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.

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