Soldotna notches sweep of Skyview

Posted: Sunday, February 04, 2007


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  Soldotna's Brook Carver (11) blocks Skyview's Jamie Duke in the first half at Skyview Friday night. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Skyview's Joanna Graves (4) fouls Soldotna's Mikala Smith in front of Skyview's Melissa Massey in the second half Friday night.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Soldotna girls and boys basketball teams swept crosstown rival Skyview in Northern Lights Conference basketball action on Friday at Skyview.

In the girls game, the Stars took a 16-7 lead after the first quarter in claiming a 61-43 victory. Soldotna improves to 11-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference, while the Panthers fall to 8-8 overall and 0-4 in the conference.

In the boys game, Soldotna turned a 25-8 advantage after the first quarter into a 58-29 triumph. The Stars improved to 4-1 in the league while the Panthers dropped to 5-8 and 1-2.

The SoHi girls immediately put the Panthers in a hole due to pressure defense. Skyview had nine turnovers before getting its first points — a pair of foul shots by Nicole Van Ryzin that made the score 8-2 with 2:22 left in the first quarter.

Skyview coach Ronnie Kier said the turnovers were caused by players wanting to get rid of the ball too quickly when the pressure was on. The coach also said the sloppy ballhandling wasted a good defensive effort from his squad.

“That set the tempo. It’s tough when you do a lot of good things, then just turn the ball over,” Kier said.

Falling into an early hole against Soldotna’s deep and tall team would prove costly. After the slow start, Skyview would not get within six points the rest of the game.

“They definitely got tired,” said Soldotna’s Christa Kennedy, who had 13 points and nine rebounds. “It easier with our bench. We can get 30-second or minute breaks and be ready to go.”

While Soldotna’s fresh guards were able to pressure the Panthers into a 23-15 turnover disadvantage, Soldotna’s Kennedy, Karen Duffy and Paige Blackburn were able to have their way underneath.

The Stars had a 43-38 advantage on the boards, with Blackburn grabbing eight and Duffy six. Kennedy was 5-for-12 from the floor, while Duffy was 6-of-7 en route to 13 points and Blackburn was 7-of-12 with 16 points.

The trio was 18-of-31 combined (58 percent) while the rest of the Stars were 7-of-33 (21 percent).

“It’s really easy to shoot a high percentage when you’re getting all of your shots on the block,” Kier said.

Skyview did not come up with those easy scoring chances and was 10-of-48 (21 percent) from the floor. Nearly all of Skyview’s offense came from Van Ryzin (20 points, 12-of-14 from the foul line, nine rebounds) and Melissa Fay (11 points, 5-of-6 from the foul line).

“Other teams key on those two players,” Kier said. “We need some other players to step up and take some pressure off of them by hitting some big shots. They do it in practice all the time.”

Soldotna coach Mark Tuter said that in addition to Kennedy, Duffy and Blackburn, Dani Donaldson gave some quality minutes underneath. Donaldson had two points and three rebounds in limited action.

Soldotna 58, Skyview 29

The Panthers were missing the ballhandling abilities of senior Gregor Bosick, who missed the game with an injury, and the Stars wasted little time in taking advantage.

Soldotna used a press to take a 22-3 lead when Matt Grubb hit a pair of foul shots with 1:22 left in the first quarter. Tony Besse had eight of his game-high 17 points in the quarter, including six points in a span of just 26 seconds.

The 6-foot-6 senior started the run by throwing down a two-hand dunk off a rebound. A couple of quick Skyview turnovers then led to a pair of layups.


Soldotna's Brook Carver (11) blocks Skyview's Jamie Duke in the first half at Skyview Friday night.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

“I think we pressured their guards well,” Soldotna coach Chris Hanson said. “We knew they’d be missing Greg Bosick. That’s a big loss.”

Hanson, whose team also received 10 points from Kelly Seggerman, also said his team did a good job of running the offense in getting points for 10 different players.

Skyview coach Red Goodwin acknowledged that the absence of Bosick hurt his team, but wanted to take nothing away from the Stars.

“They’re a talented team and they’re well-coached,” Goodwin said. “Those are tough ingredients to beat.”

Goodwin, in his first year at Skyview, said the Panthers are in a building mode. He said Skyview players have to learn to compete from start to finish, and he noted that all five players, and not four of five players, must be competing.

The Panthers did have a solid stretch in the third quarter, as Soldotna outscored Skyview 11-10 in the frame. Seggerman and Besse, two long and athletic players who give the Soldotna press a lot of its bite, played in the third quarter and Skyview handled the pressure much better than in the first quarter.

“I felt like in the third quarter, we were able to match their intensity and level of play,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said junior guard Rem West and sophomore guard Mike Thornton played hard and gained valuable experience against the press. David Blossom and Jamie Duke each made the best of opportunities to score underneath, as each had 11 points and Blossom added five offensive rebounds.



Soldotna 16 17 12 16 —61

Skyview 7 11 4 21 —43

SOLDOTNA (61) — Smith 2 2-2 7, Senette 2 0-0 4, Heffner 0 1-2 1, Kennedy 5 3-4 13, Donaldson 1 0-0 2, Jen. Stenga 1 0-0 2, Dykstra 0 0-0 0, Hardy 0 0-0 0, Barker 1 0-0 3, Utrup 0 0-0 0, Duffy 6 1-4 13, Blackburn 7 2-2 16. Totals — 25 9-14 61.

SKYVIEW (43) — Graves 1 0-0 2, Martin 0 3-4 3, Massey 1 0-2 2, Fay 2 5-6 11, Van Ryzin 4 12-14 20, Mercier 0 0-0 0, West 2 1-1 5, Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals — 10 21-27 43.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (Smith 1, Barker 1), Skyview 2 (Fay 2). Team fouls — Soldotna 21, Skyview 12. Fouled out — none.



Soldotna 25 10 11 12 —58

Skyview 8 6 10 5 —29

SOLDOTNA (58) — Blossom 2 0-1 5, Grubb 1 1-1 3, Carver 2 0-0 5, Geller 0 2-2 2, Besse 7 3-8 17, Syverson 1 1-2 3, Barkman 0 0-0 0, Kohler 2 0-0 5, Andrus 0 0-0 0, Roberts 2 0-1 4, Seggerman 4 2-2 10, Shelton 2 0-0 4. Totals — 23 9-17 58.

SKYVIEW (29) — Thornton 0 1-4 1, West 2 0-0 4, Dallman 1 0-0 2, Hatten 0 0-0 0, Duke 5 1-2 11, Nelson 0 0-0 0, Blossom 4 3-7 11, Singleton 0 0-0 0, Shirnberg 0 0-0 0. Totals — 12 5-13 29.

3-point goals — Soldotna 3 (Blossom 1, Carver 1, Kohler 1). Team fouls — Soldotna 13, Skyview 13. Fouled out — none.

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