Soldotna boys take on Kodiak

It’s asking a lot to contain Kodiak sophomore point guard Alec Canete-Hall for four quarters.

Friday in Northern Lights Conference play at Soldotna, asking to contain Canete-Hall for more than four quarters proved too much.

Kodiak notched a 55-51 victory over Soldotna, with Canete-Hall scoring eight of his squad’s 10 points in the extra frame, and assisting on the other bucket.

“He’s got a great IQ, he’s a great competitor and he can lead,” Soldotna coach Matt Johnson said of Canete-Hall. “He’s a nice ballplayer.”

The Stars were able to come back Saturday at limit Canete-Hall to nine points in a 59-49 NLC victory Saturday.

Daniel McElroy led SoHi with 20 points, while Nathan Spence added 16.

For Kodiak, Austin Frick had 14, Ryan Bezona had 12 and Jemeul Mangalus had 10.

Soldotna won the Joe Floyd tournament in Kodiak in early January with a 52-38 victory over the Bears, but Johnson knew the Stars were in for quite the defensive test Friday and Saturday.

Canete-Hall, who finished with 19 points, controls the ball and uses screens to get in dangerous areas on the floor. Plus, he has a feathery jumper.

Johnson also said Frick, who got all of his 15 points on 3-pointers Friday, shoots the ball as well as anyone in the state.

“I’m happy with the effort we gave all night defensively,” Johnson said. “I’ll sleep fine tonight.”

The Stars led 12-11 after one quarter as big man McElroy had six of his 18 points in the first eight minutes. Frick had nine points in the opening frame, including a 3 at the buzzer.

In the second quarter, the Stars defense was able to force Kodiak into a lot of perimeter passing.

The Bears went 2 of 10 from the floor in the period, and SoHi closed the half on a 9-2 run for a 23-18 advantage at the break.

Canete-Hall and the Kodiak defense came out more aggressively in the second half. A jumper by Canete-Hall tied the game at 25 with 6:00 left in the quarter.

When Johnson called timeout at the 3:10 mark, SoHi trailed 28-27 and had started the quarter 1 of 7 from the floor.

Johnson’s solution to the problem became apparent when the Stars got the ball down to McElroy right out of the timeout for a bucket. But McElroy had six points in the second half after scoring 12 in the first half.

“We probably should have lived down there a little more,” Johnson said.

An 8-1 spurt capped by a 3-pointer from Frick gave the Bears a 37-30 lead with 6:56 left in the game.

But a 9-2 surge capped by a free throw by McElroy with 4:10 left put the Stars up 41-40. Austin Kruse had five of his 14 points during the run.

From there, it would stay a one-possession game until SoHi came out of a timeout with the score knotted at 45 and ran off the final 57 seconds before Max Conradi missed a jumper and Spence missed the follow as the horn sounded.

“We had a chance, then we had a great chance on the putback, but they didn’t go,” Johnson said. “That’s basketball.”

Johnson said his team expended a lot of energy to get to extra time, crediting the on-ball defense of Colton Young and Conradi, and the rebounding of Spence.

“Our guys did a great job on defense just to get to overtime, but then I think they were a little gassed,” he said.

Friday

Bears 55, Stars 51, OT

Kodiak 11 7 16 11 10 —55

Soldotna 12 11 7 15 6 —51

KODIAK (55) — Mangalus 2 0-2 5, Frick 5 0-0 15, Alcaide 0 0-0 0, Bezona 2 1-2 5, A. Canete-Hall 6 6-7 19, T. Canete-Hall 3 0-1 6, Garcia 2 1-1 5. Totals — 20 8-13 55.

SOLDOTNA (51) — Calloway 0 0-0 0, Young 2 0-0 4, Conradi 2 4-4 8, Furlong 0 0-0 0, Spence 3 0-2 7, Kruse 5 2-2 14, Fowler 0 0-0 0, McElroy 8 2-5 18. Totals — 20 8-13 51.

3-point goals — Kodiak 7 (Frick 5, Mangalus, A. Canete-Hall); Soldotna 3 (Kruse 2, Spence). Team fouls — Kodiak 11, Soldotna 13. Fouled out — none.

Saturday

Soldotna 59, Bears 49

Kodiak 16 16 7 10 —49

Soldotna 12 7 20 20 —59

KODIAK (49) — Mangalus 4 0-0 10, Frick 6 0-0 14, Alcaide 0 1-3 1, Bezona 5 2-2 12, A. Canete-Hall 2 5-6 9, T. Canete-Hall 0 3-4 3, Garcia 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 11-15 49.

SOLDOTNA (59) — Calloway 0 0-0 0, Young 3 2-2 8, Conradi 1 1-1 3, Furlong 1 1-2 4, Spence 4 5-6 16, Kruse 2 2-2 8, Fowler 0 0-0 0, McElroy 8 4-9 20. Totals — 19 15-22 59.

3-point goals — Kodiak 4 (Mangalus 2, Frick 2); Soldotna 6 (Spence 3, Kruse 2, Furlong). Team fouls — Kodiak 15, Soldotna 15. Fouled out — T. Canete-Hall.

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