Friday: West holds on to beat Kenai girls

The Kenai Central girls showed up to face a perennial powerhouse West Anchorage team Friday night on Cliff Massie Court and gave the Eagles all they could handle.

However, the Kardinals still walked away with a 36-32 loss after pushing West down to the wire in the nonconference clash. Kenai dropped to 2-10 overall with the loss, while West improved to 2-2.

“We managed to hold on, and credit goes out to Kenai for playing so hard,” said West coach Stan Engel. “But we’re a young team that’s learning to play more consistent every night.”

Senior forward Theyoung Puoy led the Eagles with 11 points. Engel said Puoy is a leading member of the team that typically averages around 18 points a game.

“We’re athletic and have size over (Kenai), and we just were aiming to keep up the defense,” he said.

Junior guard Lara Creighton led the Kards with eight points, all in the first half, which was when Kenai did the most damage. The home team came out aggressive and Creighton slashed to the rim on numerous occasions to either score a layup or be fouled. Creighton hit 4 of 6 free throws in the opening quarter to help Kenai open up a 10-6 lead before the first six minutes were up.

Junior Abby Beck was fouled on a layup with four seconds left in the first quarter and hit the free throw to give Kenai a 13-12 lead.

However, West sophomore Nyedol Thor dribbled downcourt and launched a 3-pointer from just inside the half court line that went in at the buzzer, giving West the lead back at 15-13. If any momentum was lost, it was quickly gained by the Eagles.

Kenai coach Cary Calvert offered a small bit of respite, repeating a quote that senior guard Hannah Drury told the team in the locker room.

“She said we played well, but not good enough,” Calvert said. “Everything they did, I’m fine with.”

Drury contributed seven points Friday, and had the most success keeping West off-balance with her determined defensive efforts.

“She is playing with more poise every day,” Calvert said.

West led 23-15 heading into the halftime break, but the Kards defense continued to remain solid, holding the Eagles to just three points in the third quarter.

West led by eight with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Kenai was not done yet. Alexis Baker nailed a triple with 1:49 to go, then teammate Kelsey Booth pulled the same feat on the next possession, finding space in the corner to swish a 3 and close the gap to 34-30 with 1:14 left.

On the ensuing West possession, Drury stole the ball and dished out an assist to Baker, whose midrange jumper hit to close the deficit to 34-32 with 57 seconds left.

However, another 3-point attempt by Booth sailed long and a pair of foul shots by Puoy put West up by two possessions to seal the win.

Dimond girls 68, Kenai 50

The visiting Lynx received 20 points from Whitney Shapp in picking up a nonconference victory Saturday.

Dimond led 12-10 after the first quarter and 31-26 at halftime, then outscored the Kards 21-6 in the third quarter.

Alissa Pili added 15 points for Dimond, while Maya Carle had 12. For the Kards, Abby Beck and Hannah Drury had 14 points, while Lara Creighton had 10.

Friday girls

Eagles 36, Kardinals 32

West 15 8 3 10 —36

Kenai 13 2 6 11 —32

WEST (36) — Fields 1 0-0 2, N. Thor 2 0-0 6, Malaetia 2 1-2 5, Frye 0 0-0 0, Lauaki 0 2-4 2, Fuerta-Domingez 0 0-0 0, Bowen 3 0-0 6, M. Thor 0 0-0 0, Puoy 3 4-4 11, Elliot 2 0-0 4. Totals 13 7-10 36.

KENAI (32) — Calvert 0 0-0 0, Holmes 2 0-0 4, Drury 3 1-4 7, Steinbeck 0 0-0 0, Creighton 2 4-8 8, Baker 2 0-0 5, Booth 1 0-0 3, Ross 0 0-0 0, Beck 2 2-3 6, Satathite 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 7-15 32.

3-point shots — West 3 (N. Thor 2, Puoy 1); Kenai 2 (Booth 1, Baker 1).

Team fouls — West 14; Kenai 14. Fouled out — none.

Saturday girls

Lynx 68, Kardinals 50

Dimond 12 19 21 16 —68

Kenai 10 16 6 18 —50

DIMOND (68) — Johansen 1 1-4 3, Bialo 0 1-3 1, M. Jones 0 0-1 0, Luther 0 0-0 0, Shipman 4 0-4 8, S. Jones 1 5-6 7, Carle 5 2-5 12, Shapp 7 5-6 20, Maisey 0 2-2 2, Pili 5 4-6 15. Totals — 23 20-37 68.

KENAI CENTRAL (50) — Calvert 0 0-0 0, Holmes 1 0-0 2, Drury 5 3-6 14, Steinbeck 0 1-4 1, Creighton 2 6-11 10, Baker 1 1-2 4, Booth 2 1-2 5, Morse 0 0-0 0, Ross 0 0-0 0, Beck 4 5-6 14, Satathite 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 17-31 50.

3-point goals — Dimond 2 (Shapp, Pili); Kenai 3 (Drury, Baker, Beck). Team fouls — Dimond 21, Kenai 25. Fouled out — Holmes, Creighton.

More in Sports

Soldotna's Wayne Mellon works to a pin of Kenai Central's Zoticus Active at 189 pounds in a dual meet at Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi wrestling honors seniors in matchup with Kenai

Thanksgiving weekend gives many the opportunity to see family. The holiday gave… Continue reading

Strausbaugh, Hippchen take Turkey Skate

Soldotna hosted Kenai Central for the Turkey Skate at Tsalteshi Trails on… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Sawyer Vann controls Nikiski's Wyatt Maguire at 125 pounds Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. Vann notched a 7-6 victory. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Area wrestlers collect mat time before Thanksgiving break

Area wrestlers got in some mat time Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.… Continue reading

Assistant coach Taylor Shaw leads the Kenai River Brown Bears during a game Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears start search for new head coach

The Kenai River Brown Bears issued a press release Friday about staff… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Bryce Monrean tries to find a way through the defense of the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues during a first-period power play Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Jr. Blues come back to take series from Bears

The Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues lost not only a 2020-21 season to… Continue reading

Soldotna junior Liam Babitt holds a grip on South Anchorage’s Britten Hamilton during the 215-pound final of the Lancer Smith Fall Varsity 2021 Invite on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at the Menard Arena in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Soldotna crowns 4 champions at Lancer Smith

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth Friday and Saturday at the Lancer… Continue reading

Hockey roundup: SoHi sweeps in Kodiak; West wins End of Road tourney

The Soldotna hockey team swept Kodiak in the first high school games… Continue reading

A brown bear feeds on a salmon. (Photo by C. Canterbury/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Bears, uniquely built to respond to winter

With the new snow and temperatures dipping into the single digits, you… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Caden Warren surveys the ice against West at the End of the Road Tournament at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Kenai, Homer hockey lose to open tourney

The Kenai Central and Homer hockey teams both opened the End of… Continue reading

Caden Triggs of the Kenai River Brown Bears celebrates his first-period goal against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears topple Jr. Blues

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion The Kenai River Brown Bears received two… Continue reading

Michael proposes to Sarah at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Falling in love one snowflake at a time

Do you want to know what I’ve been looking forward to the… Continue reading