Saturday prep hoops: Kenai girls topple Palmer

  • By Jeremiah Bartz
  • Monday, February 23, 2015 1:43pm
  • Sports

PALMER — During their three-day tour of the Mat-Su, there was at least one thing that remained consistent throughout the long weekend.

The effort and work on the defensive end was always there for the Kenai Kardinals. And after back-to-back tough girls basketball losses to Wasilla and Colony, the Kards were able to cap their trip with some success on the offensive side too.

The Kards used an 18-point second quarter to grab a 47-42 Northern Lights Conference win over the Palmer Moose Saturday at Palmer High School.

“Three games in the Valley is extremely tough. It’s very deflating to go home (0-3). We struggled offensively against Wasilla and Colony. The only difference between tonight, and last night and Thursday is we made shots,” Kenai head coach Stacia Rustad said Saturday evening after the win over Palmer. “Defensively, we’re a sound team. For the most part we do a good job on the boards, even though most nights we’re at a size disadvantage. We just struggle putting the ball in the hoop. We struggled Thursday and Friday, and we didn’t tonight.”

Abby Beck scored nine of her team-high 11 points in the second half. Alexis Baker added nine, and Hannah Barcus and Sarah Every chipped in seven each.

After a dreadful first quarter in which the Moose outscored Kenai 4-2, Kenai capitalized in the second. Allie Ostrander hit a three-pointer early to give Kenai it’s first lead of the game. Late in the quarter, Baker came off the bench to spark the Kards.

After Katy Bowman hit a three-pointer for Palmer to tie the game at 15, Baker capped the quarter by going on a five-point run on her own. She hit a jumper, drew the foul and hit three free-throw for the three-point play. That gave Kenai an 18-15 advantage. Baker added another jumper during the final moments of the half to push Kenai’s lead to 20-15.

Baker scored seven of her nine points in the second quarter.

“She gave us that little momentum and cushion. It was absolutely huge,” Rusted said of Baker.

Kenai pushed its lead to as much as 10 in the second half, with a Sarah Every three-pointer. Palmer was able to trim Kenai’s lead to just two points midway through the fourth quarter, but Kenai answered with baskets by Beck and Barcus.

With the win, the Kards improved to 2-7 in NLC play, and secured the two-game regular season sweep of the Moose (2-7). Last month, Kenai beat Palmer 50-31 at Kenai Central. That marked Kenai’s first conference win since Feb. 14, 2012.

Rustad called Saturday’s win a huge confidence booster.

“I’m always preaching to the kids, hard work will pay off. You’ve just got to keep working hard every day,” Rustad said. “Even though we’re accumulating loss, loss, loss, it will eventually pay off. Moments like this makes the kids understand, hey coach is right with what she’s preaching. We’ve just got to keep working hard, keep shooting the ball over, and over, and over before it just becomes natural for the ball to drop every single night for us.”

Palmer boys 59, Kenai 54

Palmer’s underclassmen came through for the Moose on Saturday night.

Freshman Clayton Southwick and sophomore James Blake combined for eight points during the extra period to lead Palmer to a 59-54 win over Kenai Central at Palmer High.

Southwick was 4 of 6 from the free throw line in overtime, and Blake provided the go-ahead bucket late in the tiebreaker. Sophomore Nich DeBach also had a big basket in overtime for Palmer, which improved to 2-5 in NLC play.

Tye Ramoth, another sophomore, led all scorers with 18.

Palmer took a lead into halftime, but Jonah Theisen helped pull the Kards back into the game during the second half. Theisen scored 11 of his team-high 13 points during the second half. Theisen also hit a free throw with 46 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 49.

Josh Jackman hit a key three-pointer earlier in the quarter that tied the game at 48.

Colony girls 46, Soldotna 34

Chase Stephens used a big fourth quarter to help Colony cement a Northern Lights Conference win over Soldotna Saturday afternoon.

Stephens scored 10 of Colony’s 19 fourth-quarter points in a 46-34 victory over the Stars at Colony High. Stephens finished with 13 points in the win. Faith Farris added 11. Colony improved to 7-1 in NLC play with the victory.

Hayley Ramsell led Soldotna with 11 points in the loss. Haley Miller added 10.

Colony boys 52, Soldotna 45

In boys’ action, Soldotna’s eight three-pointers was not enough to get past Colony. The Knights (8-0) stayed undefeated in NLC play with a win over the Stars.

Bailey West hit four three-pointers for Colony, and led the Knights with 16. Ethan Selmer added 13.

Nate Spence hit three of Soldotna’s eight treys and led the Stars with 15 points. Joe Weltzin added 11.

Homer boys 40, Seward 36

The Mariners used a strong third quarter to secure a Southcentral Conference victory Saturday.

Kenneth Schneider netted a game-high 13 points for Homer, while teammates Filip Reutov and Sheldon Hutt put up eight apiece. Michael Wolfe scored eight to lead Seward.

Trailing 17-13 at halftime, Homer outscored Seward 13-4 in the third to recapture the lead, then held off the Seahawks in the final quarter.

Homer girls 53, Seward 39

Kayla Stafford pumped in 22 points with four 3’s to send the Mariners to a Southcentral Conference win Saturday over Seward.

Madison Akers chipped in 14 points for Homer (11-9 overall).

Jasmine Perea scored 16 points to lead Seward (7-7), and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Seward led 25-19 at halftime, but Homer rallied back to tie it at 31 apiece after the third quarter. In the fourth, Homer went wild with 22 points to gap Seward and seal the win.

CIA boys 49,
Birchwood Christian 34

Cook Inlet Academy topped Birchwood Christian Saturday in a Peninsula Conference matchup.

Timmy Smithwick scored 13 third-quarter points en route to a game-high 31 for CIA.

The Eagles held a slim 23-22 lead at halftime, but broke the game open in the third quarter by outscoring Birchwood 18-10, then held their opponents to two points in the fourth to seal the win.

Birchwood Christian girls 36, CIA 28

The Birchwood Christian girls grabbed a Peninsula Conference victory over the Eagles Saturday evening.

Birchwood led 17-10 at the half, then kept a steady gap the rest of the way to take the win.

Senior Madison Orth scored 17 points in the losing effort for CIA.

Clarion reporter Joey Klecka contributed to this story.

Saturday girls

Kardinals 47, Moose 42

Kenai 2 18 16 11 —47

Palmer 4 11 14 13 —42

Kenai (47) — Ostrander 1 1-2 4, Drury 1 1-2 3, Steinbeck 2 2-4 6, Baker 4 1-1 9, Barcus 2 3-4 7, Beck 3 5-6 11, Every 3 0-0 7. Totals 16 13-19 47.

Palmer (42) — Venzke 4 0-0 10, Bowman 3 1-2 10, King 2 0-0 4, Uschmann 2 1-2 5, Smylie 0 1-2 1, Till 3 3-3 9, Sherman 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 6-12 42.

3-point field goals: Kenai 2 (Ostrander, Every 1); Palmer 6 (Bowman 3). Total fouls — Kenai 13, Palmer 20.

Knights 46, Stars 34

Soldotna 6 6 10 12 —34

Colony 5 8 14 19 —46

Soldotna (34) — Nelson 2 0-0 5, Shaw 1 2-2 4, Wong 2 0-0 4, Ramsell 4 3-4 11, Miller 2 6-8 10; Totals: 11 11-13 34.

Colony (46) — A. Smith 2 0-0 5, Farris 2 6-6 11, Stephens 6 1-3 13, Clark 3 0-2 6, Turcotte 1 0-0 2, Brumbaugh 1 2-3 4, Bonn 2 0-1 5; Totals: 17 9-15 46.

3-point field goals — Soldotna 1 (Nelson 1), Colony 3 (3 tied with 1); Total fouls — Soldotna 15, Colony 13

Mariners 53, Seahawks 39

Homer 6 13 12 22 ­—53

Seward 9 16 7 8 —39

HOMER (53) — Reutov 0 0-0 0, Alexander 1 1-2 3, Ramirez-Clark 0 0-0 0, Akers 5 4-8 14, Fellows 4 0-0 8, Waclawski 2 2-2 6, Stafford 7 4-5 22. Totals 19 11-17 53.

SEWARD (39) — Anderson 1 0-0 2, Honebein 0 0-0 0, Jackson 3 0-0 6, Baldwin 1 0-0 3, Lapanskas 3 1-3 7, Perea 5 6-6 16, Clemens 2 0-0 5. Totals 15 7-9 39.

3-point goals — Seward 2 (Clemens 1, Baldwin 1); Homer 4 (Stafford 4). Fouled out — none.

Birchwood Christian 36, Eagles 28

B. Christian 6 11 7 12 —36

CIA 4 6 7 11 —28

Birchwood (36) — Smith 0 0-0 0, Becker 3 0-0 6, Roberts 5 4-6 15, Goward 3 3-13 9, Brassell 2 2-4 6, Alexander 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 9-23 36.

CIA (28) — Delon 0 0-0 0, Carey 0 0-0 0, Taplin 0 0-0 0, Lyons 0 4-6 4, Hammond 2 3-6 7, Orth 6 4-12 17. Totals 8 11-24 28.

3-point goals — Birchwood Christian 1 (Roberts); CIA 1 (Orth). Fouled out — Brassell, Hammond.

Saturday boys

Palmer 59, Kenai 54, OT

Kenai 8 13 15 13 4 —54

Palmer 12 18 10 9 10 —59

Kenai (54) — Theisen 5 1-3 13, Ivy 4 0-2 8, Ta. Landry 1 1-2 3, Jackman 3 5-5 12, Foree 4 0-2 9, Wortham 2 3-3 8. Totals 19 10-17 54.

Palmer (59) — Ramoth 6 2-2 18, DeBach 1 0-0 2, Ferris 1 4-4 7, Southwick 3 8-10 15, Blake 4 5-6 15, Yanez 1 0-4 2. Totals 16 19-26 59.

Knights 52, Stars 45

Soldotna 9 10 13 13 —45

Colony 14 16 11 11 —52

Soldotna (45) — Kuntz 1 2-2 5, Weltzin 5 1-2 11, Furlong 2 0-1 6, Phillips 0 1-2 1, Spence 6 0-0 15, Duke 2 1-2 7; Totals: 16 5-9 45.

Colony (52) — Selmer 5 2-4 13, Looney 3 0-0 6, West 5 2-4 16, Chamblee 1 0-2 2, Menard 1 3-4 5, Sonnenberg 3 2-2 8, Lincoln 1 0-1 2; Totals: 19 9-17 52.

3-point field goals: Soldotna 8 (Spence 3), Total fouls: Soldotna 12

Mariners 40, Seahawks 36

Homer 9 4 13 14 —40

Seward 6 11 4 15 —36

HOMER (40) — B. Beachy 0 0-0 0, Edens 0 0-0 0, Reutov 3 1-2 8, Schneider 5 3-3 13, Nelson 3 1-2 7, Rainwater 0 2-2 2, Hutt 2 4-7 8, Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 11-16 40.

SEWARD (36) ­— Jacobson 0 0-0 0, Berry 1 2-2 5, Marshall 2 3-4 7, Pahno 1 0-0 2, Wolfe 3 0-0 8, Sieverts 2 0-0 4, N. Pahno 1 0-0 3, DeBoard 0 0-0 0, Jackson 2 2-4 7. Totals 12 7-10 36.

3-point goals — Homer 1 (Reutov); Seward 5 (Wolfe 2, Pahno 1, Jackson 1, Berry 1). Fouled out — Marshall.

Eagles 49, Birchwood Christian 34

CIA 16 7 18 8 —49

B. Christian 8 14 10 2 —34

CIA (49) — A. Hammond 2 0-0 4, B. Hammond 0 0-0 0, R. Smithwick 0 5-7 5, Barlow 0 0-0 0, J. Smithwick 4 0-0 8, Solie 0 0-0 0, T. Smithwick 14 1-1 31. Totals 20 6-8 49.

Birchwood (34) — Wohele 0 0-0 0, Keiffer 4 0-3 10, Jones 7 1-2 15, Wohrle 1 0-2 2, O’Neil 1 0-0 3, Alexander 2 0-3 4. Totals 15 1-10 34.

3-point goals — CIA 2 (T. Smithwick 2).

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