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Kardinals split with Soldotna

Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2000

Try as they might, the Kenai Central High School boys basketball team couldn't quite get over the hump Friday in a Region III/4A game at Soldotna High School.

The Stars took an early lead, and every time the Kardinals were able to cut into the deficit, Soldotna got a couple of steals, a fast-break basket or a clutch 3-pointer to stall the Kenai rally, preserving a 59-53 win.

In the girls game, the Kardinals held Soldotna to one field goal in the first half and Kenai's Cory Hershberger was lethal from the perimeter for a 54-26 victory.

The Soldotna boys took a 17-5 lead in the first period, fueled by six points from the paint by Paul John Zobeck. Mike Metteer capped the first-quarter run with a 3-pointer to give the Stars a 12-point lead.

"We came in knowing that we had Kenai for our senior night, and we'd be at Skyview for theirs," said Soldotna's Sean Kelley. "We knew if we could get a couple of wins, we'd go into the Region III tournament as the best team on the peninsula.

"That was the goal."

The Kardinals battled back from their early deficit as Kyle Oldring found his range in the second period. Oldring scored 10 points in the period for the Kardinals, including a pair of buckets from beyond the arc.

Marcus Webster chipped in with a basket, and Willie Castillo opened the second quarter with a 1-for-2 trip to the foul line, hit a layup late in the quarter and drilled a 3-point shot from way downtown to send the Kardinals into the locker room down by just six points, 31-25.

"I think we did OK," Castillo said. "We missed some little layups here and there that turned out to be critical, but we did pretty well passing the ball. We had a good talk at halftime, and coach said he wanted us to pass the ball a little more."

The Stars opened the second half with five quick points, but Kenai was able to match Soldotna's pace in the early part of the period.

"We sort of let up a little bit when we should have kept pushing," said Soldotna's Metteer. "It seems like we got scared when they started closing the gap. We didn't want to lose."

Zobeck sandwiched a pair of baskets around a 3-pointer by Oldring to give the Stars a 40-32 lead, then made it a 10-point margin with a turnaround jumper in the lane.

Kenai pulled to within four points, 55-51, with 1:02 left in the game after a pair of free throws by Oldring.

Soldotna's Shaun Williams gave the Stars a six-point cushion with two free throws of his own.

The Kardinals couldn't get a shot to drop on their next trip down the floor, but they got the ball back after their press forced the Stars into a backcourt violation with 24 seconds to play.

Kenai's inbound pass went astray, though, and Kelley hit another pair of foul shots to seal the win.

Kenai's Josh Overturf sank a basket as time expired to make the final deficit six points.

Kenai girls 54, Soldotna 26

Hershberger opened the scoring in the girls game with a 3-pointer 32 seconds in, and the Kardinals continued to get her the ball in good shooting position.

Hershberger scored the Kardinals first 10 points and had 12 of her team's 14 points at the end of the first quarter.

The Stars, meanwhile, made several trips to the foul line, but could not get a shot to fall from the floor until just 3:28 remained in the first half, when Gretta Besse got a layup to drop through the net.

Hershberger, rolling off some well-executed screens, added four more points in the second quarter and finished the game with 18 points.

KARDINALS GIRLS 54, STARS 26

Kenai 14 11 14 15 --54

Soldotna 2 7 4 15 --26

KENAI (54) -- Hershberger 7 3-5 18, Arbelovsky 1 2-2 4, Canady 0 1-2 1, Shinn 3 1-2 7, Polak 1 1-2 3, Reilly 0 2-6 2, Montgomery 2 3-4 7, Ka. Knudsen 0 2-2 2, Stewart 1 1-2 4, Smith 1 0-0 2, Edwards 2 0-0 4, Kr. Knudsen 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18 17-29 54.

SOLDOTNA (26) -- Zobeck 0 3-4 3, Penner 0 4-6 4, Breakfield 1 0-4 2, R. Besse 0 1-4 1, G. Besse 3 4-6 10, Dittrick 0 0-2 0, Carpenter 1 0-0 2, Senette 0 4-4 4, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Gensel 0 0-0 0, Wolf 0 0-0 0, Kerrone 0 0-0 0, Van Sandt 0 0-0 0, Spady 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 5 16-30 26.

3-point goals -- Kenai 1 (Hershberger).

STARS BOYS 57, KARDINALS 53

Kenai 5 20 10 18 --53

Soldotna 17 14 14 14 --57

KENAI (53) -- Reemstma 4 2-3 10, Castillo 3 5-7 12, Oldring 7 4-4 21, Webster 2 0-0 4, Burck 0 1-2 1, Overturf 2 0-0 4, n/a 0 1-2 2. Totals -- 17 13-18 53.

SOLDOTNA (57) -- Zobeck 10 0-2 20, Christensen 2 0-0 4, Williams 3 2-2 9, Gardner 1 0-0 2, Demske 1 0-0 2, Metteer 1 0-0 3, Nettles 1 3-4 5, Kelley 3 2-2 10, Hughes 1 0-0 2, n/a 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 23 7-10 57.

3-point goals -- Kenai 4 (Oldring 3, Castillo), Soldotna 4 (Kelley 2, Metteer, Williams).



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