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Kenai Central girls edge Soldotna

Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010

Sammy Hull hit the go-ahead 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter, and the Kenai Central High School girls basketball team defeated host Soldotna 61-53 Thursday night, taking one more giant step toward clinching the top seed from the Southern Division for next week's Northern Lights Conference tournament.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Kenai's Samantha Hull tries to keep control of the ball away from Soldotna's Casey Coupchiak on Thursday at SoHi.

Also Thursday, the Soldotna boys defeated Kenai, 70-66.

"I'm very proud of my kids," said Kenai girls coach Stacia Rustad. "They fought off the waves that SoHi brought at us. They were able to do that, and able to do it with our top scorer on the bench."

Indeed, Kenai's Raquel Young found herself in early foul trouble and scored six points, four of those coming after she re-entered the game in the final quarter.

However, other players stepped up for the Kardinals, a fact Rustad was quick to point out.

"We did the little things, made big shots, made smart plays -- that's key, especially with Raquel sitting on the bench," Rustad said.

Rustad cited quality contributions off the bench from Allie McGahan, Bailey Beeson and Stevie Dunlap, and said guard Sammy Hull did just what she's expected to do in running the team.

Kenai jumped out to an early 7-2 lead as the Stars struggled to find their shooting touch, both from the field and the foul line. Soldotna was able to generate points in the second quarter off its high-energy press, and Karen Senette tied the game at 19 with a 3-pointer, then gave the Stars their first lead with a jumper from just inside the arc with 3:20 left in the half.

The Kardinals regrouped and ripped off an 11-5 run to close the half, taking a 30-26 lead to the locker room.

"They were pressuring pretty hard," Hull said. "They knew I was always taking the ball down the floor. We had to get the other guards to take the ball down the floor. Once we figured that out, we broke the press and were fine."

The Kardinals were caught in another frenetic Soldotna run in the third quarter, as Senette drained a 3-pointer to give the Stars a 36-35 lead five minutes in to the half. Soldotna extended its lead, and Megan Hardy completed a three-point play to close the quarter with a 43-37 Stars advantage.

Once on top, the Stars were unable to maintain the intensity.

"I thought we played really hard. ... We started flat, and it took a lot of our energy to get back in the game," said Soldotna coach Mark Tuter.

"We lost focus, and let them get some easy layups," Senette said. "We spent a lot of time getting our lead back."

The Kardinals chipped away at the Stars lead in the fourth quarter. McGahan started 10-point Kenai run with a baseline drive and a reverse layup. Morgan Wensley drained a three to pull Kenai to within a point, 49-48, and Hull hit the basket that put the Kardinals up for good.

Hull said that when her squad gets rolling, the players feed off of each other.

"It's a chain effect. Once someone shoots a 3, we're going to come right back and do another one," Hull said.

Wensley led the Kardinals with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Hull finished with 16.

Tuter said his squad is adjusting to playing without a pair of key players who are out with injuries.

"We've had to change a few things up," Tuter said.

Senette said she and her teammates would focus on maintaining a consistent level of intensity as they look forward to the region tournament. Soldotna travels to Wasilla to close out the regular season Saturday.

"If we meet (Kenai) again at regions, hopefully we can pull one out," Senette said.

Senette netted 25 for the Stars, and Kaillee Skjold rolled in 15, including nine points during the Stars' third-quarter run.

Soldotna recognized eight seniors during pregame festivities. Lydia Forbes, Senette, Casey Coupchiak, Jenna Jensen, Shelby Dykstra, Sierra Ackerman, Hardy and Kaitlyn Barkman suited up for their final home game at Soldotna.

Kenai will host Skyview today. The girls game start time has been moved up to 4:30 p.m., with the boys game to start at 6:30 p.m. Senior night activities will take place between games.

Soldotna boys 70, Kenai 66

Soldotna overcame an early Kenai lead to win on senior night.

The Kardinals led 32-22 at halftime, but Soldotna outscored Kenai 48-34 in the second half to notch the win.

Boomer Blossom led the Stars with 38 points -- 32 of those coming in the second half. Blossom was 15-of-16 from the free throw line and drained 10 field goals, including three 3-pointers. Blaine Carver notched 16 points for the Stars.

Billy Kiefer led the Kenai scoring effort with 21 points. Tyler Spalding scored 16 points.

Prior to the game, the Stars recognized seniors Tyler Hahn, Dylon Story, Blossom, Zach Jackson, Carver, DJ Stilchen and Braylon Blades.

Kodiak girls 46, Skyview 42

The Bears came back from a 37-30 deficit after three quarter to earn a Northern Lights Conference victory over the host Panthers.

The Bears led 25-22 at halftime, but Casee Penrod scored 10 of her game-high 22 points in the third quarter as Skyview surged into the lead. Jaxon Hill added 10 points for Skyview.

Ninilchik girls 45, Nikolaevsk 14

The host Wolverines cruised to a Peninsula Conference victory on Thursday.

Lindsay Schnabl had 16 points to lead the Wolverines, while Lindsey Rohr pitched in 11. Both Sarah Holub and Nianiella Dorvall had six points for the Warriors.

Nikolaevsk boys 55, Ninilchik 46

The Warriors notched a Peninsula Conference victory over the host Wolverines on Thursday.

Christopher Kalugin had 18 points for the Warriors, while Mark Fefelov had 17 points.

For Ninilchik, Jefferson Klapak pumped in 25 points, while Hunter Cooper had 10 points.

Girls

Kardinals 61, Stars 53

Kenai 15 15 7 24 -- 61

Soldotna 9 17 17 10 -- 53

KENAI (61) -- Hull 5 4-8 16, McGahan 1 0-0 2, L. Beeson 3 0-1 6, B. Beeson 0 0-0 0, Flanagan 1 2-4 4, Wensley 7 4-6 22, Dunlap 1 2-2 5, Young 3 0-0 6. Totals -- 21 12-21 61.

SOLDOTNA (53) -- Forbes 1 0-0 2, Senette 8 6-8 25, Sholin 0 1-2 1, Coupchiak 1 0-0 2, Jensen 0 1-2 1, Ackerman 0 0-2 0, Duke 1 1-2 3, Hardy 1 2-3 4, Skjold 7 1-5 15, Barkman 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19 12-24 53.

3-point goals -- Kenai 7 (Wensley 4, Hull 2, Dunlap), Soldotna 3 (Senette 3). Team fouls -- Kenai 16, Soldotna 19. Fouled out -- Hardy.

Wolverines 45, Warriors 14

Nikolaevsk 0 4 2 8 --14

Ninilchik 21 7 10 7 --45

NIKOLAEVSK (14) -- Kalugin 0 2-6 2, Payne 0 0-0 0, Holub 3 0-0 6, P. Dorvall 0 0-0 0, N. Dorvall 3 0-0 6, K. Kojin 0 -0 0, N. Kojin 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 6 2-6 14.

NINILCHIK (45) -- Motoyama 3 0-2 6, Klein 0 1-2 1, Schnabl 6 4-8 16, B. Anohonak 0 0-0 0, Rohr 5 1-2 11, E. Ehlers 1 0-0 2, A. Ehlers 1 0-0 2, S. Anohonak 0 0-0 0, Smith 3 1-4 7, Mahoney 0 0-1 0. Totals --19 7-19 45.

3-point goals -- none. Team fouls -- Nikolaevsk 14, Ninilchik 7. Fouled out -- none.

Bears 46, Panthers 42

Kodiak 12 13 5 16 --46

Skyview 13 9 15 5 --42

KODIAK (46) -- Yamat 1 4-9 6, Garcia 5 2-2 14, Taan 1 0-0 2, Hiatt 0 0-0 0, Grupp 4 6-7 14, Gronn 0 1-4 1, Tusitino 2 1-2 5, Gregory 1 2-6 4, Juble 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 14 16-30 46.

SKYVIEW (42) --Jones 0 0-1 0, O'Guinn 1 0-0 3, Penrod 8 3-8 22, Stewart 1 2-5 4, Cooper 0 0-0 0, Mercier 0 0-0 0, Hill 2 6-12 10, Lamborn 1 0-0 3. Totals -- 13 11-25 42.

3-point goals -- Kodiak 2 (Garcia 2); Skyview 5 (Penrod 3, O'Guinn 1, Lamborn 1). Team fouls -- Kodiak 21, Skyview 21. Fouled out -- Penrod, Lamborn.

Boys

Stars 70, Kardinals 66

Kenai 14 18 19 15 -- 66

Soldotna 10 12 20 28 -- 70

KENAI (66) -- Lowe 1 2-3 4, Hull 2 0-0 4, Kiefer 6 7-8 21, Spalding 6 4-4 16, Risung 1 1-2 4, Reilly 3 1-1 8, Hayes 3 0-0 7, Wensley 0 0-0 0, Rogers 0 2-2 2. Totals -- 22 17-20 66.

SOLDOTNA (70) -- Hahn 0 0-0 0, Story 0 3-4 3, Blossom 10 15-16 38, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Carver 5 6-6 16, Stilchen 1 0-1 2, Skjold 0 0-0 0, Smithwick 0 0-0 0, Withrow 0 0-0 0, Barnes 1 0-0 2, Bosick 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 20 25-29 70.

3-point goals -- Kenai 5 (Kiefer 2, Risung, Reilly, Hayes), Soldotna 5 (Blossom 3, Withrow 2). Team fouls -- Kenai 21, Soldotna 19. Fouled out -- none.

Warriors 55, Wolverines 46

Nikolaevsk 8 15 13 19 --55

Ninilchik 7 3 13 23 --46

NIKOLAEVSK (55) --McCollum 0 0-0 0, Klaich 0 0-0 0, Trail 0 0-0 0, A. Fefelov 0 0-0 0, M. Fefelov 6 2-4 17, Yakunin 2 2 2-3 6, Ivanov 2 4-4 9, Kalugin 5 8-12 18, Konovalov 1 0-2 2, Mametieff 1 0-0 3. Totals -- 17 16-25 55.

NINILCHIK (46) -- Cooper 4 2-6 10, Riley 0 0-0 0, Je. Klapak 10 3-5 25, Ju. Klapak 0 0-0 0, Goins 1 0-0 2, Covey 0 0-0 0, S. Bennett 4 1-7 9, Wheeler 0 0-0 0, Q. Bennett 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 19 6-18 46.

3-point goals -- Nikolaevsk 5 (M. Fefelov 3, Ivanov 1, Mametieff 1), Ninilchik 2 (Je. Klapak 2). Team fouls -- Nikolaevsk 16, Ninilchk 19. Fouled out -- Cooper.



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