Kenai Central’s Hayley Maw works against the Wasilla press Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, on Cliff Massie at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Hayley Maw works against the Wasilla press Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, on Cliff Massie at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Hoops roundup: Wasilla hoops sweeps Kenai

When it comes to Alaska’s hoops powerhouse programs, not many can stand with the Wasilla Warriors, who own five of the last seven girls state crowns and seven total.

So there was some hopeful skepticism when the Kenai Central girls went toe to toe with Wasilla in the first quarter and a half Wednesday night at KCHS.

“We were a little lethargic out there,” explained Warriors head coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax, the mastermind behind many Wasilla juggernauts. “Coach wasn’t happy.”

Ultimately, the Warriors found a groove and pulled away for a 67-37 Northern Lights Conference win, leaving them 7-0 in the NLC and 11-4 overall. Meanwhile, Kenai dropped to 2-5 in the NLC.

“The halftime talk was about playing our brand of basketball,” Hebert-Truax said. “Coach wasn’t happy.”

The turning point came in the form of 5-foot-11 junior Cheyenne Green. Leading 27-19 at halftime, Wasilla needed a spark to put the game away, and Green poured in 12 points in the third quarter to help the Warriors outscore Kenai 26-10 and take a commanding lead.

“She just plays so physical and she decided she wanted to play,” said Kenai coach Cary Calvert, referring to Green. “But if it’s not her, it’s someone else.”

Green finished with a game-high 23 point on 11 field goals.

Early on, it looked as if the Kardinals had an upset in mind. Kenai took an early 6-4 lead and trailed only by two in the early seconds of the second quarter, thanks to some timely offense.

However, Wasilla finally began finding its way by forcing several Kenai turnovers, and when the first shot attempts weren’t going in, Green was there to clean up with second-chance buckets.

“The kids can outchase and outplay anyone, they can play ‘rat ball’ better than anyone,” said Hebert-Truax.

Kenai’s balanced scoring effort was led by Jaycie Calvert and Brooke Satathite, both of whom put in nine points, while Liz Hanson notched six.

Green and teammate Diondra Lawhead combined to score 18 of Wasilla’s first 20 points. In the third quarter, the Warriors took off on an 11-2 run to distance themselves, using a fearsome defensive press to force mistakes from Kenai. By the end of the third quarter, the visitors led 53-27.

The Kardinals will host another NLC rival tonight in Colony at 6 p.m.

Wasilla boys 53, Kenai 41

Kenai got close in the dying minutes, but couldn’t find a way around the Warriors Wednesday night, falling in an NLC meeting at Kenai.

Wasilla head coach Ryan Engebretsen said while key starter Reilly Devine had a rare “off game,” he was able to rely on other players to pick up the slack.

“They come in with adversity and play through it time and time again,” Engebretsen said. “But any game with Kenai is always a knock-out, drag-down fight.”

Devine still finished with 15 points for the Warriors, while teammates Jordan Knight had 13 and Aeron Milliron chipped in 12.

Luke Beiser dropped in 18 points to lead Kenai, while Preben Strende added 10.

Kenai head coach Ken Felchle pointed to Knight’s play as a key factor in Wasilla being able to skate away in the end. Knight had four points at halftime but returned to knock down three crucial buckets in the fourth quarter.

“He just went to the hole and scored on us,” Felchle said. “We had no answer.”

Wasilla lifted its NLC record to 6-1, currently second in the division, and is 12-3 overall, while Kenai dropped to 0-7 in conference and 9-9 overall.

Devine scored seven straight points for Wasilla in the second quarter to give the visitors a 23-12 lead at halftime, but Connor Felchle opened the second half with a corner 3 and Beiser put in two more buckets to cut Wasilla’s lead to 23-19 in the first two minutes.

Beiser was particularly effective in the third quarter, cutting Wasilla’s lead down with several driving layups that resulted in an additional foul shot. Strende connected on a triple with 4:53 left and Beiser grabbed a steal and the layup with 2:54 left to put the Kards within five.

However, Wasilla seemingly had an answer for every big Kenai shot. Knight answered a Kenai 3-pointer with a trey of his own with 5:16 left to push the lead back to seven points, and another 3, this one from the corner, put Wasilla up 48-39 with 3:28 remaining in the game.

A triple by Levi Houck essentially iced the victory with 1:09 left.

King Cove girls 55, Seward 32

The visiting Rookies recovered from a deficit after the first quarter to upend the Seahawks in nonconference action.

Seward led 9-8 after eight minutes, but by the half King Cove led 29-24 and by the end of the third it was 44-26.

For King Cove, Elaina Mack had 14 points, while Sarah Newton had 13, Jalaya Duarte had 12 and Emily Brandell had 11. Riley Von Borstel had 14 points for Seward.

Seward boys 53, King Cove 39

The host Seahawks pulled away in the fourth quarter for the nonconference victory Wednesday.

The game was tied at 27 at the half and Seward led 35-34 after three quarters before finishing on a 21-5 finishing kick. Zen Petrosius had 10 of his 19 points for Seward in the final quarter, while Conner Spanos added 12. For King Cove, Gary Gould had 17 points and Severin Gradin had 13.

Ninilchik girls 45, Soldotna C 26

The host Wolverines picked up a nonconference victory Wednesday.

DeeAnn White led the way for Ninilchik with 18 points, while Madi Cooper pitched in 10. For Soldotna’s C team, Morgan Bouschor had 11 points.

Ninilchik boys 69, Nanwalek 53

The host Wolverines led 20-12 after one quarter and 36-25 at halftime en route to the Peninsula Conference victory.

Garrett Koch poured in 25 points for the Wolverines, while George Nelson connected on five of Ninilchik’s eight 3-pointers to finish with 18 points. Cole Hadro added 13 for the Wolverines. For Nanwalek, Uriah Huntsman had 23 and Marcus Wilson added 12.

Wednesday girls

Warriors 67, Kardinals 37

Wasilla 12 15 26 14 —67

Kenai 8 11 8 10 —37

WASILLA (67) — Brandenburg 2 2-2 10, Davies 3 3-3 9, Vasquez 1 0-0 2, Anderson 2 0-0 5, Lawhead 3 4-6 10, Green 11 1-2 23, Cox 1 2-4 4, McSorley 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 10-17 67.

KENAI (37) — Calvert 2 3-4 9, Hamilton 2 1-2 5, Maw 2 0-0 4, Ezlich 1 0-0 2, Hanson 3 0-0 6, Satathite 4 0-0 9, Streiff 0 0-0 0, Severson 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 4-6 37.

3-point goals — Wasilla 3 (Brandenburg 2, Anderson 1); Kenai 3 (Calvert 2, Satathite 1).

Team fouls — Wasilla 8; Kenai 12. Fouled out — none.

Wolverines 45, Stars C 26

SoHi C 8 6 5 7 — 26

Ninilchik 7 16 18 4 — 45

SOLDOTNA C (26) — Cook 1 0-0 2, Bouschor 5 1-2 11, Leadens 1 1-4 3, Hilton 1 0-0 2, Fischer 3 0-0 6, Hackett 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, McElroy 0 0-0 0, Haskins 0 0-2 0, Solomona 0 0-0 0, Spies 0 0-3 0, Reutov 0 0-2 0, Houser 0 2-4 2. Totals — 11 4-17 26.

NINILCHIK (45) — Delgado 4 0-1 8, Jasper 0 0-2 0, Robuck 2 1-2 5, Corey 0 0-0 0, Koch 1 1-2 3, White 9 0-0 18, Cooper 4 2-7 10, Okonek 0 1-2 1. Totals — 20 5-16 45.

3-point goals — none. Team fouls — Soldotna C 15, Ninilchik 13. Fouled out — none.

Rookies 55, Seahawks 32

King Cove 8 21 15 11 — 55

Seward 9 15 2 6 — 32

KING COVE (55) — E. Brandell 3 2-2 11, Newton 5 0-0 13, Mack 6 0-0 14, L. Brandell 0 0-0 0, Duarte 4 4-5 12, Yatchimeneff 2 0-0 5. Totals — 20 6-7 55.

SEWARD (32) — Dow 0 0-0 0, Sawyer-Lemme 0 0-0 0, Ambrosiani 0 0-0 0, Terry 1 0-0 2, Von Borstel 2 9-10 14, Sieverts 0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 8-10 8, Petrosius 3 2-2 8. Totals — 6 19-22 32.

3-point goals — King Cove 9 (E. Brandell 3, Newton 3, Mack 2, Yatchimeneff); Seward 1 (Von Borstel). Team fouls — King Cove 17, Seward 12. Fouled out — Mack.

Wednesday boys

Warriors 53, Kardinals 41

Wasilla 9 14 15 15 —53

Kenai 7 5 21 8 —41

WASILLA (53) — Houck 4 0-0 10, Headings 0 2-2 2, Devine 7 1-1 15, Knight 5 1-2 13, Dudley 0 0-0 0, Milliron 6 0-0 12, L. Devine 0 1-2 1, Campbell 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 5-7 53.

KENAI (41) — Efta 0 0-0 0, Felchle 1 0-0 3, Baker 0 0-0 0, Tuttle 1 0-0 3, Beiser 8 2-3 18, Goodman 0 0-0 0, Trujillo 3 0-0 7, Strende 3 1-2 10. Totals 16 3-5 41.

3-point goals — Wasilla 4 (Houck 2, Knight 2); Kenai 6 (Strende 3, Felchle 1, Tuttle 1, Trujillo 1).

Team fouls — Wasilla 10; Kenai 9. Fouled out — none.

Wolverines 69, Eagles 53

Nanwalek 12 13 16 12 — 53

Ninilchik 20 16 16 17 — 69

NANWALEK (53) — Demas 4 0-0 8, Jimmy 2 0-1 4, Wilson 4 3-6 12, Bales 3 0-0 6, Moonin 0 0-0 0, Huntsman 11 1-6 23, Evans 0 0-0 0. Totals — 24 4-13 53.

NINILCHIK (69) — Nelson 6 1-2 18, Corey 0 0-0 0, Koch 12 1-1 25, Hadro 5 0-0 13, Clark 3 0-0 6, McGinnis 1 1-2 3, Davila 0 0-0 0, Mumey 2 0-0 4. Totals — 29 3-5 69.

3-point goals — Nanwalek 1 (Wilson); Ninilchik 8 (Nelson 5, Hadro 3). Team fouls — Nanwalek 8, Ninilchik 12. Fouled out — none.

Seahawks 53, Rookies 39

King Cove 13 14 7 5 — 39

Seward 13 14 8 21 — 53

KING COVE (39) — Gradin 4 4-4 13, Daurte 2 2-2 7, Gould 6 0-0 17, Macneff 0 0-0 0, Larsen 0 0-0 0, Brandall 1 0-0 2. Totals — 13 6-6 39.

SEWARD (53) — Koster 1 0-0 3, Moriarity 1 0-0 2, Estes 1 0-1 2, Ingalls 2 0-0 4, Spanos 4 3-3 12, Pfeiffenberger 1 3-3 5, Jarvis 2 0-0 4, McMurray 0 0-0 0, Nilsson 1 0-0 2, Basala 0 0-0 0, Petrosius 6 5-6 19. Totals — 20 11-13 53.

3-point goals — King Cove 7 (Gould 5, Daurte, Gradin); Seward 2 (Koster, Spanos). Team fouls — King Cove 12, Seward 10. Fouled out — none.

Kenai Central’s Kailey Hamilton passes past Wasilla’s Carissa Vasquez on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, on Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Kailey Hamilton passes past Wasilla’s Carissa Vasquez on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, on Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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