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Panthers edge Kardinals to advance

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003

The Skyview boys put four players in double figures Friday to end the chance of Kenai returning to the state tournament at the Region III/4A basketball tournament at Homer High School.

The Panthers, the No. 3 seed out of the Southern Division, had been defeated twice this season by the Kardinals, the No. 1 seed out of the Southern Division.

However, Skyview picked up the victory to advance it to the third-place semifinals. The Kardinals, the runner-up at the tournament last year, went two and out.

Kenai lived and died by the 3-pointer in the contest. The Kardinals hit 11 3-pointers in the game, including six from Steve Steiner and four from Ian Foley, but in the fourth quarter the trey failed the Kardinals.

Kenai went into the final eight minutes with a 43-42 lead, but the Kardinals couldn't hold the lead when their 3-point stroke deserted them.

Skyview made its mark with a higher percentage shot -- the free throw. The Panthers went 14 of 16 from the charity stripe in the game, including 7 of 8 in the final quarter.

Adam Cooper paced the Panthers with 14 points, while Matt Travers had 13 points, Ryan Geller had 12 points and Matt Matarrese had 10 points, including Skyview's lone 3-pointer. Steiner led all scorers with 23 points, while Foley had 12 and Caleb Schooley pitched in 11.

Homer boys 61, Soldotna 35

The Mariners took a 15-5 advantage after the first quarter and didn't look back in advancing to the third-place semifinals.

Homer, the No. 2 seed out of the Southern Division, ended the season of Soldotna, the No. 4 seed out of the Southern Division.

David Drake paced a balanced Homer attack with 12 points, while Steven Stead and Adam Crum added 10 points apiece. Mark Baker was Soldotna's leading scorer with eight points.

Colony boys 62, Palmer 41

The Knights, the No. 2 seed from the Northern Division, blew past the Moose, the No. 4 seed from the Northern Division, and into the finals. Palmer fell into the third-place bracket.

Colony, which earned a state berth for the second straight year and ninth time in 11 years, grasped control of the game from the outset, jumping to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter and a 37-14 lead at halftime.

The Knights put four players in double figures, while the Moose failed to place a single player in double figures. Joe Reza paced Colony with 14 points, while Jon Elliott had 13 points, Landon Swank had 11 points and Brandon Hyslip contributed 10 points.

Wasilla boys 58, Kodiak 50

The Warriors, the No. 1-ranked team in the state and the No. 1 seed from the Northern Division, withstood a stern test from the Bears, the No. 3 seed from the Northern Division. Wasilla moved to the finals and earned a trip to state for the third time in four years. Kodiak dropped into the third-place bracket.

Kodiak stayed right with Wasilla until midway through the fourth quarter, when a pair of 3-pointers from Buddy Bailey gave the Warriors some separation.

Bailey led all scorers with 22 points, including five 3-pointers. Ray Schafer, a 7-foot player signed to go to the University of Oregon, added 12 points for Wasilla.

The Bears received 12 points from Erich Simpson, 11 points from Ryan Norton and 10 points from Harry Reitze.



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