Wasilla girls outlast Homer

Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2005

March Madness invaded Soldotna High School as the Homer Mariners girls basketball team lost a double overtime thriller to the Wasilla Warriors 60-54 in the championship game of the Northern Lights Conference tournament.

The Mariners, underdogs in their first championship game in more than a decade, were going for a big upset as they jumped out to an early lead on the first-seeded Warriors in front of a large crowd.

"We never played in a championship game before," Homer senior point guard Bailey Lowney said. "The game was just so intense, but a lot of fun."

Lowney and the Mariners shot a sizzling 8-of-11 from the floor in the first quarter to hold a 20-8 advantage on the Warriors going into the second quarter. Despite turning the ball over five times in the second quarter, Homer was able to stretch its lead to 32-16 with 1:41 left in the first half, following a 3-pointer from Kayla Creamer.

"I'm proud of the girls for not getting freaked out from being down by 16 (points)," Wasilla girls coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax said.

In the third period, Homer's three opening possessions resulted in three turnovers which allowed Wasilla to close within 34-25 with 4:21 left in the game. Homer committed seven turnovers in the period, but Wasilla was unable to close the gap completely as it shot a dismal 1-of-12 from the floor. Wasilla went into the fourth quarter down 40-29 after Kaillee Pollack scored on a layup with only seven seconds left.

Homer was unable to hit a shot from the floor in final period, though, and managed only four points as Wasilla knotted the game 44-44 at the end of regulation. Neither team was able to make a shot in final 1:44 to send the game into its first overtime.

"We started to play the game by possessions (in the second half and in the overtime periods)," Hebert-Truax said. "Homer kept hitting some big shots though to keep the game going."

Wasilla's aggressive defense was a key component in getting back in the game as Homer committed 24 turnovers.

The first overtime was highlighted by crisp passing and clutch shots, including a one-handed pass from the foul line by Lowney to a streaking Allison Horazdovsky for a quick layup with 40 seconds left. The shot gave Homer a 49-47 lead and Lowney added a free-throw with 11 seconds left, but Wasilla's Ashley Semler drained a 3-pointer with two seconds left for a 50-50 tie to send the game into its second overtime.

In the second overtime, Wasilla took an early lead with several free-throws and behind the aggressive play of Megan Stearman they managed to hold a 57-53 advantage over Homer with 1:22 left. Homer was forced to foul to stop the clock in the final minute, but was unable to convert on the offensive side as they dropped the game.

"The girls played their hearts out," Homer girls coach Meghan Murphy said, "It's tough to lose when you can isolate several plays or missed shots that keyed their (Wasilla) win.

"We played an awesome game last night, too, so it may have prepared us for tonight," Murphy added, referring to how her team jumped out to their early lead.

Horazdovsky led all scorers with 18 points, while Lowney added 11 for Homer. Pollack and Creamer each netted nine for the Mariners before fouling out.

Stearman led Wasilla with 17 points and Hillarie Putnam added 16.

Colony girls 43, Palmer 37

Kelcy Joynt's 12 points led Colony to a win over Palmer for the third spot to state from the Northern Lights Conference.

Colony outscored Palmer 12-6 in the final period to pick up the 43-37 victory. Palmer's Catrina Horthe led the Moose with 10 points.

Palmer girls 45, Skyview 37

Palmer ended the Skyview girls basketball team's season Saturday at Soldotna High School with a 45-37 win.

After an 18-8 deficit by the end of the second quarter, the Panthers were unable to recover, despite scoring 29 points in the second half. Shelly Heffner scored 11 points to lead the Panthers and Anna Blake pitched in 10.

Tasha Lee-Gilmore paced Palmer with her game-high 13 points as Palmer advanced from the third-place quarterfinal game.

Colony girls 45, Kenai 43

The Kenai Kardinals girls basketball dropped a close 45-43 decision Saturday to the Colony Knights in a third-place quarterfinal game at Soldotna High School.

After being outscored 13-6 in the third period, Kenai scored 18 points in the fourth quarter but came up short, marking the end of their season.

Sam Navarre led the Kardinals with 10 points and Lindsey Keener added eight, while Kelcy Joynt netted 10 points to lead the Knights.

Girls championship

WARRIORS 60, MARINERS 54 2OT

Wasilla 8 12 9 15 6 10 — 60

Homer 20 14 6 4 6 4 — 54

WASILLA (60) — Semler 2 0-1 6, A. Wesser 5 2-2 12, J. Brown 3 2-2 8, Putnam 3 8-14 16, A. Brown 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Stearman 8 1-6 17, L. Wesser 0 1-2 1, Carter 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 14-27 60.

HOMER (54) — Bornheimer 1 0-0 2, Gruber 0 0-0 0, Pollack 3 3-4 9, Creamer 4 0-1 9, Conley 0 0-0 0, Luebbert 0 0-0 0, Horazdovsky 7 1-3 18, McKinstry 1 1-4 3, Siekaniac 0 0-0 0, Lowney 2 5-9 11, Temple 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 10-18 54.

3-point goals — Wasilla 2 (Semler 2); Homer 5 (Horazdovsky 2, Lowney 2, Creamer). Total fouls — Wasilla 21, Homer 22. Fouled out — A. Brown, J. Brown, Stearman, Creamer, Pollack.

Girls Third-place

Colony 7 16 8 12 — 43

Palmer 10 11 10 6 — 37

COLONY (43) — Robinson 2 0-0 6, Joynt 3 5-6 12, Spoth 2 1-5 5, Pfile 1 2-4 4, Christensen 3 2-3 8, Class 0 0-0 0, Bladwin 0 0-0 0, Matson 0 0-0 0, Walsh 3 2-4 8. Totals — 14 12-22 43.

PALMER (37) — Lee-Gilmore 2 0-1 5, Miranda 0 0-0 0, Berberich 2 2-2 6, D. Cox 1 1-2 3, M. Cox 0 0-0 0, Heck 2 1-2 7, Swetzof 0 0-0 0, Horthe 4 2-3 10, Ratclif 1 4-4 6. Totals — 12 10-14 37.

3-point goals — Colony 3 (Robinson 2, Joynt); Palmer 3 (Heck 2, Lee-Gilmore). Total fouls — Colony 13, Palmer 17. Fouled out — Spoth.

Girls Third-place quarterfinals

MOOSE 45, PANTHERS 37

Palmer 4 14 16 11 — 45

Skyview 6 2 18 11 — 37

PALMER (45) — Lee-Gilmore 5 0-1 13, Miranda 0 0-0 0, Berberich 0 5-6 5, D. Cox 2 0-0 4, Sreain 0 0-0 0, M. Cox 1 2-2 4, Heck 2 2-2 7, Hall 0 0-0 0, Swestof 1 0-0 2, Hautte 1 0-1 2, Houser 1 0-0 2, Rattclif 2 2-2 6. Totals — 15 11-13 45.

SKYVIEW (37) — Heffner 4 3-4 11, Thornton 0 0-0 0, M. Fay 0 2-4 2, Van Ryzin 1 3-4 5, Dreifuerst 1 0-0 2, Blake 3 3-4 10, Smith 0 0-0 0, Shadura 2 1-5 5, A. Fay 0 2-4 2, West 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 14-25 37.

3-point goals — Palmer 4 (Lee-Gilmore 3, Heck); Skyview 1 (Blake). Total fouls — Palmer 20, Skyview 18. Fouled out — none.

KNIGHTS 45, KARDINALS 43

Colony 10 9 13 13 — 45

Kenai 4 15 6 18 — 43

COLONY (45) — Robinson 2 2-2 8, Joynt 3 2-2 10, Hotchkiss 0 0-0 0, Spoth 3 1-4 7, Hughes 0 0-0 0, Tanner 0 0-0 0, Pfile 3 2-2 8, Christensen 0 0-1 0, Class 0 0-0 0, Baldwin 1 0-0 2, Matson 0 0-0 0, Walsh 4 2-5 10. Totals — 16 9-16 45.

KENAI (43) — Navarre 2 6-6 10, Keener 3 2-4 8, Dunn 0 0-0 0, McGlasson 1 3-6 5, Peterson 1 2-2 4, Calderwood 1 3-4 6, Craig 1 2-2 4, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Moore 0 0-0 0, Brewer 2 2-2 6, Steward 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 20-26 43.

3-point goals — Colony 4 (Robinson 2, Joynt 2); Kenai 1 (Calderwood). Total fouls — Colony 18, Kenai 17. Fouled out — Spoth, Navarre.



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