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Stars boys, girls defeat Kardinals

Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2006

 

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  Kenai's Kevin Epperheimer passes the ball Saturday night at Soldotna. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna's Austin Roberts shoots over Kenai's Casey Ellis Saturday at Soldotna.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Soldotna High School basketball teams celebrated their senior night with a pair of Northern Lights Conference wins over Kenai Central Saturday at Soldotna.

“It’s nice getting two wins,” Soldotna’s Kelly Seggerman said after the Stars held off the Kenai boys 47-42.

The Soldotna girls posted a nails-on-the-chalkboard kind of win, going 14-for-32 from the foul line but still managing to come back from a 9-0 first-quarter deficit to beat Kenai 41-33.

The Kenai boys managed to jump out to a quick lead on the Stars as Austin McLeod hit for two and Kevin Epperheimer followed with a 3-pointer for a 5-0 edge.

The Stars battled back to tie the score at seven with 1:20 to go in the first quarter, and Seggerman scored a two-point basket to open the second quarter, giving the Stars their first lead of the night. Kenai tied the game at 11 and again at 16 with just under a minute in the half, but Tony Besse hit both ends of a one-and-one, then hit a two-point basket to give the Stars a 20-16 halftime lead.

Kenai would twice narrow the deficit to one point in the fourth quarter. Epperheimer hit a pair of technical free throws with under four minutes to play to cut Soldotna’s lead to 35-34, and Tyler Chappell got two points in the lane to make it 37-36 with two minutes to go.

 

Kenai's Kevin Epperheimer passes the ball Saturday night at Soldotna.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Brian Blossom completed a three-point play to extend the Stars’ lead to four, and Soldotna went 7-for-8 from the foul line in the closing 1:33 to secure the win.

“What helped us tonight was our defense. We didn’t score that many points,” Seggerman said. “... We’ve lacked hustle on defense, but tonight, everybody seemed quicker. Kenai didn’t have any open shots. Every shot was contested.”

Besse led Soldotna with 18 points, including an 8-for-8 effort from the foul line. Seggerman finished with nine for the Stars.

Epperheimer scored 23 for the Kardinals and was 10-for-10 from the foul line.

Soldotna girls 41, Kenai 33

The Kardinals opened the game on a 9-0 run, but the Stars battled back to take the win.

The Stars trailed by eight points at the half, 23-15, but opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run to take a 26-23 lead.

Kenai tied the game at 26 as Lindsay Keener hit a foul shot and Kyla Steward put back a rebound for two points to end the quarter.

Soldotna regained its lead to start the fourth quarter. The Kardinals pulled back to within a point, 34-33, with 1:15 left to play, but Shelly Barker drained a 3-pointer with 45 seconds to play to give the Stars some breathing room.

Barker hit the shot after the Stars did a nice job working the ball inside and then kicking it back out — one of the few times during the game they were able to patiently work the ball around the Kenai end of the gym.

“In the first half we were struggling to complete plays. In the second half we calmed down, started thinking about what we were doing and making better passes,” Barker said.

Barker, a sophomore, said she had some practice hitting big shots late with the JV squad, but still was a little nervous to find the ball in her hands with the clock ticking down.

“I was excited on the inside. I didn’t really show it on the outside, but my heart was just racing,” Barker said.

Barker said the Stars were just trying to win for their seniors, Liz Denna and Ashley Bell. Denna had 10 points for the Stars, as did Paige Blackburn. Samantha Navarre scored 13 to lead the Kardinals.

Girls

STARS 41, KARDINALS 33

Kenai 9 14 3 7 — 33

Soldotna 3 12 11 15 — 41

KENAI (33) — Navarre 5 0-2 13, Keener 1 7-12 9, Foley 2 0-0 4, Moore 0 0-0 0, McGlasson 1 0-2 2, Kiel 0 0-0 0, Craig 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Steward 1 0-1 2, Brewer 1 0-0 3. Totals — 11 7-17 33.

SOLDOTNA (41) — Smith 0 4-10 4, Cleveland 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 2 2-3 6, Stenga 1 1-4 3, Bell 0 0-0 0, Barker 2 3-4 8, Denna 4 2-8 10, Blackburn 4 2-3 10. Totals — 13 14-32 41.

3-point goals — Kenai 4 (Navarre 3, Brewer), Soldotna 1 (Barker). Total fouls — Kenai 22, Soldotna 19. Fouled out — Keener, Blackburn.

Boys

STARS 47, KARDINALS 42

Kenai 7 9 12 14 — 42

Soldotna 7 13 13 14 — 47

KENAI (42) — Saltzgiver 0 0-0 0, Chappell 2 2-2 6, Gustkey 0 0-0 0, Ellis 1 1-4 3, Toombs 1 0-0 2, Beeson 0 0-0 0, Blanning 0 0-0 0, Epperheimer 6 10-10 23, Ward 0 0-0 0, Faumui 0 0-0 0, Miles 1 0-0 2, McLeod 3 0-0 6, Chimphalee 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 13-16 42.

SOLDOTNA (47) — Lybrand 0 0-0 0, Hepner 0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 1-2 1, Bri. Blossom 2 3-4 7, Martin 0 0-0 0, Besse 5 8-8 18, Carver 0 4-4 4, Roberts 3 0-2 6, Wilbanks 1 0-0 2, Seggerman 3 3-9 9. Totals — 14 19-29 47.

3-point goals — Kenai 1 (Epperheimer). Total fouls — Kenai 22, Soldotna 16. Fouled out — Chappell. Technical fouls — Chappell, Roberts.



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