One team lived up to its name, while another team played like rebels with a cause Thursday night at Skyview in the Senior All-Star Games.
The event gathers senior basketball players from around the Kenai Peninsula in order to give them a chance to close out their high school careers by letting their hair down and having some fun.
"I loved it," said Homer senior Brittney Gaethle, who was on the all-tournament team at the Palmer Showdown. "I've dedicated a lot of time in my life to basketball. It's been at least eight or nine years.
"I came up here because I thought this would be fun and it was."
In the girls game, Nikiski senior Laura Berdahl, who was second team all-state her junior year and first team all-state her senior year, scored 20 points to lead the West Side Rebels past Hot Trash Can 9 69-66.
In the boys game, a steal and layup by Soldotna senior Nick Christensen, a member of the all-region team in 2001, iced a 105-102 victory for the Winning Team over Stank-Onya Express.
Berdahl got the Rebels off to a quick start, scoring 12 points in the first half.
"Laura Berdahl is a great competitor," said Gaethle, who finished with 12 points for Hot Trash Can 9. "I can remember playing against her in seventh or eighth grade in boroughs and beating them by a couple of points."
Berdahl also impressed Community Christian School senior Sherah Packa. Since CCS is a Class 2A school and Nikiski is a Class 3A school, it was the first time Packa and Berdahl played together.
"She's got some really nice moves," said Packa, who was on the all-tournament team at the District 3/2A tournament this year. "She was very good."
Packa, who scored five points for the Rebels, said this was a great opportunity for her to see how she stacked up against players from bigger schools.
"It helps me to know I can play with some of these players," Packa said. "We play a lot of their jayvee teams, so we normally don't get to play against their best players."
Another unique attribute of the All-Star games is the carefree atmosphere. In the second half, Sheila Kupferschmid, the coach of the Rebels, stepped in for referee Randy Sparks, while Sparks took his place on the Rebels bench in place of Kupferschmid.
"The refs were messing around and stepping into the game, and extra players were coming onto the floor," Packa said. "That de-stressed the game. It made it fun."
Added Seward senior Erin Carr, who will play volleyball at the University of Alaska Fairbanks next year: "There was absolutely no pressure out there. It was a nice change from the season."
Homer seniors Sara Brooks and Cassiar Cousins also contributed to the Rebels' victory, with Cousins hitting for 12 points and Brooks nailing 10. Skyview senior Amanda Bauer, an all-region player this year, led Trash Can with 17 points.
In the boys game, the Express were trailing the Winning Team 103-102 with 19 seconds remaining and had possession of the ball. Christensen, an MVP of the First City Prep Shootout and SoHi Tipoff, poked the ball away from the Express to a teammate. The teammate passed it back to him as Christensen streaked down the floor for a layup.
Christensen led the Winning Team with 19 points, while others contributing to the Winning Team were Seldovia senior Jeremiah Dillon with 18 points, Nikiski senior Chris Roofe with 17 points, Skyview senior Storman Norman with 12 points, Kenai Central senior Jason Magsayo with 11 points and Ninilchik senior Chris Kruzick with 10 points.
"In 2A basketball, there's not always a good player at every position," said Dillon, who will attend Stanford University next fall. "Tonight, there were good players everywhere on the floor."
Dillon said he will continue playing basketball, but probably not for Stanford, which has one of the top college programs in the country. "I don't think they're looking for a 6-foot-1 power forward," he said.
There were two dunks in the game. Homer senior Colby Kincaid sent down a stiff two-hander, while Cook Inlet Academy senior Chet Nettles leaped off the back of teammate Mike Metteer for a crafty one-handed slam in the second half.
WEST SIDE REBELS 69,
HOT TRASH CAN 9 66
WEST SIDE REBELS (69) -- Brittney Leiter 1 0-0 2, Jessica Russo 2 0-0 4, Sam Carlon 3 0-2 6, Sara Brooks 4 0-0 10, Erin Carr 3 2-4 8, Cassiar Cousins 4 4-7 12, Sherah Packa 2 1-1 5, Sheena Demaris 1 0-0 2, Laura Berdahl 5 9-9 20.
HOT TRASH CAN 9 (66) -- Danica High 3 0-0 6, Jessi Reilly 3 0-0 6, Liz Roedl 0 0-0 0, Kristen Zimmerman 2 1-1 6, Katie Kier 1 0-0 4, Carrie Fisher 3 0-0 8, Brittney Gaethle 4 0-2 12, Amanda Bauer 7 1-1 17, Courtney Kier 3 0-0 7, Liz Roedl 0 0-0 0.
Halftime score: Hot Trash Can 9 37, West Side Rebels 35.
WINNING TEAM 105,
STANK-ONYA EXPRESS 102
WINNING TEAM (105) -- Ariel Haunschild 3 0-4 6, Nolan Rose 3 0-0 8, Phillip Jones 1 0-0 3, Nick Christensen 7 2-3 19, Storman Norman 6 0-0 12, Chris Roofe 8 1-2 17, Jason Magsayo 5 0-0 11, Chris Kruzick 5 0-0 10, Jeremiah Dillon 9 0-0 18.
STANK-ONYA EXPRESS (102) -- Matt Burdick 7 0-0 18, Ryan Mallett 2 0-0 5, Shaun Williams 6 0-0 12, Josh Smith 1 0-0 2, Pat Hardina 2 0-0 4, Chet Nettles 9 0-0 25, Mike Metteer 4 0-0 13, Brad Burck 2 0-0 4, Colby Kincaid 5 0-0 13, Jake Elhard 1 0-0 2.
Halftime score: Winning team 49, Stank-Onya Express 49.
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