Soldotna sweeps Skyview

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Soldotna Stars and Skyview Panthers boys and girls basketball teams clashed Saturday night at Soldotna High School.

The Soldotna boys held off a strong second-half rally to beat the Panthers 57-49, while the Soldotna girls also kept the Panthers at bay and pulled out a 48-33 win.

Coming off a tough loss the previous night against Kenai, the Skyview boys kept the game in reach all night against the Stars.

“We’re disappointed in the loss, but we came out and fought. We wanted to let people know we’re a tough team and I think that showed tonight,” said Skyview boys coach Shaun O’Shea.

The Stars led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but the Panthers were able to claw their way back into the game in the second half.

“After our big guys got into some foul trouble, the inside kind of opened up and Skyview took advantage,” said Soldotna boys coach Joe Trujillo. “Give Skyview a lot of credit, their second half run was very commendable.”

“We just wanted to make sure to get the Stars’ lead under 10 points,” coach O’Shea added.

Stars captain Tony Besse’s three fouls in the first quarter were an example of how the referees handled the intensity of the game.

Skyview had foul troubles of its own, though, but managed to score inside on Ritchie Shirnberg’s post play and slicing drives from Greg Bosick, both of whom led the Panthers in scoring for the game with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

“I was just playing my game ... it was a real fight, though. I’m glad we came back in the second half,” Shirnberg said.

“(Skyview) definitely picked it up ... they played a tough inside game,” said Soldotna junior Phil Newsome. Newsome came off the bench to pitch in eight points for the Stars.

Both teams ignited offensively, primarily from the free-throw line, in the fourth period, though. After combining to score only 16 points in third, the Panthers pumped in 19 points in the final period and the Stars 17.

The deciding factor came down to the crisp free-throw shooting of the Stars. They shot 10-of-11 from the foul line in the fourth period and sank 23-of-27 for the game. Ex-Panther Brian Blossom did most of the damage from the foul line, sinking all 13 of his free throws, including six in the final three minutes to seal the game.

The senior Blossom finished with a game-high 20 points.

“You just have to show focus and poise at the free-throw line,” Blossom said of his perfect shooting from the foul line.

“Blossom is a great addition to the team, he overcame adversity tonight (against his former team), and showed his soft shooting touch,” Trujillo said.

Referring to playing against his old team, Blossom, like Shirnberg, said he just wanted to play his game and focus on having a good season.

Soldotna girls 48, Skyview 33

Skyview had no answer for Soldotna’s inside game as the majority of Stars’ points came from inside the key in their 48-33 win Saturday.

“We can shoot outside or play tough inside. We also played some great defense and forced quite a few turnovers,” Stars girls coach Mark Tuter said of the game.

The Panthers committed 13 turnovers in the first half and 22 for the game.

Soldotna’s inside game was powered by sophomore Paige Blackburn, who pumped in 14 points in the first half.

“We had some trouble offensively in the beginning, but seemed to find (our shot), especially in the second quarter,” Blackburn said.

The Stars trailed after the first quarter 9-4, but sizzled in the second period by scoring 21 points to open the game and take the lead for good going into the second half.

The Panthers were able to close the Stars’ 25-16 halftime lead to five, 29-24, following a Nicole VanRyzin 3-pointer with just under four minutes to go in the third period, but the Stars answered.

Fueled by two quick baskets by Mikala Smith and Venessa Cleveland, the Stars added to their slim lead and the Panthers were never quite able to rally the rest of the game.

“(Mikala) Smith played an excellent game, she is a tough defender and simply played great tonight,” Tuter said.

Smith finished with seven points but had several steals and had numerous defensive stops.

“We are a little disappointed with how we played, we seemed to go flat. Give credit to the Stars, they played a great game,” Skyview girls coach Wade Marcuson said.

Melissa Fay led the Panthers with 10 points.

Girls

STARS 48, PANTHERS 33

Soldotna 4 21 13 9 — 48

Skyview 9 7 14 3 — 33

SOLDOTNA (48) — Smith 2 3-4 7, McCowen 0 0-0 0, Cleveland 1 0-0 2, Gardner 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 4 1-3 10, Stenga 1 0-0 2, L. Marey 0 0-0 0, Barker 0 0-0 0, Lindley 0 0-0 0, Bell 1 0-0 2, A. Marey 0 0-0 0, Denna 2 0-1 4, Blackburn 9 2-2 20, Madden 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 4-6 48.

SKYVIEW (33) — Mercier 0 0-0 0, Martin 0 0-0 0, Blake 2 2-2 7, Thornton 0 0-0 0, St. Clair 0 0-0 0, West 0 0-0 0, M. Fay 3 2-4 10, A. Fay 0 0-0 0, Van Ryzin 3 0-0 8, Heffner 2 4-5 8. Totals — 10 8-11 33.

Boys

STARS 57, PANTHERS 49

Soldotna 20 14 6 17 — 57

Skyview 12 8 10 19 — 49

SOLDOTNA (57) — Lybrand 1 2-2 4, Hepner 0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Blossom 3 13-13 20, Martin 0 0-0 0, Besse 2 0-2 4, Newsome 3 2-2 8, Carver 1 2-4 5, Roberts 2 3-3 7, Chatham 1 0-0 2. Totals — 16 23-27 57.

SKYVIEW (49) — West 0 0-0 0, Dolifka 0 0-0 0, Rodgers 1 0-0 3, McMilin 1 0-0 2, Duke 1 1-2 3, Foister 2 4-6 8, Bosick 3 8-11 14, Blossom 1 0-0 2, Bellinger 1 0-1 2, Detavernier 0 0-0 0, Singleton 0 0-0 0, Shirnberg 7 1-2 15. Totals — 17 14-22 49.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (Blossom, Carver), Skyview 1 (Rodgers). Total fouls —Soldotna 22, Skyview 24. Fouled out — Foister, D. Blossom.



CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS