Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna junior Melia Miller (front) works the paint against Kodiak in a Northern Lights Conference game Saturday at the Soldotna Prep gymnasium.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna junior Melia Miller (front) works the paint against Kodiak in a Northern Lights Conference game Saturday at the Soldotna Prep gymnasium.

Soldotna girls, Kodiak boys get weekend sweeps on hardwood

In facing their first Northern Lights Conference opponents of the season, the Soldotna girls basketball squad passed the test.

The Stars improved to 5-0 overall this year with a pair of victories at the Soldotna Prep gym, beating the Kodiak Bears 26-22 on Friday and wrapping the weekend up with a 39-25 win Saturday afternoon.

Led by the sophomore twin sister duo of Danica and Aliann Schmidt, the Stars were able to lock the Bears down on defense in the second half in both games. With the height and length advantage over Kodiak — Aliann is listed at 5-foot-10 and Danica at 5-11 — SoHi limited Kodiak to a combined 18 points in the second halves of both games.

“We have the telepathy with each other on the court,” joked Aliann. “We’ve been playing with each other since first grade.”

Aliann and fellow sophomore Brittani Blossom led the Stars on Saturday with 12 points each, and Danica added seven. Zennia Chia led Kodiak with nine points.

The Stars trailed 13-10 early, but a seven-point run to close the first half helped to even the score.

After giving up 17 points in the first 10:20 of the game, SoHi held Kodiak to only eight points in the final 21:40.

A 17-all deadlock at halftime was broken with a strong opening two minutes in the third quarter from SoHi. Aliann hit a go-ahead shot just 10 seconds into the quarter and followed up with a free throw on a foul. Blossom then laid in a transition bucket on the next possession, and before two minutes were up, Aliann put back an offensive rebound to give SoHi a 24-17 lead.

“Our focus at halftime was fixing the defense,” said Stars head coach Kyle McFall. “We came out in a full-court zone press and fixed our rotations a little bit, and decided to speed up the game and went with a full-court man, and that helped up settle in on offense and got (Kodiak) out of sorts.”

The Bears scored the next four points to cut SoHi’s lead to four, but a steal by Danica led to another transition layup by Blossom for the final points of the third quarter. Aliann Schmidt sank a nifty midrange jumper on the first possession of the fourth quarter, and Hannah Wells got in on the action with a bucket off an offensive rebound to build the Stars lead to double digits.

Aliann capped the 9-0 SoHi run with a pair of made free throws to push the lead to 33-21 with 3:35 to play in the fourth quarter.

During its late run, SoHi held Kodiak scoreless for a stretch of 7 minutes, 37 seconds, spanning the third and fourth quarters.

“We always talk about fight, family, finish and focus,” Aliann said. “I feel like generally, our team is tall, and having us on the wings helps us get turnovers and blocks.”

With 2:12 to go, Blossom once again found space down the court after a defensive stop and put in a transition basket with a foul. The freebie put SoHi up 36-22 to ice the game.

The Stars will host nonconference opponent Seward on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Soldotna girls 26, Kodiak 22

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.

The Soldotna girls basketball team notched an NLC victory over Kodiak on Friday at Soldotna Prep.

The game was 12-all at half before SoHi took a 21-20 lead after three and held the Bears to a pair of free throws in the fourth.

Blossom had 10 points to pace the Stars. Kyla Nocon had five to lead Kodiak.

Kodiak boys 48, Soldotna 41

The SoHi boys lost two straight days to the Kodiak boys to drop to 2-3 overall this season.

Saturday, Derek Evans notched 16 points to lead the Stars, while Louis Rocheleau led the home team with 13 points.

SoHi led early, but the Bears came back to tie the game at 23 apiece. Kodiak staked out a slim, two-point lead after the third quarter, and in the fourth, the hosts outscored SoHi 19-14 to take the win.

“It was just a lack of composure for us, we were careless with the basketball,” said SoHi coach Nolan Rose. “We just went cold with our shooting in second half as well.”

Kodiak boys 49, Soldotna 42

Friday, the Stars lost their NLC opener to the Bears, led by the sharpshooting from Augie Caguing. Caguing drilled six 3-pointers to score a game-high 25 points for Kodiak.

Evans led SoHi with 12 points, while Wendell Tuisaula chipped in 10.

Rose said his contingent fell short with no big scorer on the night.

“We have a lot of new varsity players, but we have to find guys that can step up and make plays,” he said. “We don’t have that one guy that can lead the way.”

Kodiak led 20-16 at the half, then outscored SoHi 14-9 in the third to push the lead to 34-25.

Rose added that junior Brandon Crowder got his first minutes on the court this weekend following a lengthy recovery from a broken foot in the prep football season. Crowder is expected to be a regular starter when fully healthy.

Soldotna will host Seward for a nonconference clash Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., then the Stars head up to Fairbanks for the Joe T. Classic tournament at Lathrop High School.

 

Saturday girls

STARS 39, BEARS 25

Kodiak 13 4 4 4 —25

Soldotna 10 7 9 13 —39

KODIAK (25) — Dela Cruz 1 0-0 2, Bushell 1 0-0 3, Cruz 0 0-0 0, Pascua 0 0-0 0, Macatuno 1 0-4 2, Mutch 3 0-0 7, Chia 3 3-10 9, Kernan 0 0-0 0, Nocon 1 0-2 2, Carstens 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 3-16 25.

SOLDOTNA (39) — Houser 0 2-5 2, Miller 1 0-0 2, Blossom 5 1-1 12, A. Schmidt 5 2-3 12, Tuttle 0 0-0 0, Kruse 0 0-0 0, Wells 2 0-0 4, D. Schmidt 2 3-6 7. Totals 15 8-15 39.

3-point goals — Kodiak 2 (Bushell, Mutch); Soldotna 1 (Blossom).

Team fouls — Kodiak 15; Soldotna 14. Fouled out — Nocon.

 

Saturday boys

BEARS 48, STARS 41

Soldotna 9 14 4 14 —41

Kodiak 6 17 6 19 —48

Soldotna (41) — Trammel 0 0-0 0, Spence 1 0-0 2, Sheridan 1 4-4 7, Crowder 0 0-0 0, Tuisala 1 3-4 5, Evans 5 6-9 16, McElroy 1 4-5 6, Michael 1 0-0 2, Marcuson 1 0-0 3. Totals — 11 17-22 41.

Kodiak (48) — Basuel 1 0-0 2, Rocheleau 4 0-0 11, Morzo 3 2-5 8. Caguing 5 1-2 13, Walker 0 0-0 0, Osowski 2 0-0 4, Giron 1 2-2 4, Mangrobang 0 0-0 0, Koller 3 0-1 6. Totals — 19 5-10 48.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (Sheridan, Marcuson), Kodiak 5 (Rocheleau 3, Caguing 2). Team fouls — Soldotna 18, Kodiak 17.

 

Friday girls

STARS 26, BEARS 22

Kodiak 5 7 8 2 —22

Soldotna 4 8 9 5 —26

KODIAK (22) — DelaCruz 1 0-0 2, Bushell 0 3-4 3, Macatuno 1 0-0 2, Mutch 1 0-0 2, Chia 4 0-4 8, Kernan 0 0-0 0, Nocon 2 0-0 5. Totals — 9 3-8 22.

SOLDOTNA (26) — Houser 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 2, Blossom 4 0-1 10, A. Schmidt 2 3-4 7, Tuttle 0 0-0 0, Kruse 0 0-0 0, Wells 1 0-0 2, D. Schmidt 0 3-5 3. Totals — 9 6-10 26.

3-point goals — Kodiak 1 (Nocon), Soldotna 2 (Blossom 2). Team fouls — Kodiak 16, Soldotna 11. Fouled out — none.

 

Friday boys

BEARS 49, STARS 42

Soldotna 11 5 9 17 —42

Kodiak 13 7 14 15 — 49

Soldotna (42) — Trammel 1 0-0 3, Spence 1 1-4 3, Reutor 0 0-0 0, Sheridan 2 0-2 5, Crowder 0 1-2 1, Tuisala 4 2-4 10, Evans 3 6-11 12, McElroy 2 0-0 4, Marcuson 2 0-0 4. Totals — 15 10-22 42.

Kodiak (49) — Basuel 0 0-0 0, Rocheleau 4 1-2 10, Morzo 1 0-1 2, Caguing 9 1-2 25, Walker 0 3-5 3, Osowski 1 0-0 2, Mangrobang 2 1-2 4, Koller 1 1-2 3. Totals — 17 7-14 49.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (Trammell, Sheridan), Kodiak 8 (Caguing 6, Rocheleau 1, Mangrobang). Team fouls — Soldotna 17, Kodiak 17. Fouled out — none.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna sophomore Danica Schmidt hounds Kodiak's Sydney Mutch for the ball in a Northern Lights Conference matchup Saturday at the Soldotna Prep gymnasium.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna sophomore Danica Schmidt hounds Kodiak’s Sydney Mutch for the ball in a Northern Lights Conference matchup Saturday at the Soldotna Prep gymnasium.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna sophomore Brittani Blossom looks for an open teammate amidst a hoard of Kodiak defenders Saturday at the Soldotna Prep gymnasium.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna sophomore Brittani Blossom looks for an open teammate amidst a hoard of Kodiak defenders Saturday at the Soldotna Prep gymnasium.

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