Soldotna hoops squads sweep Homer

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2011

When Soldotna boys basketball coach Matt Johnson called timeout at the 2:30 mark of the fourth quarter, the lead was shrinking, the momentum was shifting and the fouls were mounting.

A nine-point lead had been chipped to three and SoHi's starting center, Garrett Bosick, had fouled out.

"We talked to them a little bit about execution," Johnson said of his message during the huddle when his team held a 42-39 lead over visiting Homer.

Evan Withrow hit a 3-pointer out of the timeout and made a steal on the ensuing possession, taking the ball the other way and drawing a foul on a successful layup, giving his squad a 47-39 lead.

He missed the free throw, but Zach Jackson grabbed the rebound and drew a foul on the follow-up. The call went against Homer's Devon Kennelty, who earned a technical foul for throwing the ball after the whistle blew. It also was the fifth foul of the game for Homer 6-foot-7 center, who scored a team-best 21 points.

Jackson hit three of the four ensuing free throws, giving the Stars a 50-39 lead.

The result was eight points in 22 seconds and one big sigh of relief from the SoHi side.

"It made closing the game out a little easier," Johnson said.

Homer wouldn't get closer than eight points over the final two minutes after it had answered SoHi basket-for-basket to keep the game close, eventually using a run midway through the fourth to pull within three points.

Foul trouble hampered the Stars all night as Bosick fouled out with about four minutes to play. Fellow big man Ross Skjold played with four fouls much of the final period.

SoHi finished with 22 team fouls, but Homer was just 14-of-28 from the free-throw line.

With Bosick out, SoHi's guards were forced to mark Kennelty, who scored six of his 21 in the fourth.

"It's got to come by committee," Johnson said of the defense, crediting Withrow as well as Colton Young and Tanner Fowler for logging strong efforts defensively in the post.

Jackson had 20 points to lead SoHi, which received 12 from Cory Carver and 10 from Withrow.

"We let them back in it a little bit, but we stick together and came out with the win," Jackson said.

The Stars used a 9-0 run at the end of the second quarter to build a 25-17 lead at halftime. The Mariners cut the lead to five entering the fourth, but SoHi scored the first two baskets to go up 39-30.

SoHi travels to Barrow today for a tournament, which begins Thursday. The Stars could be without Robbie Smithwick, who Johnson said is day-to-day with an injured foot.

For now, the coach is happy to earn a third league win. SoHi is 3-2 in the Northern Lights Conference.

"Hopefully it's a step in the right direction," Johnson said. "It's a process, and we've had a lot of highs and lows this season."

Soldotna girls 51, Homer 25

On a night when the coach added a few new wrinkles, the Soldotna girls basketball team enjoyed a smooth victory.

Mark Tuter implemented a new starting lineup and revealed some fresh looks on defense as the Stars earned a 51-25 win over Homer in Northern Lights Conference action Tuesday at Soldotna.

Ten players scored, the squad hit five 3-pointers and the Stars held the Mariners to one field goal over an 11-minute stretch in the first half, bolstering their record to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in league play.

"We got a few breakaways and hit a couple 3-pointers," Tuter said. "That was the difference."

Little-used Alisah Kress was inserted into the starting lineup to reward her for hard work in practice and the Stars, who frequently use a full-court press, turned to a zone defense during stretches of the game.

The result was a close opening period -- the Stars led 12-8 after the first quarter -- followed by a slew of Homer turnovers and timely SoHi shooting.

SoHi used a 13-2 run in the second quarter to extend its lead to 15 at halftime and converted a trio of 3-pointers en route to a 15-2 run in the third. Kelci Benson had a pair of 3-pointers, scoring a game-high 15 points, while Jessie Duke finished with nine points -- all from long distance.

That was more than enough as SoHi took a 22-point lead into the final period.

"We knew we were going to hit some eventually," Tuter said of hitting 3-pointers. "We tell them to keep shooting. You can't do much more than to keep shooting."

Kaillee Skjold added 10 points and the Stars had five players score two on a night when 10 of the 12 players who stepped on the court scored.

Despite the win, Tuter said SoHi needs to get stronger in some areas.

"We need to improve our intensity to match the Wasillas and Colonies of the world," the coach said, referring to the ability to compete with the Northern Lights Conference powers.

Homer received a team-best 11 points from Elissa Tutt. The Mariners were 7-of-14 from the free-throw line and committed what coach Dennis Welch said were too many turnovers.

The inability to take care of the ball, Welch added, was the difference in the game.

"Our defense played awesome," he said. "But too many unforced errors. I'd guess about 75 percent of their baskets came off our turnovers."

Nikiski girls 58, Skyview 21

Makenzie Moore had 28 points and eight 3-pointers as the Bulldogs sailed past the Panthers on Tuesday in nonconference action at Nikiski.

The Bulldogs led 16-8 after one quarter, then outscored the Panthers 18-2 in the second quarter. Moore had 16 points in the quarter, including four trifectas. Angie Parrish added 13 points for the Bulldogs.

Jaxon Hill paced the Panthers with eight points.

Nikiski boys 53, Skyview 48, OT

The Bulldogs outscored the visiting Panthers 9-4 in the extra session to claim the nonconference victory.

Colton Anderson paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points, while Lucas Herrin had a game-high 18 rebounds. Stefan Krogseng and Sam Taylor each added 10 points for Nikiski.

For Skyview, Jordan Jones had 13 points, Albert White had 12 points and DJ Diaz had 11 points to go along with 12 rebounds.

Tuesday girls

Stars 51, Mariners 25

Homer 8 2 8 7 --25

Soldotna 12 13 15 11 --51

HOMER (25) - K.Edens 0 2-2 2, B. Edens 1 1-2 3, Isenhour, Oliver 1 0-0 2, Ketelle 1 0-2 2, Tutt 4 3-4 11, Seeger, Needham 1 1-4 3, Hutt 1 0-0 2, Koplin 0 0-0 0, Mastolier 0 0-0 0. Totals - 9 7-14 25.

SOLDOTNA (51) - Skjold 5 0-0 10, Sholin 1 0-0 2, Duke 3 0-2 9, Benson 6 1-2 15, Kress 1 0-0 2, Litchfield 1 2-2 4, Munn 0 0-0 0, Kerkvliet 1 0-0 2, Satathite 1 1-2 3, Smith 1 0-0 2, Schneider 1 0-1 2. Totals - 21 4-9 51.

3-point field goals - Homer none; Soldotna 5 (Duke 3, Benson 2). Team fouls - Homer 10, Soldotna 14. Fouled out - none.

Bulldogs 58, Panthers 21

Skyview 8 2 8 3 --21

Nikiski 16 18 8 16 --58

SKYVIEW (21) -- Halverson 1 0-0 2, Hauptman 0 0-0 0, Saunders 0 1-2 1, Hill 3 2-4 8, Mercier 2 0-4 4, Malatesta 3 0-0 6, Bak 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 9 3-10 21.

NIKISKI (58) -- Griffel 0 0-0 0, D. Holloway 3 0-1 6, Dixon 3 0-0 7, T. Holloway 0 0-0 0, Parrish 4 5-9 13, Moore 10 0-1 28, Wallis 0 0-2 0, Martin 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 22 5-13 58.

3-point goals -- Nikiski 9 (Moore 8, Dixon 1). Team fouls -- Skyview 12, Nikiski 16. Fouled out -- none.

Tuesday boys

Stars 55, Mariners 43

Homer 12 5 13 13 --43

Soldotna 9 16 10 20 --55

HOMER (43) - Reutov 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Reinert 1 2-2 4, Jester 1 0-0 2, Daugharty 1 5-6 7, Glosser 1 2-8 4, Wood 0 0-1 0, Kennelty 8 5-10 21. Totals - 14 14-28 43.

SOLDOTNA (55) - Schneider 1 0-0 2, Jackson 5 8-10 20, Carver 6 0-0 12, Bates 0 0-0 0, Skjold 0 2-2 2, Withrow 4 1-5 10, Fowler 1 0-0 3, Bosick 1 0-2 2. Totals - 19 13-23 55.

3-point field goals - Homer 1 (Johnson); Soldotna 4 (Jackson, Withrow, Fowler). Team fouls - Homer, Soldotna 22. Fouled out - Bosick, Kennelty 22.

Bulldogs 53, Panthers 48, OT

Skyview 6 18 7 13 9 --53

Nikiski 9 15 11 9 4 --48

SKYVIEW (48) -- Diaz 5 1-4 11, Jones 5 0-0 13, Madrid 1 3-4 6, McDonald 0 0-0 0, McNamara 2 0-2 4, Reynolds 0 0-0 0, Symonds 1 0-0 2, White 4 2-3 12. Totals -- 18 6-13 48.

NIKISKI (53) -- Anderson 8 1-2 20, Harris 0 0-0 0, Hartley 0 2-2 2, Herrin 4 1-3 9, Johnson 0 2-2 2, Krogseng 5 0-0 10, Taylor 4 0-0 10. Totals -- 21 6-9 53.

3-point goals -- Skyview 6 (Jones 3, White 2, Madrid 1); Nikiski 5 (Anderson 3, Taylor 2). Team fouls -- Skyview 11, Nikiski 12. Fouled out -- none.



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