The Kenai Central High School girls basketball team punched its ticket to the state tournament Saturday, winning two games -- the consolation semifinal and the third-place game -- in one day to secure the No. 3 spot at the Region III/4A tournament at Kodiak.
The Soldotna boys followed the same path to their third-place finish and state tourney berth, defeating Wasilla 37-24 in the consolation semifinal and then coming back to beat Homer 51-26 in the third-place game.
The Kodiak boys held off Palmer to claim the tournament title while the Wasilla girls battled Colony to a 29-23 victory for Region III bragging rights.
The Kenai girls defeated Soldotna in a defensive battle in the consolation semifinal, pounding out a 28-21 win. Kenai defeated Palmer 50-32 in the third-place game.
The Kardinals were able to get the job done with defense, holding the Moose to just 11 points in the second half. Kenai led 28-21 at the half but had jumped out to a 40-27 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Karli Knudsen scored 19 points to lead the Kardinals against Palmer, including three 3-pointers and a 4-for-4 day from the charity stripe. Jamie Montgomery and Erica Shinn each scored eight points.
In their early game, Kenai trailed Soldotna 14-10 at the half, but the Kardinals went on to outscore the Stars 18-7 in the second half. Shinn netted 14 points while Knudsen and Jessi Reilly each scored six points for the Kardinals. Rachel Besse scored 10 points for the Stars while Gretta Besse netted four points.
The Soldotna boys ran away from the Mariners in their third-place game, taking a 31-10 lead at the half. Sean Kelley paced the Stars with 16 points while Mike Metteer chipped in with 12 points, Shaun Williams scored 10 points and Nick Christensen added seven points.
Corey Boone led the Mariners with 12 points.
Soldotna defeated Wasilla in the consolation semifinal, led by Kelley's 12 points.
The Stars led 13-8 at the half and extended their lead to 21-14 after three quarters. Soldotna put the game away with its 16-point fourth quarter.
The Homer boys made it to the third-place game by beating Colony 55-54 in the morning consolation quarterfinal. Four Mariners scored in double digits -- Colby Kincaid led the team with 15 points, Skylar Burns netted 11 points and Boone and Royce Holm each scored 10 points.
KODIAK BOYS 68, PALMER 66
With 21 points from Nick Billings and 20 from Geoffrey Agmata, the Kodiak Bears were able to hold off the Palmer Moose for the Region III/4A title.
Palmer put together a big first quarter, outscoring the Bears 22-11, but Kodiak pulled to within four points, 34-30 by halftime. The Bears eclipsed the Moose by the end of the third quarter and held on for the wild win.
Zac Forsyth scored 21 points for the Moose while CJ Hooker netted 17 and Zach Pettit scored 14 points.
WASILLA GIRLS 29, COLONY 23
Wasilla defeated Colony for the Region III/4A title.
Kelly Tompkins, Marsha Schirack and Brittney Kroon each scored eight points for the Warriors while Kelly Quinn scored eight and Kristina Klapprich netted seven for the Knights.
PALMER GIRLS 51, SKYVIEW 32
Palmer bounced the Panthers from the tournament in the consolation semifinals.
The Moose put together a big run in the second period, outscoring Skyview 25-6 and forcing the Panthers to play catch-up for the rest of the game.
Amanda Bauer paced the Panthers with 18 points while Tami Callison scored 17 for the Moose.
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