out -- Koehn.



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