Kenai’s Logan Satathite keeps her eye on Houston’s Denali Whitted, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai’s Logan Satathite keeps her eye on Houston’s Denali Whitted, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Prep hoops: Kenai River Challenge, Al Howard, CIA Classic tournaments kick off

One game into his tenure as Kenai Central girls basketball head coach and Jeff Swick is 1-0.

Swick had to sweat it out as the Kardinals escaped with a 40-37 overtime victory over Houston on Thursday night at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge.

The tournament is an annual kick off to the high school hoops season on the peninsula, and this year’s tournament includes teams from Houston, Nikiski and Galena.

In other games, the Nikiski girls lost to Galena 66-54, the Nikiski boys lost 60-28 to Galena and the Kenai boys defeated Houston 56-45.

Friday starts with a 3 p.m. matchup between the Houston and Nikiski boys, followed by a 4:30 p.m. game between the Houston and Nikiski girls, a 6 p.m. game between the Kenai and Galena boys and a 7:30 p.m. clash between the Kenai and Galena girls.

Saturday’s schedule begins with a 10 a.m. skills competition, then moves to a 12 p.m. game between the Houston and Galena girls, a 1:30 p.m. matchup with the Houston and Galena boys, a 3 p.m. contest between the Kenai and Nikiski girls, and the weekend is capped with a 4:30 p.m. clash between the Nikiski and Kenai boys.

The Kenai and Houston girls game was among the more tense of Thursday’s slate, as the Kardinals and Hawks battled within a few possessions of each other the entire game and ended regulation tied at 34 apiece before Kenai won OT 6-3 thanks to a few clutch buckets.

“It’s always good to start with a win,” Swick said.

Swick was making his debut as head coach of the girls team after the departure of Cary Calvert, who manned the helm for the previous four years. The Mountain View Elementary special education teacher comes to Kenai with one year of varsity high school coaching experience in Seldovia in 2008-09.

Swick said Thursday’s season opener was a good lesson in patience for the Kards.

“The first game is always a little sloppy, and there were some lessons learned tonight,” he said. “The whole game, they were frustrated because we weren’t scoring like we wanted, and it took to overtime to calm down.”

The two teams went to the locker rooms tied 16-all at halftime, and Houston eked out a slim 22-21 lead after three quarters.

Liz Hanson put Kenai ahead on the first possession of the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, then was followed by a running floater by Jaiden Streiff and two free throws by Logan Satathite that pushed the lead to 27-22.

A jump shot by Kailey Hamilton following a Kenai steal put the home team up 32-28 with 2:25 left, but Houston responded with two buckets by Katie Richey and Emily Bitler that gave the Hawks a 34-33 edge.

Damaris Severson was fouled with 32.9 seconds left, putting her on the free throw line. Severson hit one of two to tie the game, but Kenai had another scoring opportunity go wasted with less than 10 seconds left when the Kards got a rebound and raced down court for a go-ahead attempt.

Referees didn’t head Kenai’s pleas to call timeout until 1.4 seconds were left on the board, and when they did signal the call, a Kenai bucket was waved off.

In the four-minute overtime period, Kenai struck first with a jumper by Streiff and a layup by Kailey Hamilton off an assist from Hanson. Streiff later raced across court for a driving layup with 1:40 to go, putting Kenai up five points, which proved to be enough to hang on for the win.

Satathite led Kenai with 12 points, while Streiff had 10 and Hanson added eight. Bitler led Houston with a game-high 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.

Kenai boys 56, Houston 45

The Kardinals capped Thursday night with a boys win over Houston. The Kardinals burst out late by outscoring Houston 19-6 in the fourth quarter to get the win.

Evan Stockton scored a game-high 19 points for Kenai, which also got 13 points from Andrew Bezdecny and 12 from Braedon Pitsch. Houston was led by Cody Wyrick’s 15 points.

The two teams went to halftime tied at 27 apiece and Houston came out to take a slim 39-37 lead at the end of the third quarter.

It was all Kenai from there. Bezdecny hit three shots for seven points in the final eight minutes, while Stockton converted 4 of 4 free throws to net eight points.

Galena boys 60, Nikiski 28

The Hawks used superb offense in the first half and defense in the second half to nail down a win Thursday over the Bulldogs.

Galena led 38-20 at halftime, then clamped down to hold Nikiski to eight points in the second half.

Nate Moses led the charge for Galena with 17 points and Joe Riddle chipped in 16. Nikiski was led by Michael Mysing and Austin Stafford, both of whom had nine points, and Drew Handley added seven.

Galena girls 66, Nikiski 54

Pearle Green poured in 34 points to fuel Galena to a win over Nikiski on Thursday.

Kaycee Bostic scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter for Nikiski, which also got 16 points from Lillian Carstens.

Galena outscored Nikiski 19-9 in the second quarter to take a 38-24 lead, then weathered the onslaught of 3-pointers from Bostic in the fourth to get the win.

Powerade/Al Howard SoHi Tip-Off

ACS boys 65, Soldotna 62, OT

The Anchorage Christian Schools boys started the annual Powerade/Al Howard SoHi Tip-Off tournament by topping Soldotna in overtime.

For the Lions, Josh Davis had 23 points, while Daekwon Houston had 14 and Addison Dobbs and JD McGee had 11 points apiece.

For Soldotna, Jersey Truesdell poured in 26 points, while Ray Chumley had 18 and Tyler Morrison had 10 points.

Eagle River boys 66, Homer 63

In the early game, Eagle River defeated Homer.

Sean Berry hit six 3-pointers to score 23 points for the Wolves, while Roland Burley had 17 and Shawn Padilla added 11. For Homer, Ethan Anderson had 16, while Clayton Beach had 12.

Today at the tourney, it’s Eagle River boys vs. ACS at 4:30 p.m., Soldotna girls vs. Service at 6:15 p.m. and Soldotna boys vs. Homer at 8 p.m.

CIA Classic

The Nikolaevsk girls and boys picked up opening day victories Thursday over their peninsula rivals Cook Inlet Academy.

The Nikolaevsk girls thrashed CIA 60-17, while the boys game was a nail biter, with Nikolaevsk coming out 59-58 winners over CIA.

In the boys game, the Eagles outscored the Warriors 16-9 in the third quarter to grab a 45-39 lead, but Nikolaevsk raced back by winning the fourth quarter 20-13 to eke out the win.

Lukah Kalugin poured in a game-high 18 points for Nikolaevsk, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and teammate Isaak Fefelov chipped in 17. James Boyd led CIA with 15 points and Cole Moore added 12.

In the girls game, Nikolaevsk got an even offensive effort, led by the 11 points scored by Elizabeth Fefelov. Niko also got 10 points each from Sophia Klaich, Hannah Gerasimof and Markiana Yakunin. CIA was paced by the eight points by Anna Henderson.

In an earlier boys game, Ninilchik topped SoHi JV 54-31.

Ben Botero paced the Wolverines with 22 points, while Cole Hadro added 11. Brock Wilson had eight for the Stars.

Also in girls action, Soldotna JV defeated Ninilchik 50-5, with Grace McElroy pacing the Stars with 11 points. Jade Robuck paced Ninilchik with four points.

In the early game, Nikiski’s C-team girls topped CIA 42-31, taking an 11-1 lead after one quarter. Shylan Freeman paced the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Tatum Rozak had 10 points for the Eagles.

Today, it’s Nikiski JV girls vs. Ninilchik at 2:30 p.m., Nikolaevsk girls vs. Soldotna JV at 4 p.m., CIA boys vs. Soldotna JV at 5:30 p.m., Ninilchik girls vs. CIA at 7 p.m. and Nikolaevsk boys vs. Ninilchik at 8:30 p.m.

Grace Grizzly Classic

The Seward boys and girls teams fell in losses Thursday at the Grace Grizzly Classic tournament in Anchorage.

The Seward girls lost 67-23 to Barrow, while the Seahawk boys lost 55-40 to Grace Christian.

Eight Barrow players scored in the girls game, led by the 22 points of Lewanne Brower. Shelby Siemanski and Sequoia Sieverts scored seven points each to lead Seward.

Max Pfeiffenberger scored a game-high 20 points for Seward in the boys game, but Grace took control in the second quarter by outscoring Seward 14-0. Andrew Beck had 16 points for Grace.

Joe Floyd Tournament

Homer girls 57, Glennallen 28

The Mariners girls notched a victory over Glennallen on the first day of the Joe Floyd tournament in Kodiak.

Laura Inama had 17 points for Homer, while Sailey Rhodes had 10.

GIRLS

Kardinals 40, Hawks 37, OT

Houston 9 7 6 12 3 —37

Kenai 10 6 5 13 6 —40

HOUSTON (37) — D. Whitted 4, Rusher 0, Richey 5, Elson 4, Garcia 3, Bitler 19, A. Whitted 2.

KENAI (40) — Hamilton 7, Keyes 0, Hanson 8, Streiff 10, Satathite 12, Severson 1, Lauritsen 2.

3-point FG — Kenai 2 (Satathite 2); Houston 2 (Richey 1, Garcia 1).

Team fouls — Kenai 13; Houston 11.

Hawks 66, Bulldogs 54

Galena 19 19 13 15 —66

Nikiski 15 9 12 18 —54

GALENA (66) — Green 34, Tinker 0, Heckman 11, Leopold 3, Kaganak 9, Morgan 5, Williams 0, Killingsworth 4.

NIKISKI (54) — Reichert 3, Carstens 16, Bostic 18, Johnson 6, Zimmerman 5, B. Epperheimer 4, S. Epperheimer 0, Puente 2.

3-point FG — Nikiski 7 (Bostic 4, Carstens 2, Reichert 1); Galena 13 (Green 7, Heckman 3, Leopold 1, Kaganak 1, Morgan 1).

Team fouls — Nikiski 11; Galena 9.

Bulldogs C 42, Eagles 31

Nikiski 11 12 8 11 —42

CIA 1 6 16 9 — 31

NIKISKI C-TEAM (42) — Puente 1, Freeman 17, Walter 1, Broesdorf 0, Osborne 0, Nelson 4, Nunley 10, Edgar 0, Mullin 9.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (31) — Hyatt 1, Dohse 5, Liles 0, Castenholz 9, Wahl 6, Rozak 10.

3-point goals — Nikiski 2 (Nunley 2); CIA 2 (Castenholz, Rozak). Team fouls — Nikiski 16. Fouled out — none.

Stars JV 50, Wolverines 5

Ninilchik 0 0 0 5 —5

Soldotna JV 27 10 11 2 —50

NINILCHIK (5) — Jasper 0, Calabrese 1, Robuck 4, DenBoer 0, Ofstad 0, Okonet 0.

SOLDOTNA JV (50) — Widaman 4, Brantley 4, Nasibog 2, Fischer 2, Burns 9, Cannava 8, Hinz 2, Anderson 0, Spies 0, McElroy 11, Morrison 4, Thomas 4, Tough 0.

3-point goals — Ninilchik 1 (Robuck). Team fouls — Ninilchik 7, Soldotna 13. Fouled out — none.

Whalers 67, Seahawks 23

Barrow 24 14 20 9 —67

Seward 9 6 3 5 —23

BARROW (67) — Kaleak 7, Grimes 8, Brower 22, Leavitt 6, Donovan 15, Brower 4, Manu 2, Brower 4.

SEWARD (23) — Dow 0, Schilling 0, Jagielski 3, Siemanski 7, Lemme 0, Sieverts 7, Casagranda 2, Jack 0, Ambrosiani 4.

3-point FG — Seward 1 (Jagielski 1); Barrow 9 (Brower 5, Donovan 2, Leavitt 1, Kaleak 1).

Team fouls — Seward 11, Barrow 10.

Mariners 57, Glennallen 28

Homer 15 16 13 13 —57

Glennallen 3 12 6 7 — 28

HOMER (57) — Rhodes 10, Bishop 9, Anderson 2, Doughty 9, Inama 17, Carroll 4, Hatfield 4, Smude 2.

GLENNALLEN (28) — Nollner 2, Anika Palacios 8, Hoke 6, Finau 0, Ewan-Dye 3, Jacobsen 9, Stevens 0.

3-point goals — Homer 4 (Bishop 2, Anderson 2); Glennallen 6 (Jacobson 3, Hoke 2, Anika Palacios). Team fouls — Homer 10, Glennallen 16. Fouled out — Nollner.

BOYS

Hawks 60, Bulldogs 28

Galena 16 22 10 12 —60

Nikiski 12 8 3 5 —28

GALENA (60) — Moses 17, Sam 7, Moore 10, Riddle 16, Kopp 0, Pitka 0, Carlo 3, Riddle III 7.

NIKISKI (28) – Mysing 9, McCollum 0, Bostic 1, Malston 0, Stafford 9, Anderson 2, Porter 0, Handley 7.

3-point FG — Galena 6 (Moses 3, Sam 1, Riddle 2); Nikiski 5 (Stafford 3, Mysing 1, Handley 1).

Kardinals 56, Hawks 45

Houston 12 15 12 6 —45

Kenai 16 11 10 19 —56

HOUSTON (45) — Cork 0, Taylor 2, Howard 9, Wyrick 15, Taylor 11, Falaniko 2, Jefferson 2, McLaughlin 4.

KENAI (56) — Dunham 3, Baisden 0, Kvasnikoff 2, Bezdecny 13, Stockton 19, Tunseth 4, Pitsch 12, Daniels 3.

3-point FG — Kenai 3 (Bezdecny 1, Stockton 1, Daniels 1); Houston 6 (Taylor 3, Wyrick 2, Howard 1).

Team fouls — Kenai 12; Houston 14.

Wolves 66, Mariners 63

Eagle River 15 11 26 14 —66

Homer 17 20 13 13 — 63

EAGLE RIVER (66) — Burley 17, Michener 7, Love 0, Jackson II 0, Cogswell 2, Padilla 11, Berry 23, Farthing 6.

HOMER (63) — Beachy 12, Etzwiler 5, Lowney 5, Jon. Raymond 9. Anderson 16, Knapp 9, Mann 5, Jos. Raymond 2.

3-point goals — Eagle River 10 (Berry 6, Padilla 2, Burley 2); Homer 5 (Beachy, Etzwiler, Lowney, Jon. Raymond, Knapp). Team fouls — Eagle River 16, Homer 21. Fouled out — none.

Lions 65, Stars 62, OT

ACS 8 12 17 15 13 — 65

Soldotna 16 16 11 9 10 — 62

ANCHORAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (65) — Dobbs 11, Malinis 6, Davis 23, Houston 14, Szepanski 0, McGee 11, Williams 0.

SOLDOTNA (62) — Rich 3, Sewell 0, Bouschor 0, Morrison 10, Hanson 0, Chumley 18, Truesdell 26, Rosin 5.

3-point goals — ACS 4 (Davis 3, Dobbs); Soldotna 21. Team fouls — ACS 24, Soldotna 21. Fouled out — Malinis, Morrison, Chumley.

Wolverines 54, SoHi JV 31

Soldotna 11 10 8 2 — 31

Ninilchik 14 17 8 15 —54

SOLDOTNA JV (31) — Gray 0, Wilson 8, T. Johnson 2, Pieh 0, Mellon 0, Derleth 6, Denbrock 3, N. Johnson 6, Ducker 6, Schwartz 0.

NINILCHIK (54) — Collins 0, Botero 22, Hadro 11, Scott 4, Rickard 0, Nelson 2, Clark 8, Johnson 0, McClosky 0, Lemons 0, Blossom 0, Mumey 7.

3-point goals — Soldotna JV 1 (Denbrock); Ninilchik 5 (Botero 2, Hadro 3). Team fouls — Soldotna 12, Ninilchik 11. Fouled out — none.

Kenai’s Damaris Severson tries to swat the ball from Houston’s Emily Bitler, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai’s Damaris Severson tries to swat the ball from Houston’s Emily Bitler, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai’s Jaiden Streiff dribbles by Houston’s Denali Whitted, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai’s Jaiden Streiff dribbles by Houston’s Denali Whitted, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central girls basketball head coach Jeff Swick surveys the action Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. Swick was making his first start as varsity head coach of the team. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central girls basketball head coach Jeff Swick surveys the action Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Craig Jung Kenai River Challenge tournament at Kenai Central High School. Swick was making his first start as varsity head coach of the team. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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