Soldotna sophomore Jersey Truesdell looks for an opening against the Kodiak defense Thursday night at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna sophomore Jersey Truesdell looks for an opening against the Kodiak defense Thursday night at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Thursday hoops: SoHi boys keep rolling with win over Kodiak

Following an exhilarating, come-from-behind win over longtime rival Kenai Central on Tuesday, Soldotna boys basketball coach Nolan Rose was hoping his team could return to the court for an encore.

The Stars followed up successfully with a 52-29 Northern Lights Conference victory over Kodiak on Thursday night at SoHi.

Rose said after seeing his squad beat Kenai in December at the SoHi Tip-Off Tournament, then return the next night to lose a close game to Service, he wanted to see an improvement in execution following a big win.

“We came out flat the next night (at the Tip-Off),” Rose said. “Anytime you beat your rival, it’s a big challenge to put that behind us and focus on the next game. That’s what we talked about tonight.”

Two days earlier, SoHi dug its way out of an early 17-point hole to capture a 52-39 win over Kenai on the Kardinals’ home court.

Back at home Thursday, the Stars left no doubt which was the better team. In a balanced scoring effort, senior Caleb Spence led the Stars with 10 points, while fellow senior Sam McElroy provided nine. Sophomore Jersey Truesdell and senior Eli Sheridan each notched seven apiece.

Soldotna improved to 2-0 in the NLC and 6-5 overall.

Kodiak also featured a balanced scoring effort as all but one of its 10 players that got court time scored. Stephen Parnell, Wesley Walker and Eldon Macaraig each had a team-high five points.

The big factor in SoHi’s dominance was its defensive execution, Rose said. The Stars contained the Bears to single-digit totals in each of the first three quarters, and held their most potent scoring threats to low numbers.

“The defense was fantastic,” Rose said. “We’re very competitive, but it’s still mid-January and still too early to tell (how good Soldotna is). We’ve got the pieces to play with.”

Kodiak got out to a 5-2 start in the early minutes of the game, but a pair of 3-pointers from Truesdell and Spence sparked the SoHi offense. Once the Stars established their ability to shoot from outside, they were able to cut inside for layups, as senior Wendell Tuisaula knocked down a pair of post shots that helped push the lead to 15-7 in the second quarter.

SoHi led 21-13 at halftime and quickly quelled any notions of a Kodiak comeback with a pair of layups in the third quarter by Spence. Brandon Crowder followed up on Spence’s attacks with a trey that put SoHi ahead 28-13 with 2:10 to play in the third.

A 10-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters effectively iced the Stars win as SoHi dominated the paint to push the lead to 40-18 with under seven minutes to go.

Nikiski Tip Off Tournament

The Nikiski girls opened by cruising to a 53-23 victory over Redington.

Bethany Carstens had 16 for the Bulldogs, while Rylee Jackson added 10.

For Redington, Courtney Crockett and Abbie Fuller had eight points apiece.

In boys action, the Kenai boys started their tournament by nipping Monroe Catholic 45-44. Kenai led 13-9 after one quarter and 21-19 at halftime. The lead remained at 12 after three quarters, then Monroe trimmed the lead by one in the final eight minutes.

Luke Beiser had 15 points for Kenai, while Preben Strende added 13. For the Rams, Gavin Jackson had 17 and Izak Lohrke pitched in 14.

In the late game, the Nikiski boys took care of business with a 56-38 win over conference foe Redington.

Bulldogs senior Jace Kornstad poured in a game-high 36 points with an eye-popping six 3-pointers. Kornstad scored 15 points in the fourth quarter alone, helping Nikiski to win the quarter 22-8.

Birchwood Bash

The Cook Inlet girls and boys basketball teams lost opening games at the Birchwood Bash on Thursday.

The CIA boys lost 39-30 to Nanwalek. Robert Walsh paced CIA with 12 points. For Nanwalek, Uriah Huntsman had 20 points to lead Nanwalek, while Severan Demas added 11.

The Cook Inlet Academy girls lost their opening game 47-32 to Lumen Christi. Adara Warren had 16 points to pace the Eagles.

Aniak Tournament

The Ninilchik girls notched a 32-29 victory in the opening round of the Aniak Tournament on Thursday. DeeAnn White had 13 points for the Wolverines.

The Newhalen boys topped Ninilchik 69-39 in the opener. For Ninilchik, Garrett Koch led the way with 22 points.

Aniak girls 67, Ninilchik 43

On Wednesday, both squads tuned up for the Aniak tournament by playing a nonconference game in Aniak. DeeAnn White paced the Wolverines with 33 points.

Aniak boys 65, Ninilchik 45

The Aniak boys tuned up for their own tournament by notching a home victory Wednesday. For Ninilchik, Garrett Koch had 22 points.

Thursday boys

Stars 52, Bears 29

Kodiak 7 6 5 11 —29

Soldotna 10 11 13 18 —52

KODIAK (29) — Giron 1 0-0 2, Rocheleau 2 0-0 4, Penamora 1 0-0 2, Galindo 0 2-2 2, Parnell 2 0-0 5, Walker 1 3-5 5, Nocon 1 0-0 2, Macaraig 2 0-0 5, Macatuno 1 0-0 2, Bartic 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 5-7 29.

SOLDOTNA (52) — Truesdell 3 0-0 7, Trammell 2 0-0 4, Spence 4 1-2 10, Miller 0 0-0 0, Wells 0 0-0 0, Sheridan 3 0-0 7, Crowder 2 0-1 5, Tuisaula 2 0-0 4, Michael 3 0-0 6, McElroy 4 1-2 9, Kant 0 0-0 0, Chumley 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 2-5 52.

3-point goals — Kodiak 2 (Parnell 1, Macaraig 1); Soldotna 4 (Truesdell 1, Spence 1, Sheridan 1, Crowder 1).

Team fouls — Kodiak 7, Soldotna 15. Fouled out — none.

Kardinals 45, Rams 44

Monroe 9 10 14 11 — 44

Kenai 13 8 14 10 — 45

MONROE CATHOLIC (44) — Lohrke 5 1-4 14, Bast 0 1-3 1, Garcia 2 0-0 6, Jackson 5 3-4 17, Puryear 0 0-0 0, Meltenoy 2 2-2 6, Clark 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 7-13 44.

KENAI CENTRAL (45) — R. Riddall 1 0-0 2, Efta 0 0-0 0, Felchle 1 2-2 4, Baker 2 0-0 4, Tuttle 1 0-0 3, T. Riddall 0 0-0 0, Beiser 6 3-4 15, Goodman 0 0-0 0, Trujillo 2 0-0 4, Strende 4 1-2 13. Totals — 17 6-8 45.

3-point goals — Monroe 9 (Jackson 4, Lohrke 3, Garcia 2); Kenai 5 (Strende 4, Tuttle). Team fouls — Monroe 7, Kenai 11. Fouled out — none.

Bulldogs 56, Huskies 38

Redington 14 7 9 8 —38

Nikiski 13 13 8 22 —56

REDINGTON (38) — Falaniko 0 0-0 0, Elliott 4 5-7 15, Amirault 0 0-1 0, Brooks 6 3-6 15, Conaway 2 0-0 4, Norris 2 0-1 4. Totals 14 8-15 38.

NIKISKI (56) — Johnson 1 0-0 2, Weathers 0 0-0 0, Ellis 0 1-2 1, Kornstad 15 0-1 36, T. Litke 2 0-0 5, Handley 2 0-0 5, N. Litke 3 0-0 7, DeSiena 0 0-0 0, Eiter 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 1-3 56.

3-point goals — Redington 2 (Elliott 2); Nikiski 9 (Kornstad 6, T. Litke 1, Handley 1, N. Litke 1).

Team fouls — Redington 8, Nikiski 15. Fouled out — Johnson, Handley.

Nanwalek 39, CIA 30

CIA 10 8 8 4 — 30

Nanwalek 13 8 8 10 — 39

COOK INLET ACADEMY (30) — Moos 3 1-6 7, Johnson 1 2-2 4, Cragg 1 0-0 3, Walsh 5 1-2 12, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Boyd 2 0-0 4. Totals — 12 4-10 30.

NANWALEK (39) — Demas 5 0-0 11, J. Jimmy 0 0-0 0, Wilson 1 0-0 2, Bales 2 0-0 4, Moonin 1 0-0 2, Huntsman 10 0-4 20, Evans 0 0-0 0, Evan 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 0-4 39.

3-point goals — CIA 2 (Cragg, Walsh); Nanwalek 1 (Demas). Team fouls — CIA 8, Nanwalek 7. Fouled out — none.

Newhalen 69, Wolverines 39

Ninilchik 7 6 8 18 — 39

Newhalen 13 22 21 13 — 69

NINILCHIK (39) — McGinnis 1 0-0 2, Koch 10 1-2 22, Clark 2 0-0 4, White 1 0-0 2, Hadro 0 0-0 0, Mumey 2 2-2 5, Davila 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 3-4 39.

NEWHALEN (69) — Hill 1 0-2 2, Paine 5 2-6 13, Tretikoff 5 1-2 12, Clay 5 0-0 14, Clark 13 0-2 28. Totals — 29 3-12 69.

3-point goals — Ninilchik 1 (Koch); Newhalen 8 (Clay 4, Clark 2, Paine, Tretikoff). Team fouls — Ninilchik 13, Newhalen 6. Fouled out — none.

Thursday girls

Bulldogs 53, Huskies 23

Redington 5 3 5 10 — 23

Nikiski 20 11 8 14 — 53

REDINGTON (23) — Koozaata 2 0-0 5, Crockett 3 0-0 8, Aparezuk 1 0-0 2, Fuller 2 3-7 8, E. Lytle 0 0-0 0, H. Lytle 0 0-0 0. Totals — 8 3-7 23.

NIKISKI (53) — Jeffreys 1 0-0 2, Wik 3 0-2 6, L. Carstens 2 1-2 5, Bostic 1 0-0 2, Johnson 4 0-0 8, B. Carstens 5 5-6 16, Epperheimer 0 0-0 0, Druesdow 2 0-0 4, Jackson 5 0-0 10. Totals — 23 6-10 53.

3-point goals — Redington 4 (Crockett 2, Koozaata, Fuller); Nikiski 1 (B. Carstens). Team fouls — Redington 8, Nikiski 8. Fouled out — none.

Archangels 47, Eagles 32

Lumen Christi 13 7 14 13 — 47

CIA 4 8 10 10 — 32

LUMEN CHRISTI (47) — Estes 0 0-0 0, Thorsness 0 0-0 0, Dupras 3 0-0 6, Martin 3 0-0 6, Klem 0 0-0 0, Puoy 9 3-4 28. Totals — 15 3-4 28.

COOK INLET ACADEMY (32) — Delon 5 0-0 10, Hyatt 1 0-0 2, Craga 0 0-0 0, Cizek 1 0-2 2, Hammond 0 0-0 0, Warren 8 0-0 16. Totals — 15 0-2 32.

3-point goals — Lumen Christi 7 (Puoy 6, Martin). Team fouls — Lumen Christi 5, CIA 5. Fouled out — none.

Wolverines 32, Newhalen 29

Ninilchik 2 6 10 16 — 32

Newhalen 8 8 6 7 — 29

NINILCHIK (32) — Delgado 1 1-4 3, White 5 3-9 13, Koch 2 2-4 6, Cooper 1 1-2 3, Jasper 0 0-0 0, Robuck 1 2-7 4, Okonek 0 1-2 1. Totals — 10 10-28 32.

NEWHALEN (29) — Smith 2 0-1 4, Askoak 0 0-0 0, Paine 3 7-12 13, Zhoroff 1 1-2 4, Hobson 2 0-2 6, Anelon 1 0-0 2, Clark 0 0-0 0. Totals — 9 8-17 29.

3-point goals — Newhalen 2 (Hobson 2, Zharoff). Team fouls — Ninilchik 16, Newhalen 23. Fouled out — none.

Soldotna senior Wendell Tuisaula drives to the rim ahead of Kodiak’s Wesley Walker (left) Thursday night at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna senior Wendell Tuisaula drives to the rim ahead of Kodiak’s Wesley Walker (left) Thursday night at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna senior Caleb Spence (left) works up the baseline by Kodiak’s Louis Rocheleau Thursday night at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna senior Caleb Spence (left) works up the baseline by Kodiak’s Louis Rocheleau Thursday night at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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