Kenai-Soldotna, Ninilchik-Nikolaevsk battle on hardwood

Kenai-Soldotna, Ninilchik-Nikolaevsk battle on hardwood

Kenai Central senior Abby Beck threw up a shot with a second left on the clock to send the Kardinals girls off with a thrilling 27-26 victory Tuesday night over longtime rivals Soldotna.

Whether or not she saw the winning bucket does not matter.

Beck’s circus shot came on a rebound off of Kenai teammate Brooke Satathite’s two missed free throws. Satathite was given the freebies with 5.8 seconds left and with Kenai down 1, two opportunities that could have put the Kards ahead.

After seeing the ball glance off the rim on the second attempt, Beck went scrambling to catch the rebound and ended up on her knees, but her desperation heave ended up going in at the last second. The Stars could not organize a last-ditch effort in the final second.

“I was thinking, somebody on our team better get this rebound,” Beck said after the game. “I went to the ground to grab the ball, and came up with it.”

Beck finished with a game-high 11 points. Brittani Blossom led Soldotna with 10 points.

Kenai head coach Cary Calvert said he had never seen a game-winning shot like that before, but praised Beck for the foresight to make the play with the amount of time that was left.

“Forget being on her knees, she saw the game clock and was intelligent enough to put up the shot instead of get it out to a teammate,” Calvert said.

The wild finish capped a defensive game between both sides that saw each team struggle with ball control. Kenai scored six straight points in the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter to grab a 22-14 lead thanks to consecutive jumpshots from Bethany Coghill and Jaycie Calvert.

However, SoHi roared back with a 12-0 run that left the home team up 26-22 with 1:08 left in the game. Aliann Schmidt got things rolling with a hook shot with 5:14 left, and Blossom scored six of the next eight points for SoHi with swift work against the Kenai press.

“We were throwing the ball every which way,” Calvert said.

Soldotna head coach Kyle McFall explained that he made sure to keep his team’s defensive intensity up in the late minutes.

“We were trying to spread the floor and attack once we got the looks,” he said.

However, a jumper by Calvert with 50 seconds remaining cut the Stars lead to 2, and a free throw by Beck cut it to 26-25 with 23.6 ticks left.

After a free throw attempt by Danica Schmidt missed, Kenai got the ball and scurried down the court for a go-ahead shot, which resulted in Satathite being fouled. That set up the last-second drama.

Earlier in the game, SoHi erased an early Kenai lead with an 8-1 run in the second quarter with several big plays by Abby Kruse and Danica Schmidt, including several big blocks by Schmidt, but a 3-pointer by Beck on Kenai’s last possession left SoHi clinging to a 12-11 halftime lead.

Kenai opened up a 16-12 lead in the third quarter.

Soldotna boys 69, Kenai 54

Tied at 43 with Kenai late in the third quarter, the SoHi boys ripped off a 24-5 run that lasted well into the fourth quarter to ice the game.

Caleb Spence played a big role in heading up the late charge with multiple jukes and drives to the rim to finish with a team-leading 19 points for SoHi. Spence got the Stars going in the third quarter with six straight points by himself, including two driving layups on consecutive possessions to end the quarter.

“We were just looking for open shots, and our offense runs through our defense,” Spence said. “The fourth quarter is the most important time, getting a lead there makes it hard for the other team to come back.”

Eli Sheridan was deadly from long range throughout the game, hitting three 3s to finish with 18 points, while Kyle Marcuson proved his magic touch from behind the arc with a trio of treys, finishing with 13 points.

Kenai senior Josh Jackman led the Kards with a game-high 23 points, cutting through the SoHi defense for much the night on high-energy drives. Tristan Landry added 14 points as well.

The two teams traded the lead throughout the first half, which ended with Kenai leading 31-30.

A bucket by Kalvin Daniels midway through the third quarter left Kenai up 36-35, but SoHi scored the next six points with shots from Wendell Tuisaula and David Michael to go up by 5.

When Jackman laid in a baseline shot with 1:47 to go in the third quarter, he tied it up at 43-all. From there, SoHi took control, starting with a pair of made free throws by Spence.

A steal and a layup by Sheridan with 6:56 to go in the fourth quarter put SoHi up by double digits at 54-43, and a triple by Marcuson from the top of the arc with 5:05 left put SoHi up by 13.

The Kards also struggled without 6-foot-5 forward Luke Bieser on the floor for periods of time in the second half, after Beiser racked up three fouls in the first half.

Ninilchik boys 98, Nikolaevsk 46

The rematch of the Class 1A state final from last season was an overwhelming win for the host Wolverines on Tuesday in Peninsula Conference action.

It took overtime to separate these two teams in the state final, but Tuesday the Wolverines jumped out to a 30-13 lead after the first quarter.

Ninilchik improved to just 4-5 overall, but all of those losses have come to 4A competition, which clearly got the Wolverines ready for their 1A schedule.

Tyler Presley paced Ninilchik with 30 points, while Garrett Koch had 18, JD Mumey had 17, Austin White had 16 and Dalton Geppert had 15.

For the Warriors, Michael Trail had 18 points and Zachary Trail added 11.

Ninilchik girls 41, Nikolaevsk 30

The host Wolverines girls took a 24-16 lead at the half on the way to claiming a Peninsula Conference victory Tuesday.

Ninilchik, which defeated Nikolaevsk for the Peninsula Conference title last season, was led by 15 points from DeeAnn White. Vera Fefelov had 13 points for Nikolaevsk.

Thursday girls

Kardinals 27, Stars 26

Kenai 5 6 5 11 — 27

Soldotna 2 10 2 12 — 26

KENAI (27) — Calvert 2 1-2 5, Miller 0 0-0 0, Coghill 1 0-0 2, Machen-Gray 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Maw 0 0-0 0, Creighton 1 3-8 5, Satathite 2 0-4 4, Beck 4 2-4 11. Totals 10 6-18 27.

SOLDOTNA (26) — McGillivary 0 0-0 0, Houser 0 2-2 2, Miller 2 2-4 6, Blossom 5 0-0 10, A. Schmidt 1 0-0 2, Tuttle 0 0-0 0, Kruse 2 0-0 4, Wells 1 0-0 2, D. Schmidt 0 0-1 0. Totals 11 4-7 26.

3-point goals — Kenai 1 (Beck); Soldotna 0.

Team fouls — Kenai 12; Soldotna 15. Fouled out — none.

Wolverines 41, Warriors 30

Nikolaevsk 8 8 6 8 — 30

Ninilchik 10 14 6 11 — 41

NIKOLAEVSK (30) — Klaich 0 1-2 1, Yakunin 1 0-0 2, J. Fefelov 2 0-0 4, Johnson 1 1-1 3, E. Fefelov 2 3-4 7, V. Fefelov 5 2-2 13. Totals — 11 7-11 30.

NINILCHIK (41) — Clark 1 1-1 3, Delgado 3 1-2 7, Kain 3 0-0 8, Koch 0 0-0 0, White 5 3-4 15, Cooper 2 0-0 4, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Kreger 1 0-0 2. Totals — 16 5-7 41.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 1 (V. Fefelov 1); Ninilchik 4 (Kain 2, Whik, Johnson). Team fouls — Nikolaevsk 12, Ninilchik 15. Fouled out — Klaich.

Thursday boys

Stars 69, Kardinals 54

KENAI (54) — Daniels 2 0-0 5, Beeson 0 0-0 0, Hieber 2 0-0 5, Beiser 2 3-9 7, Landry 5 1-3 14, Jackman 10 1-4 23, Felchle 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 5-16 54.

SOLDOTNA (69) — Trammell 1 0-0 2, Spence 7 4-4 19, Sheridan 5 5-6 18, Crowder 1 0-0 2, Tuisaula 3 0-0 7, McElroy 1 1-2 3, Michael 2 1-2 5, Marcuson 5 0-0 13. Totals 25 11-14 69.

3-point goals — Kenai 7 (Landry 3, Jackman 2, Hieber 1, Daniels 1); Soldotna 8 (Marcuson 3, Sheridan 3, Spence 1, Tuisaula 1).

Team fouls — Kenai 13; Soldotna 16. Fouled out — none.

Wolverines 98, Warriors 46

Nikolaevsk 13 10 13 8 — 46

Ninilchik 30 28 29 13 — 98

NIKOLAEVSK (46) — Jones 0 0-0 0, Yakunin 0 0-0 0, Fefelov 3 0-0 7, Z. Trail 4 3-6 11, M. Trail 8 2-4 18, Kalugin 4 0-2 8. Totals — 19 5-12 46.

NINILCHIK (98) — Presley 11 4-4 30, Koch 8 1-2 18, Geppert 6 0-0 15, Clark 1 0-0 2, Bartolowits 0 0-0 0, Mumey 7 0-0 17, Adams 0 0-0 0, McGinnis 0 0-0 0, White 8 0-0 16. Totals — 42 5-6 98.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 1 (Fefelov); Ninilchik 11 (Presley 4, Geppert 3, Mumey 3, Koch). Team fouls — Nikolaevsk 4, Ninilchik 13. Fouled out — none.

Kenai-Soldotna, Ninilchik-Nikolaevsk battle on hardwood
Kenai-Soldotna, Ninilchik-Nikolaevsk battle on hardwood
Kenai-Soldotna, Ninilchik-Nikolaevsk battle on hardwood

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