Kenai Central’s Bridger Beck battles Homer’s Ryan Carroll and Noah Irons for the ball Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Bridger Beck battles Homer’s Ryan Carroll and Noah Irons for the ball Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai, Grace to play for girls, boys titles

The girls and boys championship games will both feature Kenai Central and Grace Christian today at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School.

The Kenai girls, the No. 2 seed, made their way to the title game by defeating third-seeded Seward 47-44 on Thursday. Grace, the top seed, defeated No. 4 Homer 49-25 to join the Kards in tonight’s 6 p.m. title game.

The Kenai boys, the No. 3 seed, toppled No. 2 Homer 54-46 to earn a shot at the title. Grace, the top seed, defeated No. 4 Seward 52-20 to set up the matchup with Kenai at 8 p.m. tonight.

Also Thursday, the Homer girls topped No. 5 Nikiski 49-25 to make it to that semifinal with Grace, while the Seward boys defeated No. 5 Nikiski 38-30 to make the semifinal.

On both the girls and boys side, Nikiski, Seward and Homer now will have to come back through the second-place bracket to earn a berth to the Class 3A state tournament.

In the girls second-place bracket, Nikiski and Seward play today at 10 a.m. The winner moves on to play Homer at 2 p.m. today. The winner of that game then plays the loser of the championship game for second place at noon Saturday.

In the boys second-place bracket, Nikiski and Homer play today at noon. The winner of that game moves to a 4 p.m. game today against Seward. The victor of that game plays the loser of the championship game for second place at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Kenai boys 54, Homer 46

The Kardinals topped the Mariners for the first time in three tries this season and snapped a five-game losing streak.

Kenai led 17-13 after the first quarter, 29-23 after the second quarter and 43-33 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Homer cut it to 48-46 on a layup by Carter Tennison, but Jakob Kvasnikoff hit two free throws for a 50-46 lead with 1:59 left.

The Kardinals would then hold the Mariners scoreless for the rest of the game. Wade James added two layups in the final minute for Kenai.

Kvasnikoff poured in 20 points for the Kardinals, while James had 18 and Bridger Beck had 11 before fouling out with 1:12 left. Also for Kenai, Caleb Litke had three and Eli McCubbins added two.

Peyton Edens paced the Mariners with 17 points, while Ryan Carroll had 12, Tennison had 10 and Morgan Teche had seven.

Kenai girls 47, Seward 44

The Kardinals were able to withstand 18 points from the Seahawks in the final quarter in hanging on to improve to 4-0 against Seward this season.

Seward came out and took a 13-7 lead after the first quarter, but the Kardinals had a 24-14 lead by halftime and a 35-26 lead after three quarters.

Emma Beck pumped in 17 points to lead the Kards, while Logan Satathite added 12. Also for Kenai, Malerie Nunn had eight, Erin Koziczkowski had four, and Shania McCanna, Amber Nash and Denali Bernard each had two.

Shelby Sieminski hit for 17 for the Seahawks, while Hannah Schilling added 11. Also for Seward, Lena Jagielski had four, Hailey Ingalls and Wren Dougherty each had three, and Renee Elhard, Robin Cronin and Natalie Sieminski each had two.

Grace Christian girls 69, Homer 29

The Grizzlies stayed perfect in league action by storming past the Mariners.

Grace had a 20-11 lead after the first quarter and a 35-13 lead going into halftime.

Ella Boerger poured in 25 points for the Grizzlies, while Kai Waythomas and Sophie Lentfer each had 16. Also for Grace, Reagan Lash had six, Hope Jackson had four and Bekah Annett added two.

Sophie Ellison led the way for Homer with nine points, while Delilah Harris had seven, Kaylin Anderson, Sydney Shelby and Mel Morris had three, and Bethany Engebretsen and Olivia Glasman each had two.

Grace Christian boys 52, Seward 20

The Grizzlies maintained their perfect record in conference play by pulling away in the second half.

Seward trailed 9-7 after the first quarter and 21-13 at the half, but Grace won the second half 31-7.

Luke Lentfer paced the Grizzlies with 11 points, while Sloan Lentfer had 10, Caden Nanninga had eight, Hunter Finch had seven, Tyler Binder and Kellen Jedlicka had four, Robbie Annett and Clayton Jackson had three, and Joshua Ivanoff had two.

For Seward, Tommy Cronin had 11, Ozzy Deel had four, Nick Ambrosiani and Bergen Davis had two, and Kupono Albino had one.

Homer girls 49, Nikiski 25

The Mariners recovered from a slow start to topple the Bulldogs for the third time in three tries this season.

Nikiski had a 6-3 lead after the first period, but Homer took control of the game by winning the second quarter 18-3.

Kaylin Anderson paced Homer with 15 points, while Mel Morris had 12 and Delilah Harris pitched in 11. Also for the Mariners, Sydney Shelby had four, Lillie Maekuhn had three, and Sophie Ellison and Dani Burge each had two.

For Nikiski, Kinlee Jeffreys and Avery White shared high scoring honors with nine apiece, while Rylee Ellis had five and Emma Weeks pitched in two.

Seward boys 38, Nikiski 30

The Seahawks survived a defensive struggle and a late offensive burst by the Bulldogs. Seward is now 3-1 this season against Nikiski.

The game was tied at 8 after the first quarter, but Seward took a 27-12 lead into the locker room. After Seward won the third quarter 4-0, Nikiski was able to put 18 points on the board in the fourth quarter. Seward countered with seven to keep the lead.

Tommy Cronin had 13 for the Seahawks, while Nick Ambrosiani had 10, Ben Ambrosiani and Bergen Davis each had five, Ozzy Deel had three and Peter Spanos had two.

The Bulldogs scored 27 of their 30 points on 3-pointers. Charlie Chamberlain paced the offense with four treys for 14 points. Also for Nikiski, Dillon Hanson had six, Isaiah Daniels, Brady Bostic and Braeden Porter each had three, and Drew Handley had one.

Kenai Central’s Bridger Beck and Jakob Kvasnikoff battle Homer’s Carter Tennison for the ball Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Bridger Beck and Jakob Kvasnikoff battle Homer’s Carter Tennison for the ball Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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