Making it look easy: Substitute head coach leads Cordova past Kards

Posted: Friday, December 19, 2008

Chris Ganaski is normally the junior varsity coach for the Cordova girls. Thursday, in the Wolverines' 50-25 victory over Kenai Central in the opening round of the Kenai River Challenge, Ganaski took on a different role -- head coach.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Kenai's Hannah Delaney pressures Cordova's Misa Webber during the second half Friday in the opening game of the Kenai River Challenge.

Or was it merely head cheerleader?

"They did it all," Ganaski said after the Wolverines improved to 2-0 overall this year. "I just had to sit over here and be a cheerleader. They did a great job."

Cordova head coach Virginia Anderson missed the game because she was on vacation to attend the college graduation of her daughter.

An example of just how easy the players made Ganaski's debut as varsity head coach came with the defensive decisions the coach had to make. Cordova opened the game with a 1-3-1 zone and never had to change because the defense was so effective. The Kardinals finished 11-for-58 from the floor.

"We usually have to mix it up," Ganaski said.

On offense, the Wolverines also made things easy on their coach, finishing 16-of-32 from the floor. Olivia Kelly led all scorers with 17 points -- 14 of them coming in the first half when Cordova jumped out to a 28-16 lead. Liz Collins added 12.

"She doesn't quit," Ganaski said of Kelly. "I call her the Energizer Bunny. She's the fastest one on our team and she never slows down."

Kenai coach Ken Felchle certainly was not about to give any of his players the Energizer Bunny tag after the game.

"We've got to be ready to play and to show intensity from the get-go," said Felchle, whose team is now 1-1. "We didn't show the kind of intensity we need to until halfway through the third quarter. I think we were down by 20 points then. It shouldn't take us that long to figure it out."

Cordova jumped out to a 6-0 lead when Misa Webber drained a foul shot with 4:30 left in the first period. The Kardinals kept the game under control until the Wolverines went on a 9-2 run to close the first half and took a 28-16 lead. Kelly had seven points during the spurt.

Cordova finished 7-for-9 from the floor in the second quarter.

"It's one thing to struggle on the offensive end," Felchle said. "What we talked about after the game is we can't struggle like that on defense. We had a bunch of defensive breakdowns where we just lost track of our man."

Felchle said the problems the Kardinals had attacking the zone were numerous. He said the team didn't move the ball well, made lazy passes and the guards didn't look to penetrate. The coach also said many shots were rushed and taken without squaring up to the basket.

Felchle said Kenai is a better shooting team than it showed on Thursday. In its first game of the season, Kenai finished 42 percent from the floor and 72 percent from the foul stripe.

"Hopefully, we got this one out of the way and done," Felchle said. "We just need to learn we have to come out with more intensity."

Nikiski 43, Houston 15

Eliza Chadwick scored nine points, Rachel Romans added eight and Shalene Peek chipped in seven in leading the Bulldogs to an easy win over the Hawks on Thursday in the opening round of the Kenai River Challenge.

Nikiski opened up a 10-2 lead after eight minutes and extended it to 33-2 at halftime after holding Houston scoreless in the second.

Mt. Edgecumbe 49, Soldotna 45, OT

Led by 18 points from Charlea Kewzn and 14 from Tricia Ivanoff, the Braves staved off a late Stars' charge in capturing an overtime victory on Thursday in opening-round action of the Kenai River Challenge.

Soldotna, which was led by Becca Satathite's 14 points and Shelby Dykstra's nine, trailed 34-27 after the third quarter before outscoring the Braves, 15-8, in the fourth in sending the game to the extra session.

But two points apiece from Lainey Beaver, Ivanoff and Kewzn in overtime was enough to propel Mt. Edgecumbe to the exciting win.

The tournament continues Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Soldotna plays Cordova at 4 p.m., Kenai plays Houston at 5:30 p.m. and Nikiski faces Mt. Edgecumbe at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Soldotna plays Houston at noon, Nikiski plays Cordova at 1:30 p.m. and Kenai faces Mt. Edgecumbe at 3 p.m.

The winner of the tournament will be the team with the best record. If a tiebreaker is needed, victory goes to the team that allows the least points throughout the tournament.

Wolverines 50, Kardinals 25

Cordova 12 16 13 9 --50

Kenai Central 8 8 6 3 --25

CORDOVA (50) -- Collins 4 4-5 12, Roemhildt 2 2-2 6, Beedle 1 1-2 3, Webber 0 2-4 2, Phillips 0 0-0 0, Webber 1 3-4 5, O. Kelly 7 2-4 17, Merritt 1 0-0 3, A. Kelly 0 0-0 0, Gilman 0 2-2 2. Totals -- 16 16-23 50.

KENAI (25) -- Hull 1 0-0 3, Delaney 0 0-0 0, Coupchiak 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 1 0-0 2, Ross 1 0-0 2, Flanagan 3 0-0 6, Beeson 0 0-0 0, Wortham 3 1-2 7, Graves 0 0-0 0, Wensley 1 0-0 2, Shaginoff 0 1-2 1, Young 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 11 2-4 25.

3-point goals -- Cordova 2 (O. Kelly 1, Merritt 1); Kenai 1 (Hull 1). Team fouls -- Cordova 11, Kenai 19. Fouled out -- none.

Bulldogs 43, Hawks 15

Houston 2 0 6 7 --15

Nikiski 10 23 6 4 --43

HOUSTON (15) -- Wagner 0 0-0 0, James 0 0-0 0, Acton 2 2-2 6, Thamm 0 0-0 0, J. Shannon 0 0-0 0, Ritter 0 0-0 0, R. Shannon 0 0-0 0, Katzenberger 3 0-0 7, Shaffer 0 0-0 0, Lena J. 1 0-0 2, Sharpe 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 6 2-2 15.

NIKISKI (43) -- Romans 4 0-2 8, A. Chadwick 1 0-1 2, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Carlson 1 1-3 3, E. Chadwick 4 1-2 9, Anderson 2 0-0 4, Parrish 1 0-0 2, Griffel 0 0-0 0, Rorrison 3 0-0 6, Peek 2 3-4 7. Totals -- 19 5-12 43.

3-point goals -- Houston 1 (Katzenberger). Team fouls -- Houston 11, Nikiski 8. Fouled out -- None.

Braves 49, Stars 45, OT

Mt. Edgecumbe 11 9 14 8 7 --49

Soldotna 7 10 10 15 3 --45

MT. EDGECUMBE (49) -- Beaver 1 0-0 2, Redfox 1 2-8 4, Ivanoff 6 2-6 14, Berlin 0 0-0, Weber 0 0-0 0, Binkowskie 0 0-0 0, Cronk 3 0-1 6, No. 33 2 1-3 5, Kewzn 9 0-1 18. Totals -- 22 5-19 49.

SOLDOTNA (45) -- Forbes 0 0-0 0, Sholin 0 0-0 0, Stenga 1 1-3 4, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Dykstra 4 0-0 9, Heffner 3 2-2 8, Hardcastle 0 0-0 0, VanAntwerp 2 0-0 5, Duke 1 0-2 2, Hardy 1 1-3 3, Truesdell 0 0-0 0, Satathite 5 2-3 14. Totals -- 17 6-13 45.

3-point goals -- Soldotna 5 (Satathite 2, Stenga, Dykstra, VanAntwerp). Team fouls -- Mt. Edgecumbe 16, Soldotna 20. Fouled out -- None.



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