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Skyview cagers can't stop rebounding Warriors

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Just like they do for everybody else, things got a little better Tuesday than they were Monday for the Wasilla boys basketball team.

The third-ranked Warriors, upset Monday at Homer in their first day of a two-game road trip, rebounded for a 49-39 victory over Skyview Tuesday in Region III/4A play.

In the late game, the Wasilla girls, also ranked third in the state, used their superior height to roll to a 72-24 victory.

The teams were at Skyview Tuesday because games earlier this season were postponed when avalanches plugged up the highways running to Anchorage.

Last season, Wasilla had to make a similarly awkward Monday-Tuesday road trip to Fairbanks when games were scrubbed due to extreme cold.

"All I know is that we've had this happen the last two years, and we're 0-2 on Monday and 2-0 on Tuesday," said Wasilla boys coach Chuck Martin. "We talked last night about not making excuses.

"We're struggling offensively right now."

Wasilla didn't exactly tickle the net cords with reckless abandon Tuesday, but they did get hot enough to make a game-deciding 10-2 run to start the second half.

The game started slowly as both teams diligently ran their offenses until they found open shots, which tight man-to-man defenses on both ends of the floor were not very generous in yielding.

Martin did not start Morgan Leeds and Ben Luer, two of Wasilla's three top scorers, because he wanted to be patient and run the offense.

"We went through a lot of stats, and one of the things that showed is that if we don't get a lot of touches on offense, good things don't happen to us," the coach said.

There were six ties or lead changes in the first half, but the biggest came with two seconds left in the second quarter, when Michael Leeds nailed a 3-pointer to give Wasilla a 23-22 lead and momentum heading into the second half.

At the start of the third, Wasilla's patience on offense began to pay off as it got 10 points -- eight of which came off layups -- in the first three minutes of the half. Nick Buzby relentlessly crashed the offensive boards during the stretch and had six points, four of which came on offensive rebounds.

"We were moving the ball around and making more passes," said Buzby, who paced Wasilla with 18 points. "They were getting mixed up with all the movement, and we got free for offensive rebounds."

The spurt ended when Buzby's layup gave the Warriors a 33-24 lead with 5:00 left in the third.

"It was disappointing to give up a 3 at the end of the quarter when we could have been leading at halftime," Skyview coach Erling Hofseth said. "Then they came out and scored 10 points on baskets underneath or layins. That's pretty hard to take."

Skyview would make several runs at the Warriors in the fourth quarter, but each time Wasilla would stiffen its defense.

To start the fourth, Justin Swanson cashed in a free throw and a layup, and Dan Davis, who had game-high scoring honors with 21 points, feathered in a sideline jumper to cut the gap to 39-33 with 6:10 remaining.

Later in the quarter, Skyview's Nolan Rose cut the edge to 42-37 with a steal and layup, but Buzby immediately answered with a layup. Davis came right back with a pair of foul shots with with 3:10 remaining, but Wasilla held the Panthers scoreless the rest of the game.

"We played hard defense tonight in the second half," Buzby said. "We were looking like our good old selves in the second half."

Despite the loss, Hofseth saw a number of positives, including more flow on offense as his son, Jason, played his third game after missing most of the season due to injury.

"The effort was there," Erling Hofseth said. "Wasilla is just a really tough team. You have to play an excellent game to beat them."

Wasilla girls 72, Skyview 24

Brittney Kroon, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, was too much for a smaller Panthers squad. Kroon had 22 points and the Warriors dominated Skyview.

"The kids made every effort to play a foot bigger than they are, but it wasn't enough," Skyview coach Joe Trujillo said.

The coach saw several positives in the game, including Stephanie St. Clair and Sam Carlon hitting two 3-pointers apiece. St. Clair paced Skyview with 14 points.

"I credit our kids for handling their trap," Trujillo said. "We passed to the open area when it was available.

"They were just too big. They got two or three shots on offense, and we got, maybe, one."

Renaye Lavin had 17 points, Tonya James had 16 points and Alina Minnick had 13 points for Wasilla.

WARRIORS BOYS 49, PANTHERS 39

Wasilla 8 15 16 10 --49

Skyview 11 11 6 11 --39

WASILLA (49) -- J. Buzby 3 0-2 6, Nunley 0 0-0 0, Rucker 0 0-0 0, Faeo 0 2-2 2, Luer 1 1-2 4, N. Buzby 8 2-7 18, Lund 0 0-0 0, Leeds 6 2-2 15, Sinor 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 20 7-15 49.

SKYVIEW (39) -- Hofseth 1 0-0 2, Burdick 1 0-1 2, Rose 3 1-1 7, Norman 0 0-0 0, Reynolds 0 0-0 0, Heatherly 1 0-0 2, Swanson 2 1-2 5, Davis 8 5-6 21. Totals -- 16 7-10 39.

3-point goals -- Luer, Leeds. Total fouls -- Wasilla 12, Skyview 16. Fouled out -- Hofseth.

WARRIORS GIRLS 72, PANTHERS 24

Wasilla 23 13 21 15 --72

Skyview 5 5 11 3 --24

WASILLA (72) -- Adcock 0 0-0 0, James 6 1-1 16, Lavin 7 0-0 17, Jenks 0 1-2 1, Minnick 6 3-6 13, Gehring 0 0-0 0, Jillson 0 0-0 0, Hajduk 0 0-0 0, Kroon 11 0-0 22, Shirack 1 0-0 2, Wininger 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 25 5-9 72.

SKYVIEW (24) -- Hanson 0 0-0 0, St. Clair 6 0-0 14, Sa. Carlon 2 0-0 6, Thurmond 2 0-0 4, Sh. Carlon 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Bixby 0 0-0 0, Kier 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 10 0-0 24.

3-point goals -- Lavin 3, James 2, St. Clair 2, Sa. Carlon 2. Total fouls -- Wasilla 9, Skyview 11. Fouled out -- none.

Homer splits with Wasilla

The Mariners boys knocked off Wasilla, ranked third in the latest prep poll, Monday 55-51. Also Monday, the Warriors girls dropped Homer 52-38.

Homer's boys, who had the lead at the end of every quarter, were keyed by a balanced scoring attack as four players finished in double figures. Sean Haynes dumped in 15, while Richie Crum chipped in 11 and Corey Boone and Michael Garcia contributed 10 apiece.

For Wasilla, Ben Luer rolled up 15 points, while Justin Buzby finished with 11 and Nick Buzby had 10.

In the girls game, the Warriors ended the first quarter with an 11-4 lead and didn't spend much time looking back after that.

Wasilla's Alina Minnick paced all scorers with 16 points, while Brittney Kroon chipped in 14 and Renaye Lavin pitched in 11.

Sheena Cundiff dropped 10 points on the Warriors, and was the only Homer player to reach double figures.

WARRIORS GIRLS 52, MARINERS 38

Wasilla 11 11 12 18 --52

Homer 4 8 13 13 --38

WASILLA (52) -- Adcock 1 0-0 2, James 2 1-4 5, Lavin 3 3-7 11, Jenks 0 0-0 0, Minnick 4 8-12 16, Hayes 1 1-2 3, Kroon 6 2-4 14, Wininger 0 1-4 1. Totals -- 17 16-33 52.

HOMER (38) -- Eller 1 3-4 5, Scalzi 0 0-0 0, High 0 1-2 1, Trimble 2 1-2 6, Meek 3 0-0 7, Case 0 0-0 0, Parkinson 1 0-0 2, Brooks 0 6-8 6, Cundiff 3 4-8 10, Stapel 0 1-2 1, Sloth 0 0-0 0, Gaethle 0 0-1 0. Totals -- 10 16-26 38.

3-point goals -- Lavin 2, Trimble, Meek. Total fouls -- Wasilla 19, Homer 26. Fouled out -- Jenks, Cundiff, Gaethle.

MARINERS BOYS 55, WARRIORS 51

Wasilla 9 15 13 14 --51

Homer 14 14 11 16 --55

WASILLA (51) -- J. Buzby 4 3-5 11, Nunley 0 0-0 0, Rocker 0 0-0 0, Feo 2 0-0 4, Luer 6 2-3 15, N. Buzby 5 0-2 10, Lund 0 0-0 0, Leeds 3 1-2 7, Sinor 2 0-0 4. Totals -- 22 6-12 51.

HOMER (55) -- Garcia 4 2-6 10, Steiner 4 1-2 9, Calhoun 0 0-0 0, Burns 0 0-0 0, Boone 4 2-3 10, Crum 5 1-3 11, Wilcox 0 0-0 0, Haynes 5 4-6 15. Totals -- 22 10-20 55.

3-point goals -- Luer, Haynes. Total fouls -- Wasilla 19, Homer 12. Fouled out -- none.



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