Soldotna’s Danica Schmidt protects the ball from Kenai Central’s Hayley Maw on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, at Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Danica Schmidt protects the ball from Kenai Central’s Hayley Maw on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, at Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

SoHi hoops sweep Kenai

The Kenai Central boys had the fast start, but the Soldotna boys had Jersey Truesdell.

Truesdell helped lead the Stars back from an early 17-point deficit to post a 52-39 win Tuesday night at Kenai Central High School.

In making his first varsity start, the SoHi sophomore scored 18 second-half points en route to a game-high 25 points, which was enough for Kenai head coach Ken Felchle to anoint him “the real deal.”

“I know basketball is a team game, but that kid single-handedly took over the game,” Felchle said.

Truesdell announced his arrival on the varsity court last weekend in a loss to Juneau, scoring 29 points off the bench.

The performance was enough to convince SoHi coach Nolan Rose to start him Tuesday against Kenai.

“Coach Rose and I had a conversation before Juneau, he let me know that he had full confidence in me,” Truesdell said.

Rose said with a senior-heavy lineup, Truesdell has had to earn his way into the starting lineup, and in his talk with the young player asked him to assert himself more.

“We have a lot of seniors on the team, and so he wasn’t playing as aggressive, he was deferring a lot,” Rose said. “I told him he just needs to go.

“He’s a young guy making his first start, but he can be a superstar.”

The win lifted SoHi to a winning start in its Northern Lights Conference schedule at 1-0. The Stars are 5-5 overall. Kenai dropped to 0-2 in the conference and 4-3 overall.

Senior Luke Beiser led Kenai with 15 points, while Norwegian transplant Preben Strende netted 11, all in the first half.

Truesdell hit four 3-pointers and went 5-for-6 from the foul line, and was 4-for-4 with a pair of treys in the fourth quarter alone for 10 points.

After getting the first bucket of the game to lead 2-0, the Stars didn’t lead again until 5:44 left in the game, when Truesdell sank a pair of free throws to put SoHi up 37-36.

Led by the darting quickness of Beiser and the hot shooting from Strende, the Kardinals streaked out to a 21-4 lead by the early minutes of the second quarter.

A near halfcourt shot by Truesdell went through as the buzzer sounded for halftime, cutting the Kenai lead to 28-17, and the momentum proved crucial for SoHi.

“I felt like the fans give you feedback, and they were buzzing after that shot,” Truesdell said. “We just had some momentum headed into the locker room.”

Kenai led 32-19 early in the third quarter, but Truesdell began to heat up from 3-point land. SoHi outscored Kenai 28-4 from 5:43 left in the third to 2:25 left in the fourth, a span of 11:18 on the game clock.

By the two-minute mark in the fourth quarter, SoHi had taken a daunting 47-36 lead.

Felchle pinned the letdown on Kenai’s ineffectiveness on offense in the second half.

“We took way too much time to set our plays, and our press break didn’t executive in the third quarter,” he said. “We ended up fixing it, but by that time it was too late.”

Next on the schedule for SoHi is an NLC meeting with Kodiak on Thursday at home, while Kenai takes on Monroe Catholic Thursday at the Nikiski Tip-Off tournament.

Soldotna girls 49, Kenai 41

A tight contest turned SoHi’s way in the third quarter and the Stars left with an NLC win in the bag Tuesday night at KCHS.

The win kept SoHi’s undefeated conference season alive at 3-0 and pushed their overall record to 5-2. Kenai dropped to 0-2 in the conference and 5-5 overall.

Junior Aliann Schmidt paced the Stars with 14 points, and played a pivotal role in SoHi’s second-half run.

“I think we just finally got the jitters out, because this is always a big game,” Schmidt explained. “We’ve grown up playing (with and against) them and there’s always pressure to win.”

An 11-0 run in the third quarter proved to be the difference in breaking open a tight game. Schmidt had two buckets in that span and assisted on another.

Soldotna head coach Kyle McFall said the halftime talk was about increasing the defensive intensity after allowing 14 points in the second quarter, six from Satathite.

“We didn’t box out well in the first half, but we got better in the third quarter,” McFall said. “That allowed us to get out in transition.”

Junior Brittani Blossom netted 12 points for SoHi, including two big fourth-quarter shots that helped stave off a Kenai comeback.

Kenai junior Brooke Satathite paced the Kardinals with a game-high 15 points, while point guard Jaycie Calvert chipped in 10.

Kenai head coach Cary Calvert praised his team’s execution but said the loss came down to the ball going in.

“We’ve just got to hit some shots,” Calvert said. “We played some good basketball, but we’re not scoring much.”

A 3-pointer by Mei Miller put SoHi ahead 12-6 in the first quarter, but Kenai scored the next eight points to take a 14-12 lead midway through the second. SoHi came back to lead 22-20 at the halftime break.

A putback shot from Calvert with 4:29 remaining in the third quarter cut the SoHi lead to 26-25, but the Stars answered with 11 straight points.

A pair of free throws by Lexy Carrasco with 4:59 left in the game helped Kenai close to 43-36, but Schmidt helped close the door with a layup on the next possession and the ensuing foul shot, and Blossom buried a trey with 4:14 to play for a 13-point lead.

Next up on the schedule for Soldotna is a nonconference contest at Seward next Tuesday, while Kenai visits Colony for an NLC clash Jan. 26.

Nikolaevsk girls 48, Ninilchik 40

The host Warriors jumped out to a 29-21 lead at halftime and held onto it in the second half to secure a Peninsula Conference victory.

Markiana Yakunin and Justina Fefelov each had 14 points and Kristin Klaich added 11 as the Warriors moved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the league.

For Ninilchik, DeeAnn White led the way with 21 points.

Nikolaevsk boys 53, Wolverines 29

The host Warriors moved to 4-1 in the league and 4-1 overall with a Peninsula Conference victory Tuesday.

The game was tied at 9 after the first quarter, but the Warriors grabbed a 21-9 lead at halftime and padded that lead from there.

Kalenik Molodih poured in 28 points to pace Nikolaevsk, while Jake Clark had 10 for Ninilchik.

Tuesday girls

Stars 49, Kardinals 41

Soldotna 12 10 17 10 — 49

Kenai 6 14 10 11 — 41

SOLDOTNA (49) — McGillivray 1 0-0 2, Miller 2 0-0 5, Blossom 4 3-3 12, A. Schmidt 5 4-4 14, Buckbee 0 0-0 0, Holland 3 0-0 6, Wurst 2 0-0 4, Crosby-Schneider 0 0-0 0, D. Schmidt 3 0-1 6, McDonald 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 7-7 49.

KENAI CENTRAL (41) — Calvert 4 1-2 10, Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Maw 1 1-2 3, Erlich 0 0-0 0, Hanson 3 1-1 7, Paxson 1 0-0 2, Carrasco 0 2-2 2, Satathite 6 3-5 15, Streiff 1 0-0 2. Totals — 14 8-12 41.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (Miller, Blossom); Kenai 1 (Calvert).

Team fouls — Soldotna 13, Kenai 12. Fouled out — none.

Warriors 48, Wolverines 40

Ninilchik . 9 . 12 . 14 . 5 — 40

Nikolaevsk . 14 . 15 . 10 . 9 — 48

NINILCHIK (40) — Delgado 3 2-3 8, Jasper 0 0-0 0, Robuck 3 1-2 7, Corey 0 0-0 0, Koch 2 0-1 4, White 8 5-8 21, Cooper 0 0-2 0, Okonek 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 8-16 40.

NIKOLAEVSK (48) — S. Klaich 0 0-0 0, K. Klaich 5 0-0 11, Kain 0 0-0 0, Lasiter 0 0-0 0, Yakunin 6 1-5 14, Mametieff 0 0-0 0, J. Fefelov 6 1-2 14, E. Fefelov 4 1-4 9. Totals — 21 3-11 48.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 3 (K. Klaich, Yakunin, J. Fefelov). Team fouls — Ninilchik 15, Nikolaevsk 17. Fouled out — none.

Tuesday boys

Stars 52, Kardinals 39

Soldotna 4 13 17 18 —52

Kenai 17 11 8 3 —39

SOLDOTNA (52) — Truesdell 8 5-6 25, Trammel 1 0-0 3, Spence 3 3-3 9, Sheridan 1 2-2 4, Crowder 1 2-2 4, Tuisaula 0 2-2 2, Michael 1 1-2 3, McElroy 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 15-17 52.

KENAI (39) — Riddall 0 0-0 0, Efta 0 0-0 0, Felchle 0 0-0 0, Baker 1 2-2 4, Tuttle 1 0-0 2, Beiser 7 1-3 15, Goodman 3 1-2 7, Trujillo 0 0-0 0, Strende 4 0-0 11. Totals 13 4-7 39.

3-point goals — Soldotna 5 (Truesdell 4, Trammel 1); Kenai 3 (Strende 3).

Team fouls — Soldotna 11; Kenai 17. Fouled out — none.

Warriors 53, Wolverines 29

Ninilchik . 9 . 0 . 13 . 7 — 29

Nikolaevsk . 9 . 12 . 18 . 14 — 53

NINILCHIK (29) — Nelson 1 0-1 2, Koch 3 2-4 8, Hadro 1 0-1 3, Clark 4 2-2 10, Davila 1 0-0 2, McGinnis 1 0-0 2, White 1 0-0 2. Totals — 12 4-8 29.

NIKOLAEVSK (53) — Boquecosa 0 0-0 0, Molodih 13 1-3 28, Fefelov 0 0-0 0, Jackson 2 0-0 4, Stanish 0 1-2 1, Yakunin 0 0-0 0, Kalugin 0 0-0 0, Nikitenko 1 0-0 3, Z. Trail 4 0-0 8, M. Trail 4 1-4 9. Totals — 24 3-9 53.

3-point goals — Ninilchik 1 (Hadro); Nikolaevsk 2 (Molodih, Nikitenko). Team fouls — Ninilchik 9, Nikolaevsk 14. Fouled out — Stanish.

Soldotna’s Danica Schmidt and Aliann Schmidt try to stop Kenai Central’s Brooke Satathite on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, on Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Danica Schmidt and Aliann Schmidt try to stop Kenai Central’s Brooke Satathite on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, on Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

SoHi hoops sweep Kenai

Soldotna’s Danica Schmidt and Aliann Schmidt try to stop Kenai Central’s Brooke Satathite on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, on Cliff Massie Court at Kenai Central High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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