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Kenai boys avenge loss to Soldotna

Soldotna girls sweep season series against Region III/4A rival Kardinals

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2003

Both the Soldotna girls and Kenai Central boys showed they can learn from their mistakes Friday at Kenai in Region III/4A play.

The Soldotna girls rolled to a 48-34 victory over the Kardinals, while the Kenai boys blew past the Stars 56-27.

The Soldotna girls moved to 8-1 in the region and have locked up the No. 1 seed in the Southern Division in the region tournament, which begins Thursday in Homer. The Kenai girls dropped to 2-7 in the region.

Meanwhile, the Kenai boys moved to 5-4 in the region and locked up the No. 1 in the Southern Division. Soldotna dropped to 1-8 in the region.

With the victory, the Kenai boys avenged a 60-57 loss to the Stars in early February.

Senior Steve Steiner led the charge for Kenai, scoring 29 points to follow up a 40-point effort last Saturday against Houston.

Steiner hit his first four shots -- two 2-pointers and two 3-pointers -- to help stake Kenai to a 12-0 lead to start the game. The Stars were never in the game after that.

 

Kenai's Dallas Baldwin shoots over Soldotna's Rachel Besse in the fourth quarter at Kenai Friday night.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

After the last loss to Soldotna, Steiner said the Kardinals installed some plays on offense that have helped him score more.

Those plays, along with the motivation of revenge, fueled Steiner's scoring surge Friday.

"In the first game against Soldotna, we didn't play good defense," Steiner said. "We also weren't running our offense too well.

"Soldotna was just unconscious from the floor that night, too."

The Stars couldn't find their shooting touch Friday, going 1-of-12 from the floor in the first quarter.

Kenai coach Rich Bartolowits said he hopes that had something to do with his team's defense.

"Soldotna uses lots of screens on offense," Bartolowits said. "We did a good job getting through those screens and keeping pressure on the ball."

With the Stars struggling on offense, Kenai's offense, led by Steiner, had no problem blowing the game wide open.

"He's always been able to score," Bartolowits said of Steiner. "He's figured out now he doesn't have to force things.

"If they give him the 3-pointer, he can hit that. If they play up on him, he can drive. If they double-team him, he'll find the open man."

The open man Steiner found most often Friday was fellow senior Ian Foley, who hit four 3-pointers en route to 14 points.

Bartolowits also credited Caleb Schooley with a good defensive game. Schooley had 10 rebounds and held Soldotna's Caleb Sizemore scoreless.

Sophomore Ryan Hall paced Soldotna with seven points.

Soldotna girls 48, Kenai 34

When the Kardinals played the Stars in early February, Soldotna allowed Kenai to jump out to a 12-7 lead after the first quarter.

This allowed the Kardinals to spread the floor an be patient with the basketball. After a third quarter in which Kenai stalled and neither team attempted a shot, the Stars were able to pull out the 26-22 victory.

Friday, Soldotna had an 11-10 lead after the first quarter and a 29-18 lead at halftime, so they were able to escape Kenai's stall and score a comfortable win.

"If we got ahead, the plan was to spread the floor and force them to play man-to-man defense," Beeson said. "We could never do that because they got up 7-2 right away."

The biggest thorns in Kenai's side were Soldotna post players Rachel Besse, who had 14 points, and Hillary Zobeck, who had 10 points.

"For the most part, we played good defense," Beeson said. "It wasn't their first shot that hurt us.

"They got too many offensive rebounds."

In the second half, Kenai cut the lead to as low as eight, but each time the Stars answered.

"Every time they had a run tonight, we were able to respond," Soldotna coach Mark Tuter said. "Once we got a little lead, we were able to go to a zone."

Zones can be effective against Kenai because the Kardinals don't have any consistent 3-point shooters.

Senior Dallas Baldwin did her best to thwart Soldotna's zone, slashing to the basket for a game-high 19 points. Baldwin was one of four players to score for Kenai.

"Our problem is we can't get everybody to play well on the offensive end of the floor," Beeson said. "We're a good defensive team, but you're not going to beat a team like Soldotna when you only score 34 points."

Meanwhile, the Stars received points from six different players, including 10 from senior guard Jennifer Senette.

"It was a total team effort tonight," Tuter said. "They all played well."

Girls

STARS 48, KARDINALS 34

Soldotna 11 18 10 9 --48

Kenai 10 8 8 8 --34

SOLDOTNA (48) -- Senette 2 0-0 10, Wolfe 1 2-3 4, Christensen 0 0-0 0, Foster 0 0-0 0, Besse 5 4-4 14, Syverson 2 0-0 5, Howard 2 0-0 5, Denna 0 0-0 0, Zobeck 4 2-4 10, Breakfield 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18 8-11 48.

KENAI (34) -- Saltzgiver 0 0-0 0, Keener 0 1-2 1, Baldwin 7 5-6 19, Dunn 0 0-0 0, McGlasson 0 0-0 0, Steiner 0 0-0 0, Moore 0 0-0 0, McLeod 3 0-0 6, Hall 0 0-0 0, Erin Smith 0 0-0 0, Erica Smith 4 0-0 8. Totals -- 14 6-8 34.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 4 (Senette 2, Syverson 1, Howard 1); Kenai 0. Total fouls -- Soldotna 9, Kenai 11. Fouled out -- none.

KARDINALS 56, STARS 27

Soldotna 3 8 3 13 --27

Kenai 14 15 16 11 --56

SOLDOTNA (27) -- Stone 0 0-0 0, Baker 2 0-0 4, Spindler 2 0-0 5, Michal 2 0-0 5, Horn 0 0-0 0, Chase 0 0-0 0, Sizemore 0 0-0 0, Hall 3 1-2 7, Horwath 0 4-6 4, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Hicks 1 0-2 2. Totals -- 10 5-10 27.

KENAI (56) -- Steiner 10 5-7 29, Chappell 1 0-0 2, Jenckes 0 0-0 0, Foley 5 0-0 14, Craig 0 1-2 1, Villegas 0 0-0 0, Schooley 2 2-2 6, Gemmell 1 0-0 2, Bennett 0 0-0 0, Shinn 1 0-2 2. Totals -- 20 8-13 56.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 2 (Spindler 1, Michal 1). Total fouls -- Soldotna 10, Kenai 9. Fouled out -- none.



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