Kenai Peninsula teams are guaranteed a girls and boys state berth at the Class 3A Peninsula Tournament on Thursday through Saturday at Grace Christian School in Anchorage. Getting a second berth will be considerably more difficult.
The tournament gets two girls and two boys berths to state. There are no at-large berths in Class 3A.
The conference is made up of peninsula teams Homer, Nikiski, Kenai and Seward, plus Grace Christian.
The Grizzlies are a good bet to snap up berths on the girls and boys sides, where both are the top seed and undefeated in the league.
The Grace girls are 20-2 overall and the closest a conference opponent has gotten to them is 23 points. The Grace boys are 21-2 overall and the closest a conference opponent has gotten to them is 18 points.
On the girls side, Seward is the No. 2 seed, Kenai is the No. 3 seed, Homer is the No. 4 seed and Nikiski is the No. 5 seed.
The Seahawks and Kardinals play in the first round at noon today. The teams split this season, with Kenai winning 39-26 on Jan. 20 and Seward winning 46-42 on Feb. 17. The Kards have been to the last two Class 3A state tourneys, while Seward last went in 2014.
Homer and Nikiski play at 9 a.m. today to see who will move on to face Grace at 6:15 p.m. today. The Mariners own 36-31, 33-27 and 49-31 victories over the Bulldogs this season. Homer last went to state in 2021, while Nikiski qualified for state in 2020 for a fourth-straight year, though the 2020 tourney was not held due to the pandemic.
On the boys side, Kenai is No. 2, Seward is No. 3, Homer is No. 4 and Nikiski is No. 5.
The Kardinals and Seahawks play in the first round at 1:30 p.m. today. Kenai owns 60-28 and 58-29 victories over Seward this season. Kenai hasn’t gone to state since 2012, when the Kards played at the Class 4A level. Seward received an at-large berth to the canceled 2020 tourney.
The Mariners and Bulldogs play in the first round at 10:30 a.m. today, with the winner moving on to face Grace at 7:45 p.m. today. Nikiski beat Homer 48-47, then lost to Homer 53-37, then beat Homer 55-53. The Mariners are looking for a second-straight trip to state, while the Nikiski boys are looking to return for the first time since 2016.
Northern Lights Conference tournament
In Kodiak, both the Soldotna girls and boys will look to find their way back to the Class 4A state tournament for the first time since 2019, when both finished fifth. The NLC tournament wasn’t held in 2020 due to the pandemic, then SoHi didn’t qualify at the 2021 and 2022 tourneys.
The top two girls and boys teams at the tournament earn automatic berths to state. There also are two girls and two boys at-large berths available to state.
The Soldotna girls, the No. 4 seed, open up against No. 5 seed Palmer at 4:45 p.m. today. The Stars own a 52-30 and 53-35 victories over the Moose this season.
The Soldotna boys, the No. 5 seed, play Kodiak at 6:30 p.m. today. The Stars played a pair of close games against the Bears in mid-January — losing 51-49 in overtime, then coming back for a 53-49 victory.
Class 3A Peninsula Conference tourney
at Grace Christian, Anchorage
Game 1 — Homer vs. Nikiski, 9 a.m.
Game 2 — Seward vs. Kenai, noon
Game 3 — Game 1 winner vs. Grace, 6:15 p.m.
Game 4 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 9 a.m.
Game 5 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, noon
Game 6 (championship) — Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 6:15 p.m.
2nd place — Game 6 loser vs. Game 5 winner, noon
Game 1 — Homer vs. Nikiski, 10:30 a.m.
Game 2 — Kenai vs. Seward, 1:30 p.m.
Game 3 — Game 1 winner vs. Grace, 7:45 p.m.
Game 4 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10:30 a.m.
Game 5 — Game 4 winner vs. Game 3 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 6 (championship) — Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 7:45 p.m.
2nd place — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Northern Lights Conference tourney
at Kodiak High School
Game 1 — Palmer vs. Soldotna, 4:45 p.m.
Game 2 — Colony vs. Kodiak, 8:15 p.m.
Game 3 — Game 1 winner vs. ACS, 3:15 p.m.
Game 4 — Game 2 winner vs. Wasilla, 6:45 p.m.
Game 5 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11:45 a.m.
Game 6 (3rd place) — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 11:45 a.m.
4th place — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 3:15 p.m.
Championship — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:45 p.m.
Game 1 — Soldotna vs. Kodiak, 6:30 p.m.
Game 2 — Wasilla vs. Palmer, 3 p.m.
Game 3 — Game 1 winner vs. Colony, 1:30 p.m.
Game 4 — Game 2 winner vs. ACS, 5 p.m.
Game 5 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 6 (3rd place) — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 10 a.m.
4th place — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Championship — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 5 p.m.