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Stars notch NLC sweep of Mariners

Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2007

 

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  Homer's Jill Temple tries to pass around Soldotna's Mikala Smith in the fourth quarter Friday. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna's Shelly Barker defends against Homer's Allison Horazdovsky in the fourth quarter Friday at Soldotna High School.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The key ingredient to Homer’s victory over Soldotna earlier this season was offensive rebounding, according to Stars’ coach Mark Tuter.

And the pace Reba Temple was on Friday seemed to be another recipe for disaster.

“We talked about it the first quarter, second quarter, at halftime, everywhere else and stuff,” Tuter said. “But sometimes she’s just tough.”

Ripping down numerous rebounds and netting 10 points in the first quarter alone, Temple staked Homer to a 15-10 lead before SoHi strung together a 17-1 second-quarter run and held off a late Mariners’ charge for a 52-47 victory in Northern Lights Conference action.

Tuter knew shutting down Temple would be crucial and for the final 24 minutes, Soldotna’s defense responded by limiting her to just eight points.

“We switched a little bit when they would screen-and-roll and then she would be wide open. We decided we were not going to switch anymore,” he explained. “When they screened, you were just going to have to fight your way through it. Because when we switch, she’s always in great offensive rebounding position.”

The junior recorded three putbacks in scoring six consecutive points during the final 1:52 of the opening quarter and the Mariners committed only two turnovers while owning a five-point edge.

However, it all went downhill from there.

The Stars’ suffocating defense forced 20 turnovers over the remainder of the game, including two off of inbounds plays in the final minute which helped seal the victory.

“They put a lot of pressure on her. They put a lot of pressure on our perimeter which made it hard for us to get the ball into her because we were feeling that pressure,” said Homer coach Deb Lowney.

Trailing by six at the break, the Mariners were fouled on nearly every shot they took in the third, using a 7-for-10 performance from the charity stripe to trim the deficit to one after three periods.

But after Homer finally captured its first lead since late in the second quarter, Stars’ freshman Karen Senette sank one of her two key 3-pointers of the game in putting SoHi back on top, 46-44, with 2:29 to play.

“I’ve got great confidence in Karen,” Tuter said. “I’ve known her since she was just a little, tiny bugger. She’s been around here for 10 years, with older sisters and stuff like that.

“Absolutely,” he added of her having the green light to shoot. “She’s deserved it. She’s put her time in on the practice and stuff and I love having her shoot.”

A bucket by Temple then tied it before SoHi (13-4, 5-3) jumped back in front by four after Shelly Baker sank two free throws and Karen Duffy laid in two of her 12 points.

Down by three with 22.1 seconds remaining, Homer had one final attempt at tying it but stepped on the sideline, handing the game to the Stars. Junior Paige Blackburn collected 12 points for SoHi and junior Allison Horazdovsky added 16 for the Mariners before both fouling out.

“The closing of games is one of the weaknesses of our team right now. We have not had lots of opportunity in practice to work on that,” Lowney said. “We realize that’s one of the weaknesses in our games and, believe me, we’re going to be working on it.”

Soldotna boys 82, Homer 57

Despite being Soldotna’s best shooter, Larsen Kohler comes off the bench.

Stars’ coach Chris Hanson wouldn’t have it any other way.

The junior was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and scored 17 points and senior Brook Carver netted 19 in leading SoHi past the Mariners on Friday night.

Kohler was an easy choice for the team’s game ball.

“I just think he earns his minutes. He really earned them (Saturday),” Hanson said. “He’s a very good player for us and I think he’s really understanding the importance of defense. He’s really worked hard to improve that aspect of the game and he’s getting a lot more minutes because of it.”

 

Homer's Jill Temple tries to pass around Soldotna's Mikala Smith in the fourth quarter Friday.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Leading by three with 1:37 left in the first, Kohler drained two straight treys and added his third with nearly a minute left in the half for a 34-21 SoHi lead at the break.

The way Kohler’s playing, don’t expect to see him in the starting lineup any time soon.

“Wouldn’t you like a guy that can hit five 3s off the bench?” Hanson asked.

After Tony Besse scored two of his 10 points on a coast-to-coast one-handed jam early in the third, he came down awkwardly off a missed layup during a 10-2 Stars’ run. Appearing to twist his ankle, he left the game with 2:31 to play in the third and never returned.

About 45 seconds later, though, Kohler recorded a steal and a lay-in for a 54-34 lead and Brad Blossom chipped in four his 16 points in the opening minute of the fourth to help maintain the large cushion.

“I thought we had a great defensive effort (Saturday), created a lot of easy buckets for us,” Hanson said. “And I was real happy because that’s an area that we can really improve on and we need to beat good teams down the stretch.”

The lone bright spot for Homer was the play of senior Jesse Leman, who scored 12 points in his first action since early January. Michael Fielding also added 10 points for the Mariners, who committed 28 turnovers.

Soldotna girls 48, Chugiak 30

The Stars turned a one-point first-quarter lead into a nine-point advantage at the break and never looked back in topping visiting Chugiak on Saturday.

Blackburn led the way for SoHi with a game-high 17 points and Christa Kennedy and Mikala Smith added nine apiece.

Soldotna boys 59, Chugiak 44

A 13-7 opening quarter paved the way for a 26-point outburst in the second as the Stars defeated visiting Chugiak on Saturday.

Senior Kelly Seggerman scored a high-high 17 points for Soldotna.

Friday girls

STARS 52, MARINERS 47

Homer 15 8 11 13 — 47

Soldotna 10 19 6 17 — 52

HOMER (47) — Bornheimer 1 1-4 3, Weaver 1 2-3 4, J. Temple 1 0-0 2, Gavenus 0 0-0 0, Horazdovsky 5 6-8 16, Siekaniec 0 4-6 4, R. Temple 6 6-11 18. Totals — 14 19-32 47.

SOLDOTNA (52) — Smith 4 1-4 9, Senette 3 0-0 8, Heffner 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 0 2-2 2, Donaldson 0 0-0 0, Jen. Stenga 2 1-2 5, Barker 0 4-5 4, Duffy 4 4-5 12, Blackburn 5 2-3 12. Totals — 18 14-21 52.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (Senette 2). Total fouls — Homer 17, Soldotna 22. Fouled out — Horazdovsky, Blackburn.

Friday boys

STARS 82, MARINERS 57

Homer 13 8 19 17 — 57

Soldotna 19 15 26 22 — 82

HOMER (57) — Stafford 0 3-4 3, Ketelle 0 2-2 2, Leman 4 1-2 12, Tutt 2 0-0 4, Gilbert 3 2-2 8, Treiweiler 2 2-2 8, Layland 1 0-2 2, Fielding 3 4-4 10, McWilliams 3 2-2 8. Totals — 18 16-20 57.

SOLDOTNA (82) — Blossom 6 3-3 16, Carver 6 6-9 19, Besse 5 0-0 10, Syverson 1 0-0 2, Barkman 1 1-4 3, Kohler 6 0-2 17, Roberts 2 4-5 8, Seggerman 1 0-0 2, Shelton 1 3-5 5. Totals — 29 17-28 82.

3-point goals — Homer 5 (Leman 3, Treiweiler 2), Soldotna 7 (Kohler 5, Blossom 1, Carver 1). Total fouls — Homer 22, Soldotna 19. Fouled out — Layland, Fielding.

Saturday girls

STARS 48, MUSTANGS 30

Chugiak 11 5 2 12 — 30

Soldotna 12 13 8 15 — 48

CHUGIAK (30) — Watzke 2 0-4 4, Finch 2 0-0 4, Sayer 1 0-0 2, Clifford 1 1-4 3, Jennings 0 0-0 0, Weiss 1 2-3 4, Schwenne 1 1-2 3, Murphy 2 6-6 10. Totals — 10 10-19 30.

SOLDOTNA (48) — Smith 3 2-3 9, Senette 1 3-4 5, Kennedy 4 1-2 9, Donaldson 0 0-0 0, Jen. Stenga 1 2-2 4, Barker 0 0-1 0, Duffy 2 0-0 4, Blackburn 7 3-3 17. Totals — 18 11-15 48.

3-point goals — Soldotna 1 (Smith). Total fouls — Chugiak 15, Soldotna 18. Fouled out — Barker.

Saturday boys

STARS 59, MUSTANGS 44

Chugiak 7 11 11 15 — 44

Soldotna 13 26 13 7 — 59

CHUGIAK (44) — McAlaevey 4 0-0 8, Spink 2 0-0 4, Lily 0 0-0 0, Ghramin 2 2-4 6, Fullmer 2 0-0 5, Cash 0 1-2 1, Niedermeyer 2 1-1 5, Hewitt 1 0-0 2, Smith 0 2-2 2, Hyslop 4 3-4 11. Totals — 17 9-13 44.

SOLDOTNA (59) — Blossom 2 0-0 5, Grubb 0 2-2 2, Carver 2 0-0 5, Geller 0 2-2 2, Besse 3 0-0 6, Syverson 3 0-1 7, Barkman 0 0-1 0, Kohler 1 2-2 4, Roberts 1 1-2 3, Andrus 1 2-2 4, Seggerman 7 2-3 17, 2 0-0 4. Totals — 22 11-15 59.

3-point goals — Chugiak 1 (Fullmer), Soldotna 4 (Blossom, Carver, Syverson, Seggerman). Total fouls — Chugiak 17, Soldotna 12. Fouled out — none.



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