No. 1 Wasilla teams impress large Kenai crowd

Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2003

Suspenseful, it wasn't. Impressive, it was.

Both the Wasilla girls and boys basketball teams showed a large crowd why they are the No. 1-ranked Class 4A teams in the state Friday night in sweeping host Kenai Central in Region III/4A action.

In the girls game, Trista White scored 26 points to lead the Warriors to a 71-46 victory. The win moved Wasilla to 7-0 in the region and 19-1 overall, while Kenai dropped to 2-5 in the region and 7-11 overall.

In the boys game, the Warriors took a 20-0 lead after the first quarter en route to a 69-36 triumph. The rout left Wasilla at 7-0 in the region and 17-2 overall, while Kenai dropped to 4-3 in the region and 10-8 overall.

In the girls game, Wasilla hit five of its first six shots and forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter to take command of the game early.

A good deal of the hot shooting belonged to White, who ended up bagging six 3-pointers on the evening.

"It always been that if I hit my first two 3-pointers, I get confidence in myself and I just keep hitting 3s," the senior said. "My team sees that, and I just keep getting the ball.

"Plus, they were all good looks. It didn't seem like they had anyone on me."

Kenai coach Jim Beeson agreed with the White-hot shooter on some fronts.

"We had somebody on her a lot of the time," Beeson said. "She was just unconscious."

In addition to nailing jump shots, White also hassled Kenai into numerous turnovers.

"When you put together what she did on offense and defense, I think this is the best game I've seen her play," Wasilla coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax said.

After hitting 9 of 17 from the floor in the first quarter, Wasilla cooled off to 5 of 17 in the second quarter.

This allowed the Kardinals to stay in the game. Although Kenai had 19 turnovers in the first half, when the Kardinals were able to battle through Wasilla's pressure, Kenai got solid looks underneath. The Kardinals finished 12 of 21 from the floor in the first half and trailed 39-26.

In the third quarter, the Warriors rectified their shooting difficulties by getting the ball in to post player Marsha Schirack, who had nine points in the quarter as Wasilla shot 9 of 15 from the floor.

After Kenai's Laura Keener cut the lead to 47-36 on a layup with 1:40 left in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 7-0 run to take control of the game.

With 1:19 left, Beeson was whistled for a technical and Chandice Cronk made two free throws. Schirack scored off the ensuing inbounds play, and the Warriors had a cushy 54-36 lead. With starters Erica Smith and Dallas Baldwin fouled out, Kenai had a tough road back.

Despite the eventual big loss, Beeson was happy with his team for hanging with the Warriors for three quarters, especially since starting point guard Breezy Saltzgiver was out with an injury. This left a good chunk of the ballhandling duties to Keener, a freshman.

"Lindsey is a freshman, but she played well," Beeson said. "Overall, I thought we played well. We played as well as we have all year.

"Wasilla is just a very good girls basketball team."

Laura Moore paced Kenai with 12 points, while Schirack finished with 15 points and Chandice Cronk added 12 points for the Warriors.

Wasilla boys 69, Kenai 36

At 7-foot-0, Wasilla senior center Ray Schafer, bound for the University of Oregon next year on a basketball scholarship, draws a lot of attention.

And Schafer's deft spins to the baseline and graceful reverse dunks certainly did merit the "Wows" they received from the crowd.

But just as impressive is the lackadaisical rate at which points accumulated on the scoreboard for Kenai, which can be an explosive offensive team.

The Kardinals didn't get their first points of the game until 7:26 was left in the second quarter, when Caleb Schooley's free throws made the score 22-2. Kenai went on to score just 17 points in the first three quarters.

"They have a great player in Schafer, but they're also a well-coached team and they are well-schooled on defense," Kenai coach Rich Bartolowits said. "It's just the 7-footer that gets all the attention.

"Early in the first quarter, we wanted to attack them. We tried to attack them, but we didn't have any confidence in what we were doing."

With Schafer, 6-foot-7 sophomore Luke Schafer and 6-foot-7 senior Mason Heibel, Wasilla coach Jason Marvel came into the game knowing his team would dominate underneath.

But he still challenged his guards, particularly Cody Schierman and Buddy Bailey, to stop Kenai guards Steve Steiner and Ian Foley.

Foley finished with three points while Steiner had 14, 12 of which came in the second half. Caleb Schooley added 13 points for Kenai.

"When you can hold the opposing team to seven points in the first half, that's a pretty good defensive effort," Marvel said. "My guys came out ready to play."

Bailey and Schierman also contributed offensively, with Bailey netting 15 points and Schierman adding 10.

Kenai girls 43, Houston 40

Erin Smith had 21 points as the Kardinals picked up a nonconference victory Saturday at Kenai. Kenai moved to 8-11 overall, while the Hawks fell to 5-11 overall.

The Kardinals grabbed a 24-15 lead at halftime and held on despite Houston's comeback.

Kenai boys 89, Houston 50

Steve Steiner scored 40 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead the Kardinals in a nonconference game Saturday. Kenai is now 11-8 overall, while Houston is 5-11.

The Kardinals had a 55-20 lead at halftime. Caleb Schooley had 19 points for Kenai, while Dean Shinn added 10.

Girls

WARRIORS 71, KARDINALS 46

Wasilla 21 13 24 13 --71

Kenai 14 12 12 8 --46

WASILLA (71) -- Haley 1 0-0 2, Brown 0 0-0 0, Tompkins 2 0-0 5, Bulawa 0 0-0 0, Schirack 7 1-3 15, White 10 0-0 26, Lund 1 1-2 3, Cronk 5 2-2 12, Stearman 1 0-0 2, Wesser 0 0-0 0, Mayse 2 2-2 6. Totals -- 29 6-9 71.

KENAI (46) -- Keener 3 0-0 6, Baldwin 2 0-0 4, Dunn 0 0-0 0, McGlasson 2 0-2 4, Moore 5 2-2 12, McLeod 3 0-0 6, Erin Smith 3 0-0 6, Erica Smith 4 0-0 8. Totals -- 22 2-4 46.

3-point goals -- Wasilla 7 (White 6, Tompkins 1); Kenai 0. Total fouls -- Wasilla 10, Kenai 12. Fouled out -- Baldwin, Erica Smith.

KARDINALS 43, HAWKS 40

Houston 13 2 11 14 --40

Kenai 13 11 8 11 --43

HOUSTON (40) -- Tresham 6 0-1 12, Lampham 4 0-0 8, Wood 0 0-0 0, Harvey 0 1-2 1, Dixon 1 1-2 3, Conn 0 2-2 2, Pudwill 4 4-6 12, Bushey 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 16 8-13 40.

KENAI (43) -- Keener 1 4-6 6, Baldwin 1 2-4 4, Moore 0 0-0 0, McLeod 3 0-1 6, Erin Smith 9 3-4 21, Erica Smith 3 0-1 6. Totals -- 17 9-16 43.

3-point goals -- Houston 0; Kenai 0. Total fouls -- Houston 18, Kenai 14. Fouled out -- Harvey.

WARRIORS 69, KARDINALS 36

Wasilla 20 13 18 18 --69

Kenai 0 7 10 19 --36

WASILLA (69) -- Schierman 5 0-4 10, Bailey 5 2-2 15, Roth 2 0-0 4, Champion 1 1-2 4, Gray 1 0-0 3, Cunningham 1 0-0 2, Furman 1 1-1 3, Crane 1 0-0 2, L. Schafer 2 0-0 4, Heibel 4 0-0 8, R. Schafer 6 2-3 14. Totals -- 29 4-12 69.

KENAI (36) -- Steiner 5 2-4 14, Chappell 0 0-0 0, Foley 1 0-0 3, Craig 0 0-0 0, Villegas 0 0-0 0, Schooley 5 3-5 13, Gemmell 2 0-2 4, Shinn 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 13 5-11 36.

3-point goals -- Wasilla 5 (Bailey 3, Champion 1, Gray 1); Kenai 5 (Steiner 2, Schooley 2, Foley 1). Total fouls -- Wasilla 15, Kenai 15. Fouled out -- none.

KARDINALS 89, HAWKS 50

Houston 6 14 17 13 --50

Kenai 22 33 17 17 --89

HOUSTON (50) -- Veit 2 0-0 4, Webb 3 2-2 10, Richey 2 3-4 7, Conner 5 2-3 12, Clemens 4 2-2 10, Irving 2 0-0 4, Rosas 0 0-0 0, Edwards 1 1-2 3. Totals -- 21 10-13 50.

KENAI (89) -- Steiner 16 4-5 40, Chappell 2 0-0 4, Jenckes 1 0-0 2, Foley 2 0-0 6, Craig 1 0-0 2, Villegas 1 0-0 2, Schooley 8 1-2 19, Gemmell 2 0-0 4, Bennett 0 0-0 0, Shinn 5 0-0 10. Totals -- 38 5-7 89.

3-point goals -- Houston 2 (Webb 2); Kenai 8 (Steiner 4, Foley 2, Schooley 2). Total fouls -- Houston 12, Kenai 12. Fouled out -- none.



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