The Kodiak and Kenai Central boys basketball teams piled up points at a rate rarely seen in the history of Alaska basketball Friday at Cliff Massie Court in Kenai.
When the nets finally stopped rippling at both ends of the floor, the Bears had a 100-88 victory. The Kards came back to win 84-64 on Saturday. Kodiak is now 11-5 overall and 5-3 in the Northern Lights Conference. The Kards move to 1-5 in the league.
There is no official keeper of basketball records in Alaska, so it is impossible to know where 188 points ranks on the all-time scoring list.
Research by the Alaska Dispatch News sports department Friday turned up a 146-42 victory for Unalakleet over Galena in the 1988-89 season, so 188 has been reached at least once before.
It’s not unheard of for a team to dent 100 on the scoreboard in Alaska, but Kodiak boys coach Dave Anderson said he has followed the program since 1990 and has not seen the Bears do it in that time.
“In 21 years here, I can’t remember 100 being on that scoreboard, and I especially can’t remember the losing team scoring 88,” Kenai boys coach Ken Felchle said. “I just wish it would have been us with the 100.”
Kenai’s Josh Jackman had a game-high 38 points, while Kodiak’s Augie Cauging had 37, Kenai’s Luke Beiser had 24 and Kodiak’s Louis Rocheleau had 23.
Felchle has said over the years he has great respect for the tactics and coaching of Anderson, but sometimes good coaching is knowing when to get out of the way.
Anderson said he has been a coach that slowed down the game at times in the past. After watching the team this summer, he knew that would be impossible this season.
“We have a tough time setting up a half-court offense,” Anderson said. “When we move the ball up the court and shoot, we play better.”
When most teams warm up with a three-on-two drill, getting penetration then a layup or short jumper is the goal. With Kodiak, the drill is almost always one pass, then a long jumper — if there is even a pass before the long jumper.
And at halftime, the Kodiak boys did not go in the locker room to talk strategy. They stayed on the floor and refined their strokes instead.
“There is nothing to talk about,” Anderson said. “We talk about what we need to during the week in practice.”
All that led to 14 3-pointers dropping for Kodiak on Friday, including eight for Cauging and five for Rocheleau.
Last weekend, Cauging, whose release is like Stephen Curry’s, had 39 points and nine trifectas in a win over Colony. Felchle talked to Colony coach Tom Berg after the Knights were swept for the weekend, and Berg said Kodiak had two of the best shooters the conference has seen in five or six years in Cauging and Rocheleau.
“I was hoping he was incorrect, but he was correct,” Felchle said. “That doesn’t happen without a lot of work. Give those two credit.”
Anderson takes little credit for the sweet strokes, saying they come from hours of shooting in the gym or in Kodiak’s Baranof Park.
“In the past, I’ve had one guy that could score, but I’ve never had five or six,” Anderson said.
Kodiak only runs into trouble when it is turning the ball over.
Kenai jumped out to a 9-3 lead and trailed just 25-24 after one quarter as Kodiak committed five of its 15 turnovers in the first eight minutes.
The turnovers were caused by a half-court trap. Felchle gave Anderson credit for making an adjustment to the trap, but Anderson was taking no such credit.
“I let them play through it,” Anderson said. “I didn’t call a timeout. They can figure out what to do.”
And that’s mostly just keep shooting.
“They shoot you out of whatever defense you are playing,” Felchle said.
Anderson puts a premium on a fast pace, pressing the whole game and allowing the slashing Jackman and Beiser to score nearly at will just to keep the tempo high.
After Kodiak took a 45-40 lead at halftime, that pace finally got to the Kardinals in a crazy third quarter.
Kenai was eight of nine from the floor and scored 20 points during the pivotal eight minutes, but Kodiak went 14 of 24 from the floor and scored 34 to take control of the game.
The big difference was turnovers — Kodiak had two while Kenai had 12.
“I told the kids that things are not going to be perfect out there,” Felchle said. “There will be bad passes and shots.
“I preached that in the locker room, but that’s not what happened in the third quarter. There were bad passes and shots, and then it kept happening because they were feeling sorry for themselves.”
Down 79-60 entering the fourth, Kenai was forced into man-to-man defense, and Felchle said that makes the Bears nearly impossible to stop long enough to mount a comeback.
All told, Kodiak, which also received 10 points apiece from Keith Osowski and Roberto Giron, was 37 of 76 from the floor and 14 of 33 from 3-point land. Kenai, which got 13 from Kalvin Daniels, was 30 of 52 from the floor and 3 of 6 from 3-point land, but had 23 turnovers to Kodiak’s 15.
“That was a lot of points,” Anderson said. “That was two good teams running up and down the floor.”
Saturday, the Kenai boys were able to make enough adjustments to notch their first win over a Class 4A school this season. Felchle said the Kardinals played a different zone. When Kodiak’s shooting forced Kenai from that zone, Felchle said adjustments to the man-to-man defense were able to slow the Bears.
“Our defense was remarkably better,” Felchle said. “That’ a tribute to the kids. Sometimes coaches make adjustments and they’re not carried out, but the kids responded, listened and carried it out.”
Felchle said the Kards avoided any lapses and also were able to finish off a 4A team after getting close many times this season. With starter Tristan Landry missing the weekend due to illness, Felchle said Saturday was an especially big accomplishment for his team.
Kalvin Daniels had a big game, hitting five 3-pointers on the way to 21 points. Daniels had been benched after a technical foul Friday, but Felchle said Daniels responded Saturday by coming out playing well.
Jackman came back with 24 points, while Beiser collected 19.
Rocheleau was held to eight points, while Cauging was held to seven. Jerome Morzo led the way for Kodiak with 16 points, while Keith Osowski added 12.
Bears 100, Kardinals 88
Kodiak 25 20 34 21 — 100
Kenai 24 16 20 28 — 88
KODIAK (100) — Basuel 1 0-0 3, Rocheleau 8 2-3 23, Penamora 0 0-0 0, Morzo 1 4-8 6, Cauging 13 3-4 37, Walker 0 1-2 1, Osowski 5 0-2 10, Giron 5 0-0 10, Mangrobang 3 2-4 8, Koller 1 0-0 2. Totals — 37 12-23 100.
KENAI CENTRAL (88) — Daniels 6 0-2 13, Beeson 4 1-1 9, Hieber 1 0-0 2, Beiser 10 3-3 24, Bezdecny 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0, Jackman 12 13-16 38, Felchle 0 2-2 2. Totals — 33 19-24 88.
3-point goals — Kodiak 14 (Cauging 8, Rocheleau 5, Basuel); Kenai 3 (Daniels, Beiser, Jackman). Team fouls — Kodiak 19, Kenai 21. Fouled out — Beeson, Hieber. Technical foul — Daniels.
Kardinals 84, Bears 64
Kodiak 18 12 20 19 — 64
Kenai 18 20 28 18 — 84
KODIAK (64) — Basuel 2 1-2 7, Rocheleau 2 2-2 8, Morzo 5 4-4 16, Cauging 1 5-6 7, Parnell 0 0-0 0, Walker 2 2-3 6, Osowski 5 2-4 12, Giron 0 1-2 1, Benneff-Melendez 0 2-2 2, Mangrobang 0 3-4 3, Keller 1 0-0 2. Totals — 18 22-29 64.
KENAI CENTRAL (84) — Daniels 8 0-0 21, Beeson 3 4-6 10, Hieber 3 4-7 10, Beiser 8 1-4 19, Baker 0 0-0 0, Jackman 11 1-1 24, Felchle 0 0-0 0, Goodman 0 0-0 0, Trujillo 0 0-0 0. Totals — 33 10-18 84.