Friday hoops roundup: Kenai boys topple Colony

All those early season games that saw the Kenai Central boys come up just shy of a win can be put to rest for now.

After losing several games this year that saw them hold late leads, the Kenai boys managed to pull it together when it mattered most Friday night at Cliff Massie Court in Kenai, pulling off a 46-44 upset win over the Colony Knights in a Northern Lights Conference clash.

Marshall Vest, Austin Brazell and Josh Jackman combined to put on a clutch shooting performance in the final minute of gameplay to clinch the win. Vest hit two game-tying layups, Brazell buried a jumper with 24 seconds left to give Kenai its first lead of the game, and Jackman hit the biggest shot of all, banking in a shot off the glass with two ticks left to put Kenai ahead for the final time.

“I got a cut to the basket, had a look and took it,” Jackman said. “It’s a good region win, it’s pretty important to us.”

“Everybody bought in and we got some garbage buckets,” Vest added. “Sometimes you have to do the dirty work and get in there.”

With the win, Kenai went to 3-4 in conference and 10-9 overall. The Kards handed Colony its first Northern Lights Conference loss of the season, as the Knights slipped to 6-1 in conference, 11-7 overall.

For Jackman, a junior, and Vest, a senior, it’s the first time beating Colony in their high school careers. Colony won its previous matchup with Kenai earlier this year 63-56, and the high-powered Knights of the past few years have seemingly had Kenai’s number.

Not this time, however.

“It’s just an unbelievable win for our program,” said Kenai coach Ken Felchle. “We just talked all week, it’s never going to be easy. There’s never going to be a game where we beat one of these division teams by 15 or 20 points.

“This is the best win with this team.”

Jackman led Kenai with 10 points, while Keith Ivy chipped in eight and Garrett Fitt and Vest added seven apiece.

Anton Chamblee scored a game-high 18 points for Colony.

Colony streaked out to an early 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter, but Kenai battled back and continued to just hang with the Knights. The Kards never held the lead through the first three quarters but also never trailed by more than six points.

Colony led 25-21 at halftime, and once the teams returned to the court, the action began resembling a 3-point contest. Ivy hit a corner 3 just 30 seconds into the third quarter, then Chamblee responded with a triple from the top of the arc. Jackman then got in the action with a trey that closed the lead back up to 30-27 midway through the quarter.

Colony escaped the third frame with a 33-30 lead, but Kenai was just getting warmed up. With 5:41 left in the game, Jackman caught a steal and raced down court for a two-handed slam, injecting Cliff Massie Court with much-needed energy and cutting the Knights lead to 36-34.

The game remained close until 60 seconds to go, when Vest charged up the baseline and delivered the layup that tied things up at 39 apiece. 

Joshua James answered for Colony with a layup of his own just 12 seconds later, but Vest returned the favor with a drive to the rim that went in and tied the two teams at 41-41 with 32 seconds left.

Felchle said Vest struggled with shooting and ball handling Friday, but when the time came, Vest stepped up his game.

“He played to win, not not to lose,” Felchle said.

On the ensuing Knights possession, Jackman made the crucial mistake of fouling Chamblee, one of Colony’s best shooters. Chamblee hit 1 of 2 to retake the lead, but Brazell was fouled by a Colony player on the subsequent rebound.

Brazell sunk the first free throw to tie the game once again at 42 each, but missed the second. Connor Johnson, recently back from injury, grabbed the rebound and dished it back to Brazell, who connected on the go-ahead jumper.

Colony worked quickly on its next possession, finding space for Chamblee to drive the lane for a game-tying floater with 15 ticks on the clock.

After his fouling error, Jackman made up for his mistake on Kenai’s next opportunity. His shot from inside the arc banked off the glass and swished through with the scoreboard showing 2.2 seconds.

Felchle said he did not want to call a timeout in the final possession, but nearly did when he saw his team initially struggling to get to the basket.

“I almost called a timeout, but thank goodness I didn’t,” he said.

Felchle said he and his coaching staff had worked the Kenai players hard during the week in practice, making sure they were ready for the big weekend slate of NLC games.

“Coach has been preaching to us all week long, just hard work,” Vest said. “You can’t give up, and I think it really sunk in.”

Colony girls 36, Kenai 26

In the girls game, the Knights locked down on defense in the middle two periods of action to notch a Northern Lights Conference win at Kenai, giving the Knights a season sweep over the Kards.

After Kenai started fast en route to an 8-7 lead in the first quarter, Colony outscored the Kards 19-7 in the second and third quarters helped by Chase Stephens, who scored all of her game-high 11 points for Colony after the first quarter.

Colony improved to 6-1 in conference play and 11-6 overall. Kenai dropped to 3-4 in conference, 5-13 overall.

Against Valley squads this year, Kenai is 0-4, while the Kards have three wins against other NLC opponents. Senior Kenai guard Alexis Baker said the Valley opposition is not unbeatable, but Kenai needs a full 32 minutes of focus to get that elusive win.

“I don’t think Colony is anything spectacular, I just think that we didn’t really show up to play tonight,” Baker said. “We don’t necessarily plan to upset (current top seed) Wasilla, obviously we’d like to, but we just want to play our hardest and see what happens.

“But Colony we’d like to beat.”

Hannah Drury led the Kards with 10 points, while Baker chipped in eight. Baker helped lead another gritty defensive performance by the Kards, but it was offense that hurt the home team.

“We had a hard time breaking their half court press,” Baker said.

Colony coach Jeff Bowker said many of the runs that the Knights had were helped by Kenai’s ball handling. Several drives to the rim ended with the ball getting poked out of Kenai’s grasp and into the hands of the Knights.

“We weren’t scoring points off their defense, we were scoring off their offense,” he said. “We were getting turnovers and our advantage came in those brief runs.”

In the early minutes of the game, Kenai took the lead on a sequence of buckets by Lara Creighton, who managed to lay in a basket, then grab a steal on the Colony inbound pass and knock down a jumper, all in the final 20 seconds of the quarter.

“We didn’t execute that well in the first half, and that’s what we talked about,” Bowker said. “They executed better in the second half, creating space so Chase (Stephens) could get looks.”

Colony led 17-10 at the half, then immediately built on that in the third quarter. Sophomore guard Alex Carlton stole the ball right after the second half whistle and dished it to Amanda Smith, who laid it in for an easy bucket just eight seconds into the third quarter.

The Knights continued to thrive on Kenai turnovers and extended their lead to 26-11 midway through the third quarter, but Kenai wasn’t quitting yet.

Down to the 4:10 mark of the fourth quarter, Drury brought down the rebound on an Abby Beck 3-pointer miss and converted the layup to close the lead to 30-21.

A pair of made free throws by Drury with 1:40 left cut the gap to 32-25, but that would be as close as the Kards would get. Smith and Stephens combined to hit four foul shots in the final 1:19 to seal the win for Colony.

Wasilla girls at Soldotna, 6 p.m.

The Wasilla girls burst out of the gates Friday night at Soldotna High School, outscoring SoHi 51-14 by the third quarter to cruise to a conference victory.

Leya DePriest and McKenna Dinkel led the Warriors with 11 points apiece, while Lindsey Wong powered the Stars with 11 as well.

Wasilla boys 42, Soldotna 31

The Warriors notched an NLC victory Friday night in Soldotna, getting 10 points from Isaac Houck.

Timmy Smithwick led the Stars with 14 points. 

Wasilla led an early defensive battle 19-13 at halftime, but did not quite distance itself until the fourth quarter, when the Warriors outscored the Stars 13-7.

Nikiski girls 41, Houston 40

A free throw by Avery Kornstad provided the difference Friday night in Nikiski as the Bulldogs held on to win a Southcentral Conference clash over Houston.

A late triple by Makayla Moore — her only points of the game — nearly undid Nikiski’s efforts, but the Hawks could not overcome the 12-2 scoring effort by Nikiski in the third quarter. Houston rallied to outscore the Bulldogs 18-14 in the final eight minutes.

Kornstad and freshman Kelsey Clark fueled Nikiski with 12 points each. Kimberly Quincy led Houston with 15 points.

Nikiski boys 69, Houston 35

The Bulldogs shook off a previous night loss to Grace Christian with a resounding win Friday at home over Houston.

Nine of 10 Nikiski players scored, led by the 14 points by both Nathan Carstens and Hunter Holloway. Holloway was 7 for 10 from the foul line. Ian Johnson also added 13 points for the Bulldogs.

Houston’s Ben Bitler scored a game-high 20 points.

Homer girls 46, Grace 35

The host Mariners received 20 points from Madison Akers in turning back the Grizzlies.

Homer led 15-6 after the first quarter, but Grace cut it to 24-21 at halftime. Homer then won the third 12-5.

Aurora Waclawski added 13 for Homer, while Hayley Hagen had 10 points for Grace.

Grace boys 63, Homer 28

The visiting Grizzlies notched a Southcentral Conference victory over the Mariners on Friday.

ACS girls 47, Seward 37

The visiting Lions opened a big lead so there was no threat when Seward won the fourth quarter 20-4.

Ayla Lapinskas paced the Seahawks with 14 points.

ACS boys 98, Seward 91, OT

The visiting Lions notched the Southcentral Conference win in a dramatic shootout.

For Seward, Ronnie Jackson poured in 36 points, while Seth Brewi had 24, Thomas Zweifel had 11 and Johan Jacobson had 10.

CIA girls 45, Fort Yukon 36

The Cook Inlet Academy girls notched their first victory of the season Friday with a win over Fort Yukon at the Su-Valley Tournament north of Wasilla.

Adara Warren poured in 27 points to lead the Eagles, scoring 16 of the team’s 24 points in the second and third quarters.

CIA took a slim 20-19 lead into halftime, but outscored Fort Yukon 12-9 in the third quarter and 13-8 in the fourth to seal the win.

Seldovia boys 68, Lumen Christi 25

The Sea Otters grabbed a Peninsula Conference win Friday night over the Archangels in Anchorage.

The trio of David Butero, Aidan Philpot and Calem Collier combined to score 56 points for Seldovia. Butero and Philpot both notched 21 points while Collier had 14.

Seldovia opened the game on a 14-6 scoring run en route to leading 21-15 at halftime. The Sea Otters then outscored Lumen Christi 37-10 in the second half to cruise to the win.

Lumen Christi girls 60, Seldovia 29

Nyadong Puoy racked up 23 points to lead the Archangels to a Peninsula Conference win Friday over the Sea Otters in Anchorage.

Marina Chissus led Seldovia with 14 points.

Lumen scored 22 first-quarter points and led 32-13 at the halftime break. Lumen then outscored Seldovia 20-9 in the third quarter to ice the contest.

 

Friday boys

Kardinals 46, Knights 44

Colony 14 11 8 11 —44

Kenai 11 10 9 16 —46

COLONY (44) — James 4 1-2 9, Nygard 2 2-3 6, Neuner 1 1-2 3, Chamblee 7 1-2 18, Martin 0 1-2 1, Villastrigo 0 1-2 1, Nicholson 3 0-0 6, Menard 0 0-0 0, Pomerenke 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 7-13 44.

KENAI (46) — Ta. Landry 0 0-0 0, Ivy 3 0-2 8, Vest 3 1-3 7, Brazell 2 1-2 5, Tr. Landry 1 1-2 3, Jackman 4 1-2 10, Beiser 0 0-0 0, Fitt 3 1-2 7, Johnson 3 0-2 6. Totals 19 5-15 46.

3-point goals — Colony 3 (Chamblee 3); Kenai 3 (Ivy 2, Jackman 1).

Team fouls — Colony 16; Kenai 12. Fouled out — Nicholson.

 

Warriors 42, Stars 31

Wasilla 12 7 10 13 —42

Soldotna 9 4 11 7 —31

Wasilla (42) — Brown 4 1-5 9, Headdings 2 2-2 6, Devine 2 1-1 5, Houck 4 1-2 10, Milliron 3 0-0 6, Lee 2 2-2 6. Totals 17 7-12 42.

Soldotna (31) — Kuntz 1 0-0 3, Casey 0 1-2 1, Spence 2 0-0 4, Smithwick 5 2-3 14, Evans 3 3-4 9. Totals 11 6-9 31.

3-point field goals — Wasilla 1 (Houck 1), Soldotna 3 (Smithwick 2).

Total fouls — Wasilla 8, Soldotna 13.

 

Bulldogs 69, Hawks 35

Houston 7 15 6 7 —35

Nikiski 20 18 13 18 —69

HOUSTON (35) — Mulhaney 0 0-0 0, Taylor 2 0-0 5, Ruta 2 0-1 4, Wyrick 0 0-2 0, Ross 0 1-2 1, Pelesasa 2 0-0 4, Graham 0 1-3 1, Bitler 7 6-12 20. Totals 13 8-20 35.

NIKISKI (69) — I. Johnson 6 1-3 13, Anderson 3 1-2 8, L. Johnson 1 1-3 3, Kornstad 3 0-0 7, Holloway 3 7-10 14, Handley 2 0-0 4, Tauriainen 1 1-3 3, Ellis 0  0-0 0, Carstens 6 0-0 14, Pamplin 1 1-2 3. Totals 26 12-23 69.

3-point goals — Houston 1 (Taylor); Nikiski 5 (Carstens 2, Holloway 1, Kornstad 1, Anderson 1).

Team fouls — Houston 21; Nikiski 20. Fouled out — Graham.

 

Lions 98, Seahawks 91, OT

ACS    19    23    23    20    13    —98

Seward    25    19    24    17    6    —91

ANCHORAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (98) — Gatkouth 4 2-2 11, Huckabay 8 6-6 22, Drochie 6 4-7 16, Bronson 5 1-1 11, Guzman 9 0-0 22, Dickerson 1 0-0 2, Lafane 4 2-3 12, Makoi 1 0-0 2. Totals — 38 15-19 98.

SEWARD (91) — Hauze 0 0-0 0, Zweifel 2 7-8 11, Kratz 0 0-0 0, Brewi 7 8-16 24, Jacobson 2 6-8 10, Sieverts 1 0-0 2, Pahno 3 0-1 8, Jackson 13 5-7 36, Petrosious 0 0-0 0. Totals — 28 26-40 91.

3-point goals — ACS 5 (Lafane 2, Guzman 2, Gatkouth); Seward 9 (Jackson 5, Pahno 2, Brewi 2). Team fouls — ACS 30, Seward 18. Fouled out — Huckabay, Zweifel, Lafane.

 

Lions 47, Seahawks 37

ACS    9    18    16    4    —47

Seward    3    6    8    20    —37

ANCHORAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (47) — Parks 1 0-0 2, Tebbits 5 0-0 14, Jory Sutter 0 1-2 1, Joelle Sutter 0 0-0 0, Davis 2 0-0 5, McCaffery 0 0-0 0, Land 1 0-2 2, Williams 7 0-0 17, Carr 2 0-0 4, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Meyer 0 0-0 0, McFadden 0 0-0 0, Todd 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 1-5 47.

SEWARD (37) — Moriarity 3 3-4 9, Anderson 1 0-1 2, Honebein 0 0-0 0, Tolson 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 5-6 7, Lapinskas 6 2-3 14, VonBorstel 2 1-2 5. Totals — 13 11-16 37.

3-point goals — ACS 8 (Tebbits 4, Williams 3, Davis). Team fouls — ACS 20, Seward 13. Fouled out — none.

 

Friday girls

Knights 36, Kardinals 26

Colony 7 10 9 10 —36

Kenai 8 2 5 11 —26

COLONY (36) — Duguid 1 0-0 2, Smith 0 4-5 4, Clary 2 1-2 5, Lankford 1 0-1 2, Stephens 4 3-5 11, Perltier 0 0-0 0, Steiner 1 0-0 2, Carlton 1 3-4 5, Smith 2 1-2 5, Simpson 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 12-19 36.

KENAI (26) — Holmes 0 1-3 1, Drury 3 4-4 10, Steinbeck 1 1-2 3, Creighton 2 0-2 4, Baker 4 0-0 8, Booth 0 0-0 0, Beck 0 0-0 0, Satathite 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 6-11 26.

3-point goals — Colony 0; Kenai 0.

Team fouls — Colony 18; Kenai 19. Fouled out — Drury, Creighton.

 

Warriors 62, Stars 25

Wasilla 13 17 21 11 —62

Soldotna 5 3 6 11 —25

Wasilla (62) — Kelly 1 0-0 2, Davies 3 0-0 6, Drorbaugh 1 1-2 4, Heath 0 3-4 3, Obremski 2 2-2 7, Baham 3 0-0 7, Lindeman 2 1-2 5, Wheeler 1 2-2 4, Dinkel 5 1-2 11, Green 1 0-0 2, DePriest 5 1-4 11. Totals 24 11-18 62.

Soldotna (25) — A. Schmidt 0 1-2 1, Wong 3 5-8 11, Blossom 2 0-0 6, Brush 1 0-0 3, Kendred 2 0-0 4. Totals 8 6-10 25.

3-point field goals — Wasilla 3 (Drorbaugh, Obremski, Baham 1), Soldotna 3 (Blossom 2).

Total fouls — Wasilla 11, Soldotna 13.

 

Bulldogs 41, Hawks 40

Houston 7 13 2 18 —40

Nikiski 6 9 12 14 —41

HOUSTON (40) — Holms 0 0-0 0, May-Thomas 1 0-1 2, Bean 0 0-0 0, Ruth 5 2-4 12, Moore 1 0-0 3, Wilkerson 4 0-0 8, Quincy 4 7-15 15, Moore 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-20 40.

NIKISKI (41) — Wik 0 0-0 0, Riddall 0 6-8 6, Vollertsen 1 0-0 2, Pitt 1 0-0 2, Kornstad 4 2-6 12, Clark 5 1-4 12, Parrish 1 2-3 4, Jackson 1 1-4 3. Totals 13 12-25 41.

3-point goals — Houston 1 (Moore); Nikiski 3 (Kornstad 2, Clark 1).

Team fouls — Houston 18; Nikiski 18. Fouled out — Ruth, Wilkerson.

 

Mariners 46, Grizzlies 35

Grace    6    15    5    9    —35

Homer    15    9    12    8    —46

GRACE CHRISTIAN (35) — Vanderweide 1 0-0 3, Hagen 3 2-2 10, Shamburger 3 3-6 9, Hogan 2 0-0 5, Jarvis 0 0-0 0, Salima 0 0-0 0, Laker 3 2-2 8. Totals — 12 7-10 35.

HOMER (46) — Todd 0 0-0 0, Reutov 2 0-0 4, Knott 0 0-0 0, Cleary 0 0-0 0, Kuhns 0 0-0 0, Draves 1 1-2 3, Akers 9 1-1 20, Cole 2 0-0 4, Waclawski 4 5-5 13, Stafford 0 2-2 2. Totals — 18 9-10 46.

3-point goals — Grace 4 (Hagen 2, Vanderweide, Hogan); Homer 1 (Akers). Team fouls — Grace 7, Homer 10. Fouled out — none.

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