The Kenai Central boys and the Seward girls advanced to the championship game of the Class 3A Peninsula Conference tournament Thursday at Grace Christian in Anchorage.
The Kenai boys, the No. 2 seed, notched a 48-42 victory over No. 3 Seward. The Kardinals move to 14-10 overall, while the Seahawks drop to 7-11 overall.
The Kardinals took a 15-5 lead after the first quarter and still led 27-18 at halftime. Seward was able to cut the gap to 37-29 after three quarters.
Jakob Kvasnikoff poured in 24 to lead the Kardinals, while Bridger Beck and Wade James added eight, Carnell Gump had four, and Luke Armstrong and Daniel McRorie had two each.
For Seward, Ben Ambrosiani had 17, Ozzy Deel had 12, Bergen Davis had seven and Nick Ambrosiani had six.
In the other boys semifinal, No. 1 Grace Christian defeated No. 5 Nikiski 104-34 to drop the Bulldogs to 5-20. For Grace, Tyler Binder had 19, Kellen Jedlicka had 13, Josh Ivanoff, Luke Lentfer and Sloan Lentfer had 10, Silas Kniegge had nine, Ashton Clarkson and Braeden Boerger had eight, Buster Stubbs had six, Hunter Finch had five, Bristol Tobin had four and Clayton Jackson had two.
For Nikiski, Braeden Porter had 10, Seth Payne had nine, Dylan Hall had five, Mylan Johnson and Charlie Chamberlain had four and Carter Eiter had two.
The Seward girls, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 3 Kenai 34-28 to reach the semifinal. The Seahawks are 13-6 overall, while the Kardinals are 13-12.
The Seahawks grabbed a 9-6 lead after the first quarter, then led 14-9 at the half and 23-17 after three quarters.
Lena Jagielski pumped in 14 points for Seward, while Hailey Ingalls had 10, Ava Jagielski had five, Robin Cronin had four and Natalie Sieminski had one.
For Kenai, Emma Beck pumped in 12, while Emilee Wilson had six, Chloe Goldsby had five, Malerie Nunn had three and Ella Yragui had two.
In the other girls semifinal, No. 1 seed Grace Christian defeated No. 4 Homer 70-24 to drop the Mariners to 8-17 overall. Sophie Lentfer had 15 points for the Grizzlies, while Ella Boerger, Poppy Wiggars-Pidduck and M.J. Van der Horst had 12, Olivia Jones had nine, Molly Schild had five, Jaden Helton had three and Eden Bond had two. For Homer, Gracie Miotke had six, Bethany Engebretsen had five, Sydney Shelby and Lawson Alexson had four, Channing Lowney and Hannah Stonorov had two, and Kylee Akee had one.
In the morning games to determine who would face Grace in the semifinal, the Homer girls defeated Nikiski 28-23 and the Nikiski boys defeated Homer 61-55.
For the Homer girls, Channing Lowney and Sydney Shelby had seven, Bethany Engebretsen had five, Lawson Alexson had four, Minadora Reutov and Gracie Miotke had two and Hannah Stonorov had one. For the Bulldogs, Shelby Burman had seven, Ashlynne Playle had four, Savanna Stock and Avery Ellis had three, and Avery White, Maggie Grenier and Emma Weeks had two. The Nikiski girls fell to 7-18.
For the Nikiski boys, Drew Handley had 20, Charlie Chamberlain had 16, David Weathers had 10, Seth Payne had eight, Braden Porter had six and Carter Eiter had one. For Homer, Niko Sulczynski had 16, Lucas Story had 13, Lance Seneff had nine, Riley Huffman had seven, Trent Fell and Einer Pederson had three, and Morgan Techie had two. The Homer boys fell to 3-21.
Today at the tournament, the Grace girls and Seward play for the championship at 6:15 p.m., while the Grace boys and Kenai play for the title at 7:45 p.m.
In the second-place bracket and the battle for the second seed to state, the Nikiski girls play Kenai at 9 a.m. today. The winner of that game plays Homer at noon. The winner of that game plays the loser of the championship for second at noon Saturday.
For the boys, Homer and Seward play at 10:30 a.m. today, then the winner plays Nikiski at 1:30 p.m. The winner of the game faces the loser of the championship for second Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Class 4A Northern Lights Conference
The Soldotna girls won and the Soldotna boys lost Thursday on the opening day of the Northern Lights Conference tournament at Kodiak High School.
The Soldotna girls, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 5 Palmer 37-33 to move into the semifinals and improve to 12-12 overall.
The Stars fell behind 15-6 after the first quarter and still trailed 18-14 at halftime. The game was tied at 24 heading to the final eight minutes.
Josie Sheridan paced SoHi with 11 points, including six in the pivotal fourth quarter. Also for the Stars, Katelyn Morrison and Morgan Lemm had six, Annie Burns and Kaytlin McAnelly had five, and Tanner Inman had four.
For Palmer, Theresa Arreola had 13, Abby Pettit had 10, Larkin Christiansen had eight and Maija Huckabay had two.
Soldotna plays top-seeded Anchorage Christian Schools in the semifinals today at 3:15 p.m.
The Soldotna boys, the No. 5 seed, fell to No. 4 Kodiak 53-36 to fall to 7-16 overall. The Stars trailed 18-11 at halftime, then Kodiak outscored Soldotna 17-9 in the third quarter.
Jakob Brown paced SoHi with 15 points, while Andrew Pieh had 10, Cameron Laroque had seven, Zac Buckbee had three and Izaiah Gilbert had two.
For Kodiak, Connor Case had 15, JM Ticman had 10, Kelly Ticman had nine, Aron Paguio had eight, Alex Holland had seven and Cody Sum had four.
The Stars face No. 6 seed Palmer at 10 a.m. today. The loser will be out of the tournament, while the winner will play Saturday at 1:30 p.m. for fourth place.
Class 2A Interior Conference
The Ninilchik boys, the No. 1 seed and defending conference champion, defeated Nenana, the No. 4 seed, 63-20 to move to the 6:30 p.m. championship game today at Glennallen.
The Wolverines, who move to 20-5 overall, were led by the 20 points of Cole Moore. Also for Ninilchik, Jaylin Scott had 17, Peyton Edens and Kade McCorison had nine, Rowan Mahoney had six and Cooper Adams had two.
For Nenana, Cyress Chief had nine, Russell Waska had seven, and Taryn Okitkun and DaShawn Burk each had two.
Ninilchik faces No. 2 seed Cordova in the championship. Cordova defeated No. 7 Effie Kokrine in the first round, then No. 3 seed Tok in the semifinal.
The Ninilchik girls, the No. 5 seed, lost to No. 4 Cordova on Wednesday. Ninilchik jumps back into action today in the battle for second place and the conference’s second state berth. Ninilchik plays No. 3 seed Nenana at 2 p.m. The winner of the game must win two games Saturday to take second place.