Soldotna earns split with Valley

Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2010

One big scoring performance was not enough on Friday for the host Soldotna girls and boys basketball teams against Colony in Northern Lights Conference action. The Stars girls and boys rebounded on Saturday by sweeping Palmer.

Friday, the Soldotna girls received a game-high 18 points from Karen Senette, but the Knights put two players in double figures in a 41-28 victory. The Knights improved to 3-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall with that victory, while Soldotna is now 1-1 in the league and 3-3 overall.

On the boys side, Boomer Blossom poured in 31 points, but Colony had three players in double figures in a 68-56 victory. The Knights improved to 4-0 in the league and 6-2 overall, while the Stars are 1-1 and 6-2.

In the girls game, Senette scored nine points in the first quarter in leading the Stars to a 12-4 lead. After Senette dropped in a foul shot for a 13-6 advantage with 6:09 to play in the second quarter, Colony went on a 12-0 run, which ended when Kate Klapperich hit a pair of foul shots for an 18-13 lead with 5:49 left in the third quarter.

In the first quarter, Shelby Dykstra was injured with 5:08 left in the first quarter. Dykstra was down on the floor for several minutes and had to be helped to the bench, but Tuter said it appears she has a severe bruise and nothing more severe.

*We didn*t play with the intensity we needed to play with,* Tuter said. *Shelby going out may have had a little bit to do with that.*

Colony coach Tom Lincoln said the Knights alternated the team*s two best defenders * Megan Bowker and Klapperich * on Senette in order to wear her down.

*I*ve been watching her play since she was a freshman,* Lincoln said. *She*s a competitor. I didn*t know much about what else SoHi had, but I knew we had to get out on her when she was shooting.*

When Senette scored just three points in the second and third quarters, nobody else was able to keep the Stars in the game.

*I think that they definitely played Karen really tough,* Tuter said. *We need somebody else to step up and handle the ball and shoot a little better.*

The Knights started slow on offense, hitting just 1-of-5 from the floor in the first quarter and 4-of-18 in the second quarter.

*We came out pretty jacked up,* Lincoln said. *Some of our shots were bouncing off the glass.*

The upside of that energy, he said, was the defensive intensity that was able to hold Soldotna to 19 points through three quarters. In the third quarter, when Colony hit 6-of-12 from the floor, the Knights were able to stretch their lead to 31-17 with 45 seconds left on a jumper by Alyssa Hutchins.

*It*s hard to hold a good team to less than 40 points,* Tuter said. *They didn*t make their shots in the first quarter, but eventually, they were going to start making those shots.*

Soldotna*s last gasp came in the fourth quarter, when Senette bottomed out 3s on consecutive possessions for a 35-27 game with 4:06 to play. However, the Stars would score only one more point the rest of the game.

*In the first quarter and fourth quarter, we played with enough intensity,* Tuter said.

In addition to hounding Senette, Klapperich and Bowker each paced the Knights with 13 points.

Colony boys 68, Soldotna 56

Jared Turner, Scott Herman and John Palmer hit consecutive 3-pointers to key an early fourth-quarter run that lifted the Knights to victory Friday in a game featuring a pair of state qualifiers from a year ago. The Stars earned a 70-63 victory over the Palmer Moose Saturday.

Up until Palmer*s trey gave the Knights a 54-44 lead with 5:05 to play in the game, Colony*s largest lead had been eight points. The Knights had led by eight in the second quarter and again in the third quarter, when Herman drained a pair of foul shots for a 42-34 lead with 3:44 left in the period.

The Stars then went on a 10-3 run and cut the gap to 45-44 when Blossom scored on a rebound basket with 7:20 left in the game.

*We were within two to five points for most of the third quarter,* Soldotna coach Matt Johnson said. *I was comfortable there.*

Going down by 10 early in the fourth is not comfortable.

*They take care of the ball so well and they defend so well, eight to 10 points is not very easy to come back from,* Johnson said.

The Knights did not turn the ball over at all in the fourth quarter and had just seven turnovers in the game.

*We*ve been pretty good with turnovers, averaging just nine a game. We have an excellent senior point guard,* said Colony coach Jeff Bowker of John Palmer, the four-year starter and most valuable player in the NLC last season.

When the Stars started gambling more and more on defense in order to try and come up with a turnover, Colony took advantage by getting great looks at the basket. The Knights were 7-of-12 from the floor during the final eight minutes. After falling behind by 10, the Stars never got closer than eight the rest of the game.

Johnson said the Stars keyed on Palmer, who finished with 12 points, on defense.

*Soldotna played tough the whole way,* Bowker said. *These are very evenly matched teams. We had different guys who were able to make a difference because obviously they were trying to stop John Palmer.

*I*m pleased with the way we played as a group.*

Herman had 15 points, while Payton McCann had 14 points and Mike Lanners and Turner had eight points apiece.

*We did a really good job on John Palmer * he*s such a gifted basketball player,* Johnson said. *They had other players who were able to hit shots.*

Blossom, whose 31 points were a varsity high, was the only player in double figures for Soldotna.

*It doesn*t mean much without the win,* Blossom said.

Johnson said the team talked in the locker room after the game about how other players need to contribute scoring. He did say DJ Stilchen, who had seven points, had a great game under the basket for Soldotna.

*As tremendous of a game as Boomer played, that*s still just one guy,* Bowker said.

Soldotna girls 56, Palmer 41

Senette had 16 points, while Kailee Skjold had 12 and Megan Hardy added 10, to pick up the NLC victory on Saturday.

Soldotna boys 70, Palmer 63

Blossom dumped in 21, while Blaine Carver had 15, as the Stars picked up an NLC victory on Saturday.

Friday girls

Knights 41, Stars 28

Colony 4 11 16 10 *41

Soldotna 12 1 6 9 *28

COLONY (41) * M. Klapperich 1 0-0 2, Hutchins 2 3-4 7, K. Klapperich 5 3-6 13, Trudeau 0 2-2 2, Brumbaugh 0 0-0 0, Bowker 4 5-5 13, Forstner 2 0-0 4, Booth 0 0-0 0. Totals * 14 13-17 41.

SOLDOTNA (28) * Forbes 2 1-2 5, Senette 7 1-2 18, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Dykstra 0 1-2 1, Ackerman 0 0-0 0, VanAntwerp 0 2-4 2, Duke 0 0-0 0, Hardy 0 0-0 0, Skjold 1 0-0 2. Totals * 10 7-10 28.

3-point goals * Soldotna 3 (Senette 3). Team fouls * Colony 13, Soldotna 15. Fouled out * none.

Saturday girls

Stars 56, Moose 41

Palmer 7 9 16 9 * 41

Soldotna 13 26 10 7 * 56

PALMER (41) * A. VanHoomissen 0 0-0 0, K. Venzke 2 1-2 5, E. LaMere 3 2-4 8, S. Riggs 0 0-0 0, S. Thein 6 1-2 14, A. Koehn 1 0-0 2, T. Blake 2 0-4 4, S. Houchen 1 0-0 2, K. Brandenberg 0 3-6 3, M. Neurenberg 0 1-2 1, T. Whitfield 0 0-0 0. Totals *16 8-20 41.

SOLDOTNA (56) *L. Forbes 0 1-2 1, K. Senette 5 6-6 16, J. Jensen 0 0-0 0, S. Ackerman 1 0-0 2, K. VanAntwerp 2 0-2 4, J. Duke 4 1-2 11, M. Hardy 4 2-4 10, K. Skjold 5 2-2 12, K. Barkman 0 0-0 0, D. Hutchings 0 0-0 0. Totals *21 12-18 56.

3-point goals *Palmer 1 (Thein 1); Soldotna 2 (Duke 2). Team fouls *Palmer 17; Soldotna 14. Fouled out * None.

Friday boys

Knights 68, Stars 56

Colony 15 18 12 23 *68

Soldotna 11 18 13 14 *56

COLONY (68) * Lanners 2 3-6 8, Turner 2 3-4 8, McCann 6 2-2 14, Palmer 4 2-2 12, Herman 4 5-6 15, Niver 0 0-0 0, Weins 0 0-0 0, Depriest 1 0-0 2, Summers 3 0-2 6. Totals * 23 15-22 68.

SOLDOTNA (56) * Hahn 1 0-0 2, Story 2 1-2 5, Blossom 10 7-7 31, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Carver 1 1-2 3, Stilchen 3 1-1 7, Skjold 0 2-2 2, Smithwick 0 0-2 0, Withrow 2 0-0 4, Barnes 0 0-0 0. Totals * 20 12-16 56.

3-point goals * Colony 7 (Herman 2, Palmer 2, Eisenhower 1, Lanners 1, Turner 1); Soldotna 4 (Blossom 4). Team fouls * Colony 18, Soldotna 16. Fouled out * none.

Saturday boys

Stars 70, Moose 63

Palmer 15 12 14 22 * 63

Soldotna 16 17 16 21 * 70

PALMER (63) * K. Titus 5 5-5 18, H. Dean 1 0-0 3, B. Brown 0 0-0 0, J. Buresh 7 3-3 18, B. Bohman 1 1-2 4, K. Montgomery 0 0-0 0, S. Niekamp 5 5-6 15, C. Odom 2 1-2 5. Totals *21 15-18 63.

SOLDOTNA (70) * T. Hahn 2 0-0 6, D. Story 3 0-0 6, B. Blossom 7 6-6 21, Z. Jackson 2 2-4 6, B. Carver 5 3-6 15, D. Stilchin 4 0-1 8, Skjold 2 0-0 4, R. Smithwick 0 0-0 0, E. Withrow 2 0-0 4, J. Barnes 0 0-0 0. Totals * 27 11-17 70.

3-point goals *Palmer 6 (Titus 3, Dean 1, Buresh 1, Bohman 1); Soldotna 5 (Hahn 2, Blossom 1, Carver 2). Team fouls * Palmer 15; Soldotna 18. Fouled out * Bohman.



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