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SkyHi, SoHi play to split

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003

The Soldotna High School girls basketball team remained perfect this season, defeating a surprisingly feisty Skyview squad 68-43 in Region III/4A play Saturday at Soldotna.

While the Skyview boys don't have a perfect record, everything they did worked perfectly Saturday -- even the alley-oops worked out -- as the Panthers defeated the host Stars 51-33 in region play.

"It's always nice to beat a region rival," Soldotna girls coach Mark Tuter said. "Skyview was coming off a big win (Friday) night, and they came ready to play."

In fact, while the Stars were able to take an 18-6 lead after the first quarter, Skyview matched Soldotna point for point in the second quarter, with each team scoring 12. Things could have been even closer as Panthers didn't have the right touch around the rim, missing several open layups.

At the other end of the court, Skyview played a trapping defense, and the Panthers' hustle made things difficult for the Stars to run their offense efficiently.

"We tried to sag in the paint to shut them down inside," said Skyview's Amanda Fay. "That's where they normally get their points."

"We had to work pretty hard to get an open shot," Tuter said.

The Stars were able to put some distance between themselves and the Panthers when they got out of their halfcourt game and started running the floor on fast-break opportunities created by their defense.

"We just had to make sure we executed," Soldotna's Rachel Besse said. "We did a good job running and breaking the press."

Soldotna led 30-18 at the half, but increased its lead to 52-31 with a solid third quarter. Hillary Zobeck scored 10 of her 14 points in the frame.

Besse netted 18 points for the Stars while Amy Breakfield finished with 11 and Erin Wolfe contributed 10 points.

Jenny Carpenter led the Panthers with 10 points while Laurel Creel scored eight.

Besse said the Stars were well aware that with their record, which now stands at 14-0 and 3-0 in region play, other teams would be gunning for them for the rest of the season.

"People want to beat us now, so we just have to play harder," Besse said. "(We think about our record), but it's not too much of a factor. If we think about our record too much, we get shaky."

The Panthers are now 6-7 overall and 1-1 in region play.

"We gave it all we got," Fay said. "We'll be ready for them next time. We'll work harder, and we'll work on a few things."

Skyview boys 51, Soldotna 33

The Skyview boys turned in a total team effort. Everyone contributed, some in more ways than one: In addition to his eight points, Ryan Geller also took credit for lugging a sound system that would make any DJ envious over to Soldotna to get the squad fired up for the Stars.

"All I can tell you is that the kids did a great job and played great defense," said Skyview coach Dave Blossom.

In fact, the only Soldotna player Skyview couldn't shut down was Caleb Sizemore, who had a hot night shooting the ball and finished with a game-high 16 points.

Adam Cooper finished with 15 points for the Panthers while Matt Travers netted 14, a good indication of the Panthers' ability to hit from both the outside and inside against the Stars.

"We just played great team basketball," Cooper said. "The main objective was to play defense. Then, we just wanted to stay positive. Everyone worked together and played as a team."

Skyview improves to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in region play.

Girls

STARS 68, PANTHERS 43

Skyview 6 12 13 12 -- 43

Soldotna 18 12 22 16 -- 68

SKYVIEW (43) -- Verba 2 0-0 5, Gephardt 0 0-0 0, Faigle 1 0-0 3, Carpenter 4 2-2 10, Dalebout 1 0-0 2, Bonebrake 1 0-0 2, Hiler 0 0-0 0, Blake 0 0-0 0, Colvin 3 0-0 6, Creel 3 1-2 8, Fay 3 0-0 7, Dreifurst 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18 3-4 43.

SOLDOTNA (68) -- Senette 3 0-0 7, Wolfe 4 2-2 10, Christensen 2 0-0 5, Foster 1 0-0 3, Besse 7 4-4 18, Syverson 0 0-0 0, Howard 0 0-0 0, Zobeck 4 6-8 14, Breakfield 3 5-10 11, Hartman 0 0-0 0, Needs 0 0-1 0, Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 24 17-24 68.

3-point goals -- Skyview 4 (Verba, Faigle, Creel, Fay), Soldotna 3 (Senette, Christensen, Foster. Total fouls -- Skyview16, Soldotna 11. Fouled out -- none.

PANTHERS 51, STARS 33

Skyview 10 13 12 16 -- 51

Soldotna 6 6 12 9 -- 33

SKYVIEW (51) -- Shields 3 0-1 6, Travers 6 2-2 14, Matarrese 0 0-0 0, St. Clair 0 2-2 2, Smith 1 0-0 2, Kosydar 1 0-0 2, Cooper 7 1-2 15, Geller 4 0-0 8, Cushway 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 23 5-7 51.

SOLDOTNA (33) -- Turnbull 3 0-0 6, Stone 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0, Spindler 0 0-0 0, Michal 2 2-2 6, Horn 0 0-0 0, Utrup 0 0-0 0, Sizemore 8 0-2 16, Hall 1 0-0 2, Horwath 1 0-0 2, Simpson 0 1-2 1. Totals -- 15 3-6 33.

3-point goals -- none. Total fouls -- Skyview 10, Soldotna 16. Fouled out -- none.



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