Soldotna hoops roundup

Soldotna hoops roundup

The Soldotna Stars will have to wait another game for their first conference win of the season. They gave it a good try, though, Saturday.

The Colony Knights finished off the Stars in Northern Lights Conference action Saturday at Soldotna High School, getting a 48-41 win in the girls game and a 62-55 win in the boys. Both SoHi teams dropped to 0-2 in the conference.

The Soldotna boys (5-7 overall) nearly toppled the Knights, making comeback after comeback throughout the game, but could not overcome 21 points from Bailey West, who shot lights out with five 3s in the game.

Joe Weltzin led the Stars with 14 points, Brooks Furlong added 13 — including a perfect 5 for 5 on free throws — but simple mistakes cost SoHi in the waning minutes.

“(Colony) hit some shots and we didn’t, and it was a different tempo there at the end, we had to start fouling them,” said SoHi coach Mark Tuter.

West, a 6-foot-3 junior who shoots like a guard, teamed up with Graham Dinkel and Ethan Selmer to give SoHi fits. Weltzin and Hunter Phillips attacked the key late in the game looking for shots, but the Knights forged a tough barricade.

“We were planning on attacking them, going inside to see if we could get them in foul trouble,” Tuter said. “We thought Joe is a little quicker than them and he could get them in foul trouble, so that was kind of the game plan on that.”

Colony coach Tom Berg was pleased to see his squad sweep the weekend and improve to 3-0 in the conference.

“Every time we come here, SoHi gives us a good run for our money,” Berg said. “I have a lot of respect for (former SoHi) coach Matt Johnson, and coach Tuter has continued it.

“They play hard and they do it the right way, and we always prepare for a battle when we come down here.”

Trailing 45-40 heading into the fourth quarter, SoHi quickly closed the gap to one point with jumpers from Dylan Kuntz and Nate Spence, then tied it up at 47 apiece when Phillips sank three of four free throws on a Colony technical foul.

On the next SoHi possession, Weltzin gained a little free space and hit a jumper that put the Stars ahead by two with 5:59 left on the clock.

Colony answered with a jumper of its own from Harrison Menard with five minutes left that tied the game up again. Twenty seconds later, Dinkel put the Knights ahead for good with two free throws following a fouled shot.

“You coach them to be aggressive and to put them in the right position,” Berg said. “Tonight, everything we got from Bailey was terrific. Harrison was good, Graham was good, and Ethan was good.”

Weltzin hit a pair of freebies with 3:31 remaining that closed the deficit to one, but Selmer came up big for a second straight night with a layup with under two minutes left, following it up with a foul shot that put Colony out front 55-51 and really making life difficult for the Stars. Selmer hit several clutch shots in an 11-point game Friday against Kenai.

“When we were down by six, I had the three-point play drawn up and we got a good look at it,” Tuter said. “It just didn’t quite go in, but I thought we were gonna get a good chance at it.”

Soldotna and Kenai will face off Tuesday night at Soldotna.

Colony girls 48, Soldotna 41

The Stars allowed a large lead to slip away in the first half, then battled the Knights in a thrilling second half only to come up short to their Valley rivals.

Haley Miller led Soldotna (3-8 overall) with 17 points, while teammate Lindsey Wong contributed nine points and Kelsey Jackson had eight.

“We’re expecting this because we’re learning a new system,” said SoHi coach Kyle McFall. “But our execution, at the end of games when a team tightens up their defense, it gets really lax.”

Sarah Bonn, Faith Farris and Ashley Turcotte combined for 40 points for the Knights. Bonn and Turcotte scored 14 apiece and Farris added 12.

Colony coach Jeff Bowker did not sugercoat his opinion in saying his squad suffered an off shooting night. But he said there are still two months remaining before he expects his team to turn up the heat.

“That’s when we plan on playing our best basketball,” said Colony coach Jeff Bowker. “Do I think we compete? Without question. I would tell you that whether we lost or won.”

Early on, the Stars were hitting everything from the outer arc. Daisy Nelson, Wong and Jackson each pumped in points from the 3-point line, which helped to put SoHi ahead by as much as 22-11 midway through the second quarter.

However, Colony answered back with force, hitting on a 17-2 run to end the half and put Colony up 28-24 at the half. The biggest culprit came from SoHi turnovers.

“We shot horrible all night,” Bowker said. “That never changed. In fact, when I checked the stats, I thought we shot a lot better in the second half, but it was the same.

“The difference was we got a few stops.”

The Stars held Colony to only four points in the third quarter, and led 34-32 going into the fourth.

Jackson notched a pair of free throws early in the fourth that put SoHi up 36-32, but Ella Smith put up a layup and sunk the ensuing foul shot to close the gap to 36-35 with 5:45 remaining.

“That was gigantic for someone who hadn’t even played last night,” Bowker said. “She did a couple things in the fourth quarter that was huge.”

After Bonn hit a go-ahead trey to put the Knights up 38-36, Miller answered with driving layups on consecutive possessions to put the Stars back up by two with 3:28 to play.

Two jumpers from Smith and Turcotte put Colony back into the lead with 2:10 left, and this time the Knights kept it.

The final blow for SoHi came with 47 ticks left on the clock, when senior Hayley Ramsell fouled out. On the ensuing Colony possession, Turcotte was fouled and converted both free-throw attempts to ice the game.

“Because we had to sub people in for foul trouble, we weren’t getting the same type of rotations that we usually did,” McFall said.

Colony ended the game on a 16-5 run to secure the win.

Wasilla girls 57, Soldotna 39

The visting Warriors forced 34 turnovers in picking up a Northern Lights Conference victory over the Stars.

Wasilla, which had 23 turnovers itself, used pesky defense to overcome 34.6 percent shooting from the floor. The Warriors held the Stars to 34.6 percent shooting.

Wasilla led 15-8 after one quarter and 28-18 at the half.

Catherine Baham had 12 points for Wasilla, while Lindsey Wong had 12 for Soldotna.

Wasilla boys 41, Stars 31

The visiting Warriors held the Stars to 12 points in the second half in picking up the Northern Lights Conference win.

Soldotna led 19-16 at halftime before going cold in the second half. The Stars were 32.4 percent from the floor in the game and 22.7 percent in the second half. Wasilla shot at a 39.5 percent clip for the game.

Isaac Houck and Alex Baham each had 13 for the Warriors, while Dylan Kuntz had nine points for the Stars.


Saturday boys

Knights 62, Stars 55

Colony 16 15 14 17 —62

Soldotna 12 14 14 15 —55

COLONY (62) — Selmer 3 2-4 9, Looney 1 0-0 2, West 5 6-8 21, Chamblee 3 0-0 6, Menard 1 4-4 6, Dinkel 3 7-10 13, Sonnenberg 1 1-2 3, Lincoln 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 20-28 62.

SOLDOTNA (55) — Kuntz 1 1-2 3, Weltzin 4 6-8 14, Furlong 3 5-5 13, Phillips 3 2-4 8, Spence 3 4-6 10, Gibbs 0 0-0 0, Fowler 0 1-2 1, Trammell 3 0-0 6. Totals 17 17-27 55.

3-point goals — Colony 6 (West 5, Selmer 1); Soldotna 2 (Furlong 2). Fouled out — Furlong.


Saturday girls

Knights 48, Stars 41

Colony 9 19 4 16 —48

Soldotna 13 11 10 7 —41

COLONY (48) — Carlton 0 0-0 0, Farris 4 4-6 12, Stephens 1 0-0 2, Clark 0 0-0 0, Turcotte 5 4-7 14, Brumbaugh 0 1-2 1, Smith 2 1-1 5, Kauffman 0 0-0 0, Bonn 4 4-5 14. Totals 16 14-21 48.

SOLDOTNA (41) — Nelson 1 0-0 3, Shaw 0 0-0 0, Jackson 2 2-2 8, Wong 4 0-1 9, Ramsell 1 0-0 2, Miller 8 1-3 17, Glaves 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 3-6 41.

3-point goals — Colony 2 (Bonn 2); Soldotna 4 (Jackson 2, Wong 1, Nelson 1). Fouled out — Ramsell.


Friday girls

Warriors 57, Stars 39

Wasilla 15 13 14 15 —57

Soldotna 8 10 13 8 —39

WASILLA (57) — Kelly 1 0-0 2, Drorbaugh 1 0-0 2, Heath 1 0-4 3, Baham 3 3-5 12, Lindeman 1 0-0 2, Brandenburg 0 2-4 2, Goecke 0 0-0 0, Toews 1 4-5 6, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Dinkel 0 0-2 0, Edwards 1 3-4 5, DePriest 11 1-2 23. Totals — 20 13-26 57.

SOLDOTNA (39) — Nelson 4 0-0 8, Shaw 1 0-0 2, Jackson 1 0-0 3, Wong 5 1-3 12, Ramsell 3 0-2 6, Miller 4 0-0 8, Glaves 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 1-5 39.

3-point goals — Wasilla 4 (Baham 3, Heath); Soldotna 2 (Jackson, Wong). Team fouls — Wasilla 12, Soldotna 13. Fouled out — none.


Friday boys

Warriors 41, Stars 31

Wasilla 7 9 13 12 —41

Soldotna 10 9 4 8 —31

WASILLA (41) — Burns 1 1-2 3, Milleron 3 1-2 9, Miriglian 1 0-0 3, Baham 4 4-11 13, Garnett 0 0-0 0, Loyer 0 0-0 0, Houck 6 1-3 13, Devine 0 0-0 0, Lee 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 7-18 41.

SOLDOTNA (31) — Kuntz 3 0-0 9, Weltzin 3 0-0 6, Furlong 3 0-0 8, Phillips 2 0-0 4, Spence 1 0-0 2, Gibbs 0 2-2 2, Duke 0 0-0 0, Fowler 0 0-0 0, Trammell 0 0-0 0. Totals — 12 2-2 31.

3-point goals — Wasilla 4 (Milleron 2, Miriglian, Baham); Soldotna 5 (Kuntz 3, Furlong 2). Team fouls — Wasilla 6, Wasilla 15. Fouled out — none.

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