Soldotna girls topple Kenai

Kardinals find way to hold lead in fourth quarter of boys game

Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2005

 

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  Kenai's Samantha Navarre shoots past Soldotna's Annie Gardner in the first half at SoHi Friday night. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Kenai's Lindsey Keener looks to pass the ball around Soldotna's Marlana McCown and Mikala Smith in the first half Friday at Soldotna.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Soldotna High School girls basketball team got off to a fast start Friday to defeat visiting Kenai Central 52-33 in a Northern Light Conference game at Soldotna.

Also Friday, after trading leads for three quarters, the Kenai boys were able to maintain their advantage in the fourth quarter to secure a 50-42 conference win over the Stars.

"We know they're our rivals, so we wanted to go out there and play our hardest. It was a fun game," said Soldotna's Brittany Howard of her squad's win.

The Stars got off to a quick start and led by eight, 16-8, at the end of the first quarter. While Soldotna was executing well on offense and shooting well from the perimeter, it was the Stars defense that put them in control of the game.

Soldotna defenders were able to anticipate Kenai passes and constantly knocked the ball away from Kenai players, disrupting the Kardinals offense and creating plenty of fast-break opportunities.

"I think we figured out what they were doing down low," Howard said. "... That's one of our main focuses is to play tough defense — that's how you win games."

Howard scored 10 points to lead the Stars while Christa Kennedy netted nine.

"We've got a few players that are versatile inside or outside," Howard said. "Today we were just on (from the outside). We didn't work it into our posts so much, so it was a good thing we were able to shoot outside."

The Kardinals did make a few runs at Soldotna's lead, pulling to within four points, 18-14, on a 3-pointer by Samantha Navarre in the second quarter.

Navarre also opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the Stars' lead to 23-19, but Soldotna always had an answer.

Navarre scored 12 to lead the Kardinals and Kelsey Brewer finished with 10.

"(Soldotna) played very, very well, and we were just a half-bubble off-center of our game. We never could quite get things clicking," said Kenai coach Lee Moore.

Moore said there were some positives on which the team could build.

 

Kenai's Samantha Navarre shoots past Soldotna's Annie Gardner in the first half at SoHi Friday night.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

"We had moments of good ball movement and moments of great hustle at the defensive end. These are some fantastic ladies. They're going to keep working. One bump in the road isn't going to stop them," Moore said.

The Kenai and Soldotna boys game featured nine lead changes and two tie scores in the first half — including five lead changes in the last 1:35 of the second quarter — and two ties and two more lead changes in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, though, the Kardinals managed to stay just ahead of the Stars to notch the win.

"We put our hearts in the game," said Kenai's Brandon Miles of hanging on to the lead down the stretch. "Coach (Jim Beeson) told us that a month ago, we wouldn't have done that. We would have collapsed, but we played hard in the fourth quarter."

Beeson said the Kardinals have improved since the start of the season as they've adjusted to his style of coaching and learned to play as a team.

"Mentally, we've gotten a little tougher. A month ago, if things went bad, we'd just continue to let them go bad instead of doing something about it." Beeson said.

Jordan Jenckes scored 15 for the Kardinals and Kevin Epperheimer poured in 14.

Tony Besse led the Stars with 12 points.

Girls

KENAI (33) — Navarre 4 0-2 12, Keener 1 1-2 3, Foley 1 0-1 2, Dunn 0 0-0 0, McGlasson 1 0-2 2, Calderwood 1 1-2 4, Craig 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Kiel 0 0-0 0, Brewer 4 2-4 10, Steward 0 0-0 0. Totals — 12 4-13 33.

SOLDOTNA (52) — Smith 1 2-2 5, McCown 2 1-3 6, Cleveland 0 1-3 1, Gardner 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 4 0-0 9, Stenga 2 2-2 6, Wilbanks 2 1-2 5, Lindley 0 0-0 0, Howard 3 2-3 10, Bell 0 0-0 0, Barker 0 0-0 0, Marey 3 0-0 6, Denna 0 0-0 0, Blackburn 2 0-0 4, Sanchez 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 9-15 52.

3-point goals — Kenai 5 (Navarre 4, Calderwood), Soldotna 5 (Howard 2, Smith, McCown, Kennedy). Total fouls — Kenai 14, Soldotna 15. Fouled out — McGlasson.

Boys

KENAI (50) — Hansen 0 0-0 0, Saltzgiver 0 0-0 0, Chappell 1 0-0 2, Ellis 0 0-0 0, Epperheimer 5 4-4 14, Miles 4 1-2 9, McLeod 1 4-6 7, Bennett 1 1-4 3, Jenckes 5 5-7 15. Totals — 17 15-23 50.

SOLDOTNA (42) — Turnbull 1 1-2 3, Harp 0 0-0 0, Hilbish 0 0-0 0, Hall 4 0-4 8, Besse 6 0-0 12, Roberts 2 0-0 4, Spindler 3 1-3 7, Hicks 2 2-2 6, Seggerman 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 4-11 42.

3-point goals — Kenai 1 (McLeod). Total fouls — Kenai 14, Soldotna 19. Fouled out — Hicks.



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