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Kenai boys, girls stomp over SoHi

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002

Home-court advantage may have had a hand in Soldotna High School's basketball losses at Kenai Central High School Saturday. Maybe not. Either way, the Kardinals defended their nest with the boys defeating Soldotna soundly, 54-29, and the Kenai girls cruising past the Stars 51-34.

Soldotna girls coach Mark Tuter admitted his team was outplayed.

"Kenai just out-rebounded us on the offensive end," he said. "Rebounding and hitting the tough shots. That's what did it."

Kenai seniors Jamie Montgomery and Michelle Edwards led the Kardinals with defensive and offensive performances. Montgomery netted 11 points with eight take-aways and Edwards scored seven buckets for 14 points and contributed six rebounds to the Kardinals' stand on the offensive boards.

Edwards suggested a change in the team's confidence that helped them get past the Stars after struggling in their last few games.

"We've been playing really tentatively," she said. "Finally, we came out relaxed."

Kenai girls coach Jim Beeson said his team's relaxed attitude reflected in its play. And he said the team returned to the spark they started the season with in December when they won the Joe Floyd Tournament in Kodiak.

"We did a great job," he said. "That's as well as we've played since we were in Kodiak. We were relaxed and we had fun. I told the kids to play as hard as we can play and they did. This is what happens when we play hard and execute."

Tuter said his team will spend the next week fixing what was broken Saturday.

"We were a step late on our help defense and our guards (needed) to penetrate more instead of going outside," he said. "And we're going to work really hard on rebounding."

He said he expects to even the score during the two teams' regular season finale on March 8 in Soldotna.

"We'll see what happens when we play them on our home floor," he said.

The boys game started out fairly matched, as Kenai and Soldotna ended the first period with only five points between them. Although the Stars only converted two field goals, constant drives to the goal sent them to the line enough to stay close.

But the second quarter saw the gap widen between the two teams as Kenai garnered 15 points in the second quarter to Soldotna's 5. The Kardinals began what would become an unrestrained scoring stampede when junior Ian Foley scored his first of two 3-pointers, followed by a volley of buckets from seniors Marcus Webster, Caleb Schooley and Joel Dunn.

Webster led all scoring with 25 points, logging six steals and four rebounds. He said the Kardinals' aggressive play and tenacious defense created the points.

"We came out to play an up-tempo game," he said. "If we focused on defense, the offense would come."

Kenai boys coach Rich Bartolowits pointed out that, although his team led the entire game, there were some points where Soldotna threatened to start a surge late in the game. He said that was what he didn't want his Kardinals to fall prey to, and will concentrate in the future on keeping his team's intensity up.

"If you let up, they can get back into a game," he said. "We're going to work on keeping the defense going, no matter what combination of people are on the floor."

Soldotna coach Bill Withrow said his Stars were playing through peaks and valleys.

"I like the peaks," he said. "It's the valleys that are killing us."

He said the Kardinals played great basketball, but his young team lost the game after the first quarter. It wasn't until they were out of the contest, he said, that the Stars started playing up to their ability.

"They had a good start, but they got comfortable and stopped looking to score," Withrow said. "When they get to the point where they know they aren't going to win, then they relax and start playing well. That's the problem with kids who have never played at this level."

Adam Kiffmeyer led the team in scoring with eight points. He netted all of his baskets, including a 3-point bucket, in the fourth period.

Withrow said he was looking forward to playing a nonconference game against West High next Friday.

"That way, they won't feel so much pressure," he said.

Saturday

KARDINALS 56, STARS 29

Stars 8 5 6 10 -- 29

Kardinals 13 15 15 13 -- 56

SOLDOTNA (29) -- Turnbull, 1 0-0 2, Nettles 0 0-0 0, Histand 0 3-4 3, Kennedy 1 3-4 5, Richman 0 0-0 0, Sizemore 3 1-2 7, Kiffmeyer 3 1-2 8, Kohler 1 0-0 2, Michal 0 0-0 0, Simpson 1 0-0 2. Total -- 10 8-12 29.

KENAI (56) -- Pault 3 0-0 6, Alexander 0 0-0 0, Foley 2 1-2 7, Webster 10 4-5 25, Carreon 0 0-0 0, Steiner 2 0-0 5, Schooley 3 0-0 6, Boyd 1 0-0 2, Dunn 2 0-0 4, Myers 0 1-2 1. Total 23 6-9 56.

3-point-goals -- Soldotna 1 (Kiffmeyer 1); Kenai 4 (Foley 2, Webster 1, Steiner 1). Fouls -- Soldotna 9, Kenai 14. Fouled out -- none.

Girls

KARDINALS 51, STARS 34

Stars 8 13 7 6 -- 34

Kardinals 12 20 11 8 -- 51

SOLDOTNA (34) -- A. Penner 1 0-0 3, Senette 3 0-0 6, Wolfe 2 0-0 4, Christensen 0 0-0 0, Besse 4 0-0 8, S. Penner 2 1-4 5, Syverson 0 0-0 0, Tabor 0 0-0 0, Severson 0 0-0 0, Zobeck 4 0-0 8, Breakfield 0 0-2 0. Totals -- 16 1-6 34.

KENAI (34) -- Saltzgiver 1 0-0 2, Knudsen 3 0-0 6, Baldwin 0 0-0 0, Montgomery 4 3-4 11, Goggia 0 0-0 0, Popp 0 0-0 0, Edwards 7 0-1 14, McLeod 0 0-0 0, Hall 1 1-4 3, Smith 3 1-2 7, Shinn 4 0-0 8, Moore 0 0-0 0, Hampton 0 0-0 0.

3-point-goals -- Soldotna 1 (A. Penner 1). Fouls -- Soldotna 15, Kenai 12. Fouled out -- none.



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