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SoHi boys can't score upset of SkyHi

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2003

As Soldotna High School boys basketball coach Bill Withrow put it, not bad for a bunch of 5-foot-9 guys.

The Stars had a chance to win it at the end, but the host Skyview Panthers got a pair of clutch free throws from Matt Travers to secure a 46-42 Region III/4A win over Soldotna Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.

The Soldotna girls weren't quite so dramatic, pulling away from the Panthers with a second-quarter run en route to a 60-39 win.

"That's all we can ask for," Withrow said after his Stars outhustled a much taller and more talented Skyview squad and nearly pulled off an upset. "That's one thing we do -- we will fight. We may not come out on the good side of the win-loss column, but we'll battle."

The Stars led 4-2 after the first quarter -- the only field goals of the frame were a 3-pointer by Cody Michal for the Stars and a layup by Adam Cooper for the Panthers -- and Soldotna trailed by just five points, 17-12, at the half.

Cooper took matters, and the ball, into his own hands in the second half, though, scoring 14 of his game-high 23 points after the break to keep the Panthers on top.

"Soldotna just flat-out wanted it more than we did," said Skyview coach Dave Blossom. "They were scrapping, setting the picks and making the cuts. The only thing that saved our team is that we had Cooper. They couldn't stop Cooper, but they stopped everyone else."

The Panthers led by as many as seven early in the fourth quarter, but a layup by Ricky Simpson with eight seconds left in the game pulled the Stars to within a point, 43-42.

 

Skyview's Sara Garrant works her way past Soldotna's Erin Wolfe in the fourth quarter Saturday at Skyview.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna fouled on Skyview's inbounds play, sending Travers to the line to shoot the double bonus. Travers hit the first shot but missed the second, and the Stars came up with the rebound.

Skyview came up with a steal, though, as the Stars tried to push the ball up the court, and Soldotna was forced to foul once more to stop the clock.

This time, Travers hit both of his free throws to give Skyview a four-point lead with less than a second left on the clock.

Soldotna enters next week's region tournament in Homer with the No. 4 seed from the Southern Division and a 1-9 mark in region play. The Stars will play top-ranked Wasilla in the opening round.

Skyview, the division's third seed, finishes 3-7 in region play and will face Colony in the opening round.

"Everyone says, 'You got the win,' and it's nice to go into regions with a win, but it'd be nicer to go into there playing a very good game," Blossom said.

Michal led the Stars with 13 points.

The Skyview girls were able to keep pace with the Stars through the first quarter, but Soldotna began to heat up in the second quarter.

"We wanted to come out, play hard and get a big win to send us into regions," said Soldotna's Hillary Zobeck. "We tried to be aggressive on offense and on defense and work on our entire game as we wrap up the regular season."

The Stars were able to take advantage of a mismatch under the basket, feeding Rachel Besse for 17 points, while Jennifer Senette hit for 14 points from the perimeter. Zobeck finished with 12 points for the Stars, and Tuter credited her rebounding as one of the keys to the victory.

The Panthers, down 10 at the half, never got closer than seven the rest of the way. Laurel Creel led the Skyview effort with 16 points while Jenny Carpenter netted 14.

Soldotna heads into the region tournament with the top seed in the Southern Division, a 9-1 region mark and a school-best 23-1 overall record. The Stars will play Kodiak in the opening round.

Skyview takes a 4-6 region record and the division's No. 2 seed into the tournament and will play either Colony or Palmer in the first round. Tournament play begins Thursday in Homer.

Girls

STARS 60, PANTHERS 39

Soldotna 12 18 14 16 -- 60

Skyview 10 10 7 12 -- 39

SOLDOTNA (60) -- Jones 0 0-0 0, Senette 5 2-3 14, Wolfe 2 2-2 6, Christensen 2 0-0 6, Foster 1 0-0 3, Besse 7 3-5 17, Syverson 1 0-0 2, Howard 0 0-0 0, Needs 0 0-0 0, Zobeck 4 4-7 12, Breakfield 0 0-0 0, Hartman 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 22 11-17 60.

SKYVIEW (39) -- Verba 0 0-0 0, Gephardt 1 2-2 4, Faigle 0 0-0 0, Carpenter 6 2-4 14, Dalebout 0 0-0 0, Bonebrake 0 0-2 0, Colvin 1 2-2 5, Creel 8 0-0 16, Fay 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 16 6-10 39.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 5 (Senette 2, Christensen 2, Foster 1), Skyview 1 (Colvin). Total fouls -- Soldotna 13, Skyview 13. Fouled out -- none.

PANTHERS 46, STARS 42

Soldotna 4 8 18 12 -- 42

Skyview 2 15 17 12 -- 46

SOLDOTNA (42) -- Stone 0 0-0 0, Baker 1 3-3 6, Michal 6 0-0 13, Horn 0 0-0 0, Sizemore 3 0-0 8, Hall 0 2-3 2, Horwath 2 2-2 6, Simpson 3 1-2 7, Hicks 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 13 8-10 42.

SKYVIEW (46) -- Shields 3 1-3 7, Travers 1 3-4 5, Mataresse 1 1-2 3, Cushway 0 2-2 2, Rowell 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Vanhoose 0 0-0 0, Kosydar 2 2-6 6, Cooper 9 5-9 23. Totals -- 16 14-26 46.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 4 (Sizemore 2, Michal, Baker). Total fouls -- Soldotna 17, Skyview 13. Fouled out -- none.



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