Dimond girls notch sweep of Kenai

Dimond girls notch sweep of Kenai

The Dimond girls overpowered the Kenai Central Kardinals in a nonconference meeting Saturday afternoon on Cliff Massie Court in Kenai, and for Lynx head coach Jim Young, it capped another successful trip home.

The Lynx dominated Saturday’s 70-22 contest over Kenai, led by the 29 points from sophomore Alyssa Pili, who has made quite a name for herself on the Alaska prep sports scene already. Last year as a freshman, the six-foot Pili won the Alaska state shot put championship to cap an undefeated track and field season, and that strength has translated well onto the hardwood.

With Pili leading the charge, the Lynx have been a force to be reckoned with this season with an undefeated record in Alaska. Their lone loss this year came against an outside team at a holiday tournament in Las Vegas.

“It’s our style of play, whether it’s the JV or varsity,” Young said about the team’s bullying style on the court. “We have a saying in our program, losers let things happen, while winners make things happen.”

Young and the Dimond girls are annual visitors to Kenai Central, where Young graduated in 1984. It’s that reason why Young gets a friendly welcome when he steps into the gym at KCHS.

With the win Saturday, Dimond improved to 8-1 overall this season, while Kenai dropped to 5-5.

Kenai head coach Cary Calvert said dealing with the dominant Pili is tough for any team, adding that senior Lara Creighton guarded Pili well, but the Dimond center wasn’t the only worry for the Kards.

“The challenge wasn’t to stop Alyssa Pili,” Calvert said. “Our challenge was our weak side rebounding. Once the ball is on the glass, we didn’t have good enough rebounding.”

After a 77-36 win over Kenai on Friday, the Lynx continued to pressure the Kards on Saturday with a relentless full-court defensive press that forced Kenai into multiple turnovers. Combined with shrewd offensive rebounding, the Lynx pulled away early.

“Nobody’s game moves forward until the execution is there,” Calvert said. “The effort was there, but our execution?”

Dimond led 11-2 midway through the first quarter, and Megan Luther capped a string of three straight field goals with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to push the Lynx lead to 25-10 with 5:07 left in the second quarter.

Kenai managed to put in several baskets on well-executed screens, but for every shot Kenai made, Dimond had an answer. Pili laid in a pair of buckets on consecutive possessions with solid rebounds, then scored five straight points to end the first half, which Dimond led 37-14.

In the third quarter, Jaycie Calvert connected on a trey and Brooke Satathite put up a layup to cut the gap to 21 points, but Dimond iced it with an 8-0 run, six of those points coming from Pili.

Calvert finished the game with a team-high seven points for Kenai, while Creighton added six for the Kards.

Dimond girls 77, Kenai 36

The visiting Lynx cruised to a nonconference win Friday.

Alissa Pili poured in 28 points for the Lynx, while Jahnna Hajdukovich had 19, Maya Carle had 12 and Seane Bialo added 10. For Kenai, Abby Beck tallied 12.

Friday girls

Lynx 77, Kardinals 36

Dimond 23 28 11 15 — 77

Kenai 3 15 14 4 – 36

DIMOND (77) — Osborne 2 0-0 4, Bialo 4 0-0 10, Carle 4 3-4 12, Johansen 0 0-0 0, Jones 2 0-0 4, Luther 0 0-0 0, Hajdukovich 8 0-0 19, Brink 0 0-0 0, Pili 12 3-4 28, Shipman 0 0-0 0. Totals — 31 6-8 77.

KENAI CENTRAL (36) — Calvert 2 0-0 4, Miller 0 2-4 2, Machen-Gray 2 0-0 4, Wilson 3 0-0 , Creighton 2 0-2 4, Satathite 1 2-4 4, Beck 4 3-3 12. Totals — 14 7-13 36.

3-point goals — Dimond 7 (Hajdukovich 3, Bialo 2, Carle, Pili); Kenai 1 (Beck). Team fouls — Dimond 16, Kenai 6. Fouled out — none.

Saturday girls

Lynx 70, Kardinals 22

Dimond 17 20 20 13 — 70

Kenai 8 6 7 1 — 22

DIMOND (70) — Osborne 1 0-0 2, Bialo 2 0-0 5, Carle 5 0-0 10, Johansen 0 2-2 2, Jones 1 0-0 3, Luther 3 0-0 7, Hajdukovich 5 1-1 12, Brink 0 0-0 0, Pili 12 5-8 29. Totals 29 8-11 70.

KENAI (22) — Calvert 3 0-0 7, Miller 1 0-0 2, Coghill 1 0-0 2, Machin-Gray 0 0-0 0, Wilson 1 0-0 2, Schneiders 0 0-0 0, Creighton 3 0-0 6, Satathite 1 0-0 2, Beck 0 1-1 1. Totals 10 1-1 22.

3-point goals — Dimond 4 (Bialo 1, Jones 1, Luther 1, Hajdukovich 1); Kenai 1 (Calvert).

Team fouls — Dimond 8; Kenai 8. Fouled out — none.

Dimond girls notch sweep of Kenai

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