Kenai basketball squads play in Valley

  • By Jeremiah Bartz
  • Saturday, January 9, 2016 11:59pm
  • Sports

PALMER — The Colony Knights opened their Northern Lights Conference boys basketball season playing an unfamiliar role.

After losing 10 of their top 11 players from a 2014-15 program that won an NLC title, the Knights are the new kids on the block.

Visiting Kenai, stocked full of veterans, was the experienced team.

But the lone familiar face from that title-winning team came up big for Colony High.

Senior Anton Chamblee scored 22 points to help the Knights rally to a 63-56 victory over the Kardinals on Friday night at CHS.

The Knights needed Chamblee’s scoring and the all-around effort from the supporting cast to recover from Kenai’s hot start.

Fueled by an early Josh Jackman 3-pointer, the Kards jumped to a quick lead and controlled pace early.

“(Kenai head coach Ken Felchle) is a terrific coach, terrific guy. I knew he was going to have them ready,” Colony head coach Tom Berg said after the CHS victory. “He’s excited about this group. He should be. They’re long. They play hard. Ken’s groups always play hard.”

Chamblee scored a dozen points during Colony’s pivotal 21-point third quarter, including a pair of threes that helped swing the momentum Colony’s way. Senior Tyler Boyer, a transfer from Bartlett, added nine of his 18 points in the third.

Kenai used Taylor Landry’s 3-pointer late in the first half to take a 27-24 lead into the break, and added to that advantage early in the third quarter. With 2:01 left in the third, Chamblee hit his first 3-pointer of the quarter to give the Knights the 40-39 advantage. On Colony’s next possession, Boyer went to the basket to push Colony’s lead to three. Chamblee struck again with another 3-pointer late in the third to give the Knights a 45-39 lead at the end of the quarter.

Early in the fourth, Isaiah Noyner and Chamblee each hit 3-pointers, and Boyer completed a three-point play to suddenly give the Knights a double-digit advantage. Berg said, despite the offseason losses, Colony has continued its tradition of embracing the next man up philosophy.

“It’s what makes Colony, Colony,” Berg said. “These aren’t the names everybody is used to, but they’re kids in our program, kids who have worked hard, paid their dues. Now they’re going to get their opportunity this year. They’re new faces, but it’s still our program.”

Kenai, which hit 10 3-pointers in the game, continued to knock down big shots in the fourth quarter to stay in the game. Marshall Vest dropped in a 3-pointer with 3:15 left to cut Colony’s lead to single digits. At the 2:20 mark, Vest hit another 3-pointer to cut Colony’s advantage to 52-49. After Chamblee drained his third 3-pointer of the half, Jackman completed a three-point play late and Austin Brazell also hit a big 3-pointer to keep the Kards in it.

Noyner and Chamblee each hit late free throws to help preserve the game for Colony.

Colony led sparingly in the first half. After Jackman and Brazell combined for an early seven points, Colony took its first lead late in the first quarter with a Jarred Villostrigo free throw. After Colony tied the score at 16 in the second, Luke Beiser completed a three-point play to immediately give the lead right back to Kenai. And after Colony tied the game at 19, Garrett Fitt drained a 3-pointer to give the lead right back to Kenai.

Jackman led the Kards with 15 points in the loss. Fitt added 11 points, and Vest and Brazell scored 10 points each.

Colony girls 46, Kenai 32

Colony held Kenai to only four first-quarter points and never trailed en route to a 46-32 win over Kenai at Colony High School in NLC action.

Chase Stephens scored 13 points to help Colony improve to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in NLC play. Alex Carlton added nine points for Colony, and Ella Smith chipped in eight.

Lara Creighton led Kenai (1-8) with a game-high 15.

Wasilla girls, boys sweep Wasilla

WASILLA — Scoring was scarce for the Kenai Kardinals during a pair of varsity road losses at Wasilla High School on Saturday afternoon in NLC play.

The Wasilla girls held Kenai to only two field goals and four first-half points during a 60-11 victory over the Kards. In the boys game, Kenai managed only nine shots from the field during a 55-29 loss to Wasilla.

In girls’ action, Wasilla raced to a 22-1 first-quarter lead, and didn’t allow a Kenai field goal until Kelsey Booth dropped in a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to play in the second quarter. Alli Steinbeck had Kenai’s only other bucket in the game, going to the basket, drawing a foul and completing the three-point play during the first minute of the final period.

McKenna Dinkel led the Warriors with 13 points. Olivia Davies added a dozen.

The Kenai boys also had a slow start, and had trouble getting going. The Kards were held to seven in the first quarter, and didn’t score a point for the first four minutes of the second quarter. After Austin Brazell hit a 3-pointer on Kenai’s first possession of the second half, the Kards went nine minutes without a point.

Luke Beiser led Kenai with eight points. Aeron Milleron scored a game-high 19 for Wasilla.

Saturday girls

Warriors 60, Kardinals 11

Kenai 1 3 4 3 —11

Wasilla 22 14 21 3 —60

KENAI CENTRAL (11) — Drury 0 2-2 2, Steinbeck 1 1-1 3, Creighton 0 2-3 2, Ke. Booth 1 0-0 3, Beck 0 1-3 1; Totals: 2 6-9 11.

WASILLA (60) — Brandenburg 3 0-0 8, Kelly 1 0-0 2, Davies 4 3-4 12, Drorbaugh 2 1-1 5, Baham 1 0-0 3, Anderson 4 0-0 10, Green 0 1-2 1, DePriest 3 0-1 6; Totals: 17 5-8 60.

3-point field goals: Kenai 1 (Ke. Booth); Wasilla: 6 (Brandenburg, Anderson 2).

Saturday boys

WARRIORS 55, KARDINALS 29

Kenai 7 9 5 8 —29

Wasilla 19 8 14 14 —55

KENAI CENTRAL (29) — Ivy 1 0-0 2, Brazzel 2 1-1 6, Tr. Landry 1 0-2 3, Jackman 1 2-2 5, Beiser 2 4-4 8, Fitt 1 2-2 4, Beeson 0 1-2 1; Totals: 9 10-13 29.

3-point field goals: Kenai 2 (Brazzel, Tr. Landry); Wasilla 4 (Milleron 3).

Friday boys

Knights 63, Kardinals 56

Kenai 12 15 12 17 —56

Colony 10 14 21 18 —63

KENAI CENTRAL (56) — Ta. Landry 1 1-2 4, Vest 3 1-3 10, Brazell 4 0-0 10, Tr. Landry 1 0-0 3, Jackman 5 4-6 15, Beiser 1 1-1 3, Fitt 4 1-2 11; Totals: 19 8-14 56.

COLONY (63) — James 1 0-0 2, Nygard 1 1-3 3, Noyner 3 3-7 10, Chamblee 8 2-2 22, Kizer 2 0-0 5, Martin 0 0-1 0, Villostrigo 0 1-2 1, Nicholson 1 0-0 2, Boyer 7 3-7 18; 23 10-22 63.

3-point field goals: Colony 7 (Chamblee 4), Kenai 10 (Vest 3); Total fouls: Kenai 23, Colony 18

Friday girls

Knights 46, Kardinals 32

Kenai 4 9 8 11 —32

Colony 12 9 10 15 —46

KENAI CENTRAL (32) — Holmes 1 0-0 2, Drury 1 4-6 6, Steinbeck 1 1-2 3, Creighton 5 5-6 15, Baker 1 0-0 2, Ky. Booth 0 1-2 1, Beck 0 3-4 3; Totals: 9 14-20 32.

COLONY (46) — Duguid 1 1-2 4, A. Smith 2 2-2 7, Clary 1 1-2 3, Stephens 6 1-6 13, Steiner 1 0-0 2, Carlton 4 0-0 9, E. Smith 3 2-3 8; Totals: 18 7-15 46.

3-point field goals: Kenai 0, Colony 3 (Duguid, A. Smith, Carlton); Total fouls: Kenai 12, Colony 17

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