Skyview's Brittany Meyer takes a shot in the fourth quarter against Kodiak on Friday night.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
In order to encourage school spirit, the Skyview boys played just over half of their game on Friday in front of the Skyview student body.
While Skyview coach Red Goodwin said playing in front of the crowd gave his team a boost, the screaming students were not about to affect Kodiak. The Bears took home a 54-39 Northern Lights Conference victory, while the Kodiak girls followed with a 37-23 victory over the Panthers.
"We do that all the time in Kodiak," said Kodiak boys coach Ron Bryant of playing in front of loud fans. "The only difference this time is they were cheering for them. That only put us in the mood to play basketball."
Bryant said that on the basketball-mad island, 800 or 900 fans routinely attend his team's games.
That may be a little much for Skyview to ever expect, but Goodwin said he was the driving force behind his squad's 1:45 p.m. tip time because he strongly believes in the value of high school athletics.
"The emphasis in high school should not only be on academics," Goodwin said. "The athletics side is just as important. It teaches values like building good teammates and social skills for interaction. Athletics can be a real positive force."
Randy Neill, in his third year as principal at Skyview, said Friday was a great chance for the student body to get to see a game. He said Skyview has students from areas like Cooper Landing and Sterling, so attending a game when school is not in session can be difficult.
"I would love to see this at least once a year," said Skyview girls coach Ronnie Kier. "Anything the school can do to create more school spirit."
Skyview's boys got off to a slow start as Kodiak closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 13-4 lead. Three of Kodiak's baskets in the first quarter came after the Bears kept the possession alive with an offensive rebound. That pattern continued for the rest of the game.
"The offensive rebounding was the best I've ever seen from this group," Bryant said.
Skyview spent the game in a matchup zone. The defense can lead to offensive rebounds, because each defender is guarding an area and does not have a specific offensive player to box out. Goodwin said his club in general is not a good rebounding team in any defense. He said the matchup zone gave his squad the best chance to win because it neutralized some of Kodiak's length and quickness. If a Skyview defender was getting beat by a half step, there was always another defender right there to help out.
The defense worked better in the second quarter, holding Kodiak to just nine points. Skyview started the second with a 6-0 run that cut the lead to 13-10 with 3:43 left until halftime. The Panthers would get as close as 18-17, on a layup by Mac Dallmann with 1:00 left in the first half, before Kodiak closed the half on a 4-0 run.
Kodiak took control of the game after Skyview's Mike Thornton made a free throw with 7:03 left in the third quarter for an 22-18 game. The Bears then went on an 11-2 run, ending when Mark Galindo got a layup after a steal for a 33-20 lead. The bell rang with about 6:00 left in the third quarter and a good portion of the students left.
"We had a three-minute letdown," Goodwin said. "We can't have those lapses. If we play every second of the 32 minutes, we have good enough athletes to compete with teams in this conference."
Bryant said he made a slight adjustment to his team's halfcourt zone trap at halftime and it paid dividends. Skyview had nine turnovers in the third quarter and 23 for the game, while Kodiak turned the ball over 14 times.
Goodwin said adapting to a defensive adjustment can give his team problems, but that his team's problems were deeper than that at the start of the second half. He said for most of the game, his team did a good job of identifying Kodiak's shooters and closing out on them a key when playing a matchup zone. Goodwin said his team didn't do a good job of that in the beginning of the second half.
In the fourth quarter, Skyview used a 6-0 spurt to cut the gap to 46-37 with 2:20 to play, but the Panthers would get no closer than that.
Randy Diocares paced Kodiak with 17 points, while David Cratty added 11. For Skyview, Rich Shirnberg had 17 points. Goodwin also said Cameron Harvey had some hot shooting that sparked the team in the second quarter, and that Chad Hatten played well on defense and was aggressive attacking the basket.
Skyview's Ivy O'Guinn and Jessica Stewart pressure Kodiak's Jessie Keplinger while chasing a loose ball in the fourth quarter Friday night at Skyview.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
On Saturday, Kodiak defeated Skyview 68-52 in a nonconference contest. Cratty had 16 points for the Bears, while Galindo, Michael Odell and Jonathan Tanner had 10 points apiece. Shirnberg led all scorers for Skyview with 21 points, while Hatten pitched in 13. Skyview is now 2-6 overall and 0-1 in conference, while Kodiak is 7-3 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Kodiak's stingy defense came through again, allowing just 11 points in the first three quarters.
"They do play their best on defense," said Kodiak girls coach Brett Larsen of his team. "We're probably one of the stingiest teams around. It's good we play strong on the defensive end, because we can have trouble on the offensive end."
Skyview got off to a tough start when Jaci Lamborn went down with a knee injury with 6:01 left in the first quarter. Kier said after the game that the severity of the injury was not yet known.
The Panthers' lone bucket in the first quarter a jumper by Melissa Massey came with 59 seconds left. Skyview was 1 of 7 from the floor in the first quarter and committed six turnovers.
"We played terrible on offense in the beginning of the game," Kier said. "I think the majority of that was Kodiak's defense. They play outstanding defense and it took us awhile to figure out how to attack them."
Kodiak wasn't exactly shredding Skyview's defense. The Bears were 3 of 12 from the floor with five turnovers in the first quarter. That type of offense was good enough to take a 25-11 lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Skyview was able to play Kodiak to a 12-12 tie.
"We got it into our heads that we needed to be aggressive," Kier said. "Going into the fourth quarter, I challenged them to be more aggressive and they were up to the challenge."
A 6-0 spurt by Skyview cut Kodiak's lead to 27-17 with 5:49 left in the game. The Panthers would get as close as 30-21 with 3:10 left in the game on a pair of free throws by Brittany Meyer, but Kodiak's defense would clamp down and allow only a layup by Meyer the rest of the game.
Alysa Horn paced Kodiak with 11 points, while Candace Penrod led Skyview with eight points.
On Saturday, Kodiak picked up a 51-25 nonconference victory over the Skyview girls. The Panthers are 4-5 overall and 1-1 in the league, while Kodiak is 4-6 overall and 1-0 in the league.
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