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SkyHi can't measure up to SoHi

Posted: Sunday, February 06, 2000

The Soldotna boys and girls basketball teams used different, but equally effective, methods in swamping cross-town rival Skyview Friday night in a packed gym at Soldotna High School.

The Stars girls sent wave after wave of players and eventually eroded the Panthers in a 53-27 victory. The SoHi boys knocked Skyview off its feet with a 17-0 tsunami to begin the game and never let the Panthers recover in a 56-41 contest.

The fast start by the Soldotna boys was significant because the Stars had been plagued by slow starts all year. However, their finishes had been solid enough to rank them eighth in the latest prep poll.

"We've been surviving by our comebacks," said SoHi junior Sean Kelley, who paced all scorers Friday with 13 points. "Coach told us we can't make a habit of doing that.

"We have to learn not to wait until the end."

The late-minute ways of the Stars reached a peak on Jan. 13, when they came back from 17 points down in the second half against Barrow for a 62-56 overtime victory.

However, slow starts plagued Soldotna as it lost two of its next three games, including a defeat at Homer Jan. 28 when Soldotna scored 21 points in the first three quarters and 27 points in the fourth quarter.

"We came out fired up in the first quarter," said Kelley, whose team was 1-1 in Region III/4A and 9-3 overall before Saturday's game against Kenai. "We were ready for the game.

"It was a lot different than in the Homer game, when they jumped all over us."

Friday, the Stars hit their first five shots from the floor, while Skyview (2-2 in the region, 4-6 overall) missed its first eight.

Soldotna also displayed a balanced scoring attack as six different players -- Kelley, Shaun Williams, Nick Christensen, Paul John Zobeck, Chet Nettles and Severin Gardner -- scored in the 17-0 run to start the game.

Skyview's Dorian Heatherly finally put the Panthers on the board when he tipped in his own miss with 40 seconds left in the first quarter.

"I have no idea what happened," said Panthers senior Dan Davis, who paced his team with nine points. "We came out and couldn't make a shot.

"The first cut is the deepest."

Skyview made several attempts to heal from the initial wound, but each time Soldotna stiffened its tight man-to-man defense and held off the Panthers.

Josh Rowell connected on a post move with 4:53 left in the second period to cut Soldotna's lead to 20-12, but Soldotna clamped down on defense and went on a 10-1 run that ended when Kelley's foul shots gave the Stars a 30-13 cushion with 1:20 left in the half.

"That's my bread and butter as a coach," said SoHi coach Ron Becker of defense. "I may not be good at much, but I'm good at teaching defense.

"That's a crucial part of the game. Any team should be a great defensive team."

Skyview's last gasp came during the middle of the fourth quarter. Christensen dropped in a rebound layup to give Soldotna a 50-29 advantage with 6:17 left.

The Panthers then embarked on a 9-0 run which ended when a layup by Rowell made the score 50-38 with 2:24 left.

Soldotna then let Skyview score only three points the rest of the game.

Williams added 11 points for the Stars, while Christensen had 10.

Soldotna girls 53, Skyview 27

Soldotna coach Rob Dimick put 14 different players on the floor in the first half in an effort to keep constant defensive intensity on the Panthers.

And among the waves of players that came crashing down on Skyview was a wave of the future. Soldotna's eight varsity freshmen combined to score 39 points in the victory.

Freshman forward Jenny Carpenter dumped in 10 points and was the only player to reach double digits in the contest.

Soldotna improved its record to 1-1 in the region and 4-7 overall heading into Saturday night's game against Kenai.

"I thought my seniors and juniors really rose to the occasion, but some of them got in foul trouble from playing hard," Dimick said. "When they got in foul trouble, the freshmen came in and did a great job.

"It was a team effort."

After a foul- and turnover-filled first quarter where the teams combined to score just nine points, Soldotna took control of the game with an 11-1 spurt in the second quarter.

The Stars received points from Gretta Besse, Rachel Besse, Amy Breakfield, Carpenter and Erin Wolf during the rally. A jumper by Wolf gave the Stars a 19-5 lead with 2:50 left in the first half.

Skyview remained within striking distance until the end of the third quarter. Samantha Carlon cut Soldotna's lead to 33-21 with a pair of foul shots with 1:01 left in the third.

However, Skyview went on an 11-0 run that ended when Gretta Besse's foul shots made the score 44-21 with 4:48 left in the game.

"I thought in the middle of the third quarter we were starting to get some momentum," said Skyview coach Joe Trujillo, whose team is now 0-3 in the region and 2-11 overall. "We had three times in a row where we didn't execute on offense and they went down and scored.

"It went from a 12-point deficit to an 18-point deficit in less than one and a half minutes."

Angel Binder paced Skyview with eight points.

STARS BOYS 56, PANTHERS 41

Skyview 6 11 10 14 --41

Soldotna 17 13 15 11 --56

SKYVIEW (41) -- Burdick 3 2-2 8, Mallet 0 0-0 0, Rose 2 2-4 7, Norman 1 2-2 4, Reynolds 0 2-2 2, Heatherly 1 0-0 2, Swanson 1 0-0 2, Davis 1 7-10 9, Rowell 3 1-3 7. Totals -- 11 18-22 41.

SOLDOTNA (56) -- Kelley 3 6-6 13, Horwath 0 2-3 2, Williams 4 2-2 11, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Christensen 3 3-3 10, Hardina 0 0-0 0, Nettles 2 2-4 6, Zeyer 0 0-0 0, Hughes 1 0-0 2, Metteer 0 0-1 0, Rose 0 0-0 0, Gardner 1 0-0 2, Demske 1 0-0 2, Zobeck 3 2-4 8, Kiffmeyer 0 0-1 0. Totals -- 18 17-24 56.

3-point goals -- Kelley, Williams, Christensen, Rose. Total fouls -- Skyview 22, Soldotna 24. Fouled out --Norman, Heatherly, Zobeck.

STARS GIRLS 53, PANTHERS 27

Skyview 2 9 10 6 --27

Soldotna 7 16 14 16 --53

SKYVIEW (27) -- Colvin 0 0-0 0, Hollers 1 1-2 3, Hanson 0 0-0 0, St. Clair 1 0-3 2, Sa. Carlon 1 2-2 4, Thurmond 0 0-0 0, Kier 0 0-2 0, Sh. Carlon 0 0-0 0, Edwards 2 0-0 4, Bauer 1 0-4 2, Bixby 1 1-2 3, Binder 3 2-3 8, Aldridge 0 0-0 0, Hansen 0 1-3 1. Totals -- 10 7-21 27.

SOLDOTNA (53) -- Senette 0 0-0 0, Jensen 0 0-2 0, Wolf 1 1-2 3, Gensel 0 0-0 0, Kerrone 2 0-1 5, G. Besse 2 5-6 9, Penner 3 0-0 6, Carpenter4 2-4 10, Breakfield 2 3-8 7, Spady 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0, Dittrick 0 0-0 0, Zobeck 3 1-4 7, R. Besse 3 0-2 6. Totals -- 20 12-29 53.

3-point goals -- Kerrone. Total fouls -- Skyview 27, Soldotna 24. Fouled out -- none.



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