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Wasilla boys cruise past Kenai for title

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Kenai Kardinals boys basketball team made it as far as the finals of the Region III/4A tournament before hitting the wall that is the Wasilla Warriors. In their last stand in the tournament, Kenai was unable to stand up to the Warriors, losing 67-37 and taking second place in the region.

"They came out on fire," said Kenai head coach Rich Bartolowits of the Wasilla team. "I watched a team that could've beaten anybody they played this year."

Joel Dunn, who led the Kardinals with 11 points, began the game with a steal from Wasilla's Ray Schafer that Kenai's Marcus Webster converted into the Kardinals' first bucket. The Kardinals would not score again until after a Wasilla nine-point run.

The Warriors earned at least seven points to every three Kenai made in the first quarter, ending the period 21-9. Wasilla's Adam Fitt-Chappell and Schafer both scored eight of their respective 22 points, with Fitt-Chappell netting two buckets from beyond the 3-point arc.

Kenai repeated its offensive showing on the scoreboard in the second period, as Webster got back on the board with two foul shots and a 3-pointer. But the Kardinals, normally stingy with their pressure defense, were unable to find a solution to Wasilla's giants, Schafer and Fitt-Chappell, who were able to penetrate for points, rebounds or trips to the foul line. Schafer had 12 boards for the night and Fitt-Chappell had eight.

"With those guys in the middle, it's hard to match up to Wasilla," Bartolowits said.

Wasilla coach Chuck Martin said he had his team prepared for Kenai's massive attack on defense.

"We were just sharp," he said. "We tried to get Adam looks early and we tried to keep them from getting shots early like they did last night against Colony."

At the half, the score was 32-18. Although the Kardinals showed minor flashes of brilliance, snatching passes where they could and lofting treys as they came open -- Ian Foley hit two 3-pointers back-to-back -- Kenai could not get many of their shots to fall.

As the region runner-up, the Kardinals will go to the Alaska Schools Activities Association 4A State Tournament at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage this Thursday through Saturday. Bartolowits acknowledged that his team could face opponents as tough as Wasilla, but he indicated that his team was proud of its accomplishment and was not going to lay down in Anchorage.

"We worked hard to get to this spot," he said. "And we're happy to be here. Our goal was getting to state. We're not going up there thinking we're going to lose. We're going to go up there and play hard."

WARRIORS 67, KARDINALS 37

Kenai 9 9 14 6 --37

Wasilla 21 14 22 10 -- 67

KENAI (37) -- Pault 0 0-0 0, Alexander 1 0-0 2, Foley 2 1-3 7, Webster 3 4-5 11, Carreon 0 0-0 0, Steiner 0 0-0 0, Schooley 1 0-0 2, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Dunn 7 1-2 15, Myers 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-10 37.

WASILLA (67) -- Scheirman 1 0-0 2, McCaul 0 0-0 0, Roth 0 0-0 0, Shorey 0 0-0 0, Faeo 1 0-0 3, Webb 5 0-0 10, Fitt-Chappell 7 6-8 22, Furman 0 0-0 0, Collins 0 0-0 0, L. Schafer 3 0-0 6, Heibel 0 2-2 2, R. Schafer 10 2-3 22. Totals -- 27 10-13 67.

3-point goals -- Kenai 3 (Foley 2, Webster 1); Wasilla 3 (Fitt-Chappell 2, Faeo 1). Fouls -- Kenai 14, Wasilla 8. Fouled out -- none.

Colony boys 59, Palmer 41

The Palmer Moose and the Colony Knights squared off for rights to the third-place title and the third qualifying spot in the region for state. Colony took the prize, defeating the Moose 59-41.

The Knights ended the first half with 29 points behind treys from Landon Swank and Antoine Spencer. Palmer was unable to get back into the game after scoring only 14 points before the break.

Palmer was led in scoring by Zach Pettit, who had 18 points. Colony's leading netter was Brandon Hyslip with 22 points.

KNIGHTS 59, MOOSE 41

Palmer 9 5 16 11 -- 41

Colony 20 9 17 13 -- 59

PALMER (41) -- Forsyth 4 3-4 11, Hill 2 1-2 7, Bentti 1 2-3 4, Pettit 7 3-3 18, Dubois 0 0-0 0, Ratcliff 0 0-0 0, Bryant 0 0-0 0, Nielsen 0 0-0 0, Devon 0 1-3 1. Totals -- 14 10-15 41.

COLONY (59) -- Swank 3 0-0 8, Reza 6 3-7 15, Hotchkiss 0 0-0 0, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Coffman 1 0-0 2, Rose 0 0-0 0, Spencer 4 1-1 10, Christensen 1 0-0 2, Hooser 0 0-0 0, Hyslip 11 0-0 22, McBride 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 26 4-8 59.

3-point goals -- Palmer 3 (Hill 2, Pettit 1); Colony 3 (Swank 2, Spencer 1). Fouls -- Palmer 13, Colony 15. Fouled out -- none.

Palmer 71, Kodiak 48

The Moose knocked the defending state champions out of contention with a monster fourth quarter from the free throw line. Palmer defeated Kodiak, earning a chance to play for third place, and the final spot in the State Tournament.

With Kodiak trailing 43-37 entering the final quarter, Palmer was able to buckle down at the charity stripe. The Moose hit 19 of 21 foul shots to outscore the Bears 28-15 in the final eight minutes.

Zac Forsyth led the Moose with 18 points while Zach Pettit netted 10 points. Robbie Johnson was a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

Phil Nisbett, James Bailie and Nino Pabillore each scored nine points for the Bears.

MOOSE 71, BEARS 48

Kodiak 13 8 12 15 -- 48

Palmer 14 16 13 28 -- 71

KODIAK (48) -- Nisbett 4 1-2 9, Agmata 0 1-2 1, Kilborn 2 0-0 4, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Bailie 3 2-2 9, Kinsley 3 0-0 6, Pabillore 4 0-0 9, Mortenson 2 1-2 5. Totals -- 20 6-10 48.

PALMER (71) -- Johnson 0 6-6 6, Forsyth 6 5-6 18, Hill 2 3-4 9, Bentti 1 3-5 5, Prins 0 0-0 0, Pettit 5 2-3 13, Dubois 1 3-4 6, Ratcliff 1 0-0 2, Bryant 0 0-0 0, Ammu 0 0-0 0, Nielsen 3 3-3 10, Devon 0 2-2 2. Totals -- 19 27-33 71.

3-point goals -- Kodiak 2 (Bailie, Mortenson), Palmer 6 (Hill 2, Forsyth, Pettit, Dubois, Nielsen). Total fouls -- Kodiak 26, Palmer 11. Fouled out -- Kilborn.

Colony 65, Skyview 46

The Skyview boys lost by leaving the consolation semifinals and a chance to play for third-place and a trip to the state finals on the line. The foul line, that is.

"We were 6 for 23 from the free-throw line," said Panthers head coach Mark Blossom.

Those missing 17 points would have kept Skyview in the game.

"We had them within eight points in the fourth quarter," Blossom said. "Then we had to start fouling, and they hit their free throws. They made seven in the fourth quarter. That kept them in the game."

Colony opened the game with an 18-10 lead in the first period that Skyview could never quite overcome. Skyview made up ground on the Knights before the half, then was outscored 21-10 in the third quarter.

"We played hard and didn't give up," Blossom said. "Right until the end."

Colony's Landon Swank and Skyview's Josh Rowell led all scoring with 24 points apiece.

KNIGHTS 65, PANTHERS 46

Skyview 10 12 10 14 --46

Colony 18 9 21 17 --65

SKYVIEW (46) -- McGarry 2 1-4 5, Shields 0 1-2 1, Malquist 1 0-0 2, Lewis 0 0-3 0, Geller 4 1-2 9, Smith 0 0-0 0, Kosydar 2 1-4 5, Cooper 0 0-0 0, Rowell 11 2-8 24. Totals -- 20 6-23 46.

COLONY (65) -- Swank 8 3-4 24, Reza 6 4-6 16, Manasco 0 0-0 0, Hotchkiss 0 0-0 0, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Coffman 0 1-1 1, Rose 0 3-4 3, Spencer 4 0-0 9, Christensen 2 0-0 4, Hyslip 3 0-2 6, McBride 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 24 11-17 65.

3-point goals -- Skyview 0; Colony 6 (Swank 5, Spencer 1). Total fouls -- Skyview 20, Colony 19. Fouled out -- none.



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