Tuesday hoops: Seward boys hold off Kenai

The visiting Seward boys basketball team made Kenai Central play the Seahawks’ game Tuesday in nonconference action on Cliff Massie Court.

Then the Kardinals almost beat Seward at that game. But Seward held on for a 52-48 victory behind 26 points from Ronnie Jackson to move to 7-11 overall. Kenai fell to 10-11.

Kenai came into the game with a height advantage, with Garrett Fitt at 6-foot-5, Conner Johnson at 6-5 and Luke Beiser at 6-4. Seward’s tallest regular is Rhett Sieverts at 6-2.

So Seward coach Al Plan wanted to spread the floor and take advantage of his squad’s quickness, while Kenai coach Ken Felchle wanted post touches.

Slowly but surely, Seward was able to play the game it wanted. It started in the first quarter, when Sieverts scored eight of his 12 points and the game was tied at 13 after one.

“We feel that when we spread the floor and (Sieverts) gets a big guy on him, he can use his quickness to get to the basket,” Plan said.

The crucial play of the first quarter may have been with 3 minutes, 37 seconds, left, when Kenai’s leading scorer, Josh Jackman, went up for a jumper and came down on a Seward defender’s ankle, immediately grasping his ankle in pain.

Jackman did not play the rest of the game and Felchle said after the game it was impossible to know when Jackman would be back.

In the second quarter, Jackson started heating up for the Seahawks and scored 12 points to send Seward to halftime with a 27-23 lead.

“When he decides he wants to score, it’s hard to stop him,” Plan said. “He can score, but he also can create for other people.”

While giving credit to the Seahawks, Felchle was disappointed his team didn’t take advantage of its length. Fitt had nine points, Beiser and four and Johnson was scoreless.

“In the first half, we talked about post touches and getting it in the post,” Felchle said. “For whatever reason, it didn’t happen. And when we got it in the post, we were too far away from the basket.”

Seward’s moxie was on full display midway through the quarter, when Fitt got the crowd buzzing with a two-handed stuff off a rebound.

But on Seward’s next possession, Jackson caught a rebound in the air, took contact and made the layup, converting the three-point play and canceling out the dunk’s momentum.

“He’s a savvy player,” Plan said. “He knows when we need him to step up.”

In the third quarter, Jackson continued to step up, scoring 11 more points to give the Seahawks a 44-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The exclamation point came with two seconds left in the third when Jackson dribbled, brushed aside a Kenai defender and nailed a 3 from several paces beyond the arc.

“I was feeling good the whole game — really good,” Jackson said. “I was just getting good looks. We were doing a good job running the plays.

“Usually this year, we’ve slumped in the third quarter.”

Jackson’s eruption in the second and third quarters forced Felchle to go to a small lineup for the fourth quarter and it nearly brought the Kards all the way back.

Marshall Vest, who finished with 14, hit two trifectas to start the fourth quarter, the second pulling the Kards to 46-40 with 6:05 to play.

With this being a nonconference game, the rest of the fourth quarter proved to be good practice for both squads in the pressure, end-of-game situations which will soon be crucial at conference tournaments.

Seward was 4 of 9 from the foul line in the fourth, including missing the front end of one bonus. Kenai was 2 of 6, missing the front ends of two bonuses.

“We practice those end-of-game situations all the time, but it’s hard to replicate the speed and intensity of a game,” Plan said.

With 42 seconds left, Vest had a layup to cut the gap to 50-47. Jackson then had a pass stolen by Beiser at half court, but Tristan Landry’s 3-pointer for the tie bounced off the rim.

“My heart definitely sank when he shot that 3,” Jackson said after what Plan said was probably only Jackson’s third or fourth mistake of the game.

Seward’s Seth Brewi hit 1 of 2 for a 51-47 lead with 30 seconds left, then Keith Ivy hit 1 of 2 with 16 seconds left to cut it to 51-48. Sieverts then hit 1 of 2 with 11 seconds left for a 52-48 advantage.

“What we can take from this game is that when we have advantages, we have to use them,” Felchle said. “And we have to put in the effort like those five or six guys did in the fourth quarter.”

Jackson said the victory is crucial as the Seahawks build momentum for the end of the season.

“It happened last year, too, at the end of the season,” he said. “Better late than never. It’s in time to make a state run.”

Soldotna boys 65, Homer 46

The Stars captured a nonconference win Tuesday at Soldotna High School.

The Senior Night celebration was led by SoHi senior Timmy Smithwick, who poured in 25 points on the strength of five 3-pointers. Fellow senior Griffin Casey added 18 points.

Homer started hot with a 14-11 lead after the first quarter, but SoHi outscored Homer 19-11 in the second frame to take a 30-25 lead into halftime. The Stars then exploded in the second half by outscoring the Mariners 35-21.

Seldovia boys 50, Nikolaevsk 40

The reigning 1A state champion Sea Otters bested their Peninsula Conference rivals Nikolaevsk in a Tuesday night clash in Seldovia.

Aidan Philpot scored a game-high 25 points to lead Seldovia, hitting five 3s along the way. Teammate Calem Collier notched 10 points.

Jonah Fefelov led Nikolaevsk with 11 points, while Felemon Molodih added 10.

Seldovia started hot with an 18-11 run in the first quarter en route to a 30-22 halftime lead, then held the Warriors in check the rest of the way with defense. Nikolaevsk scored 18 points in the entire second half.

Nikolaevsk girls 60, Seldovia 32

The Warriors dominated the Sea Otters to a Peninsula Conference win Tuesday.

Megan Hickmann and Serafima Kalugin led Nikolaevsk with 19 points apiece, and teammate Vera Fefelov chipped in 10.

Olivia Turner led Seldovia with 13 points.

 

Tuesday boys

Seahawks 52, Kardinals 48

Seward 13 14 17 8 —52

Kenai 13 10 9 16 —48

SEWARD (52) — Hauze 0 0-0 0, Zweifel 2 2-2 7, Brewi 1 2-5 4, Jacobson 0 0-0 0, Sieverts 5 2-5 12, Pahno 1 0-0 2, Jackson 8 9-9 26, Petrosious 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 15-21 52.

KENAI CENTRAL (48) — Ta. Landry 3 1-2 7, Ivy 1 2-4 4, Vest 6 0-0 14, Brazell 2 0-0 4, Tr. Landry 2 0-1 4, Tuttle 0 0-0 0, Jackman 1 0-0 2, Beiser 2 0-1 4, Fitt 4 1-2 9, Dye 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 21 4-10 48.

3-point goals — Seward 3 (Jackson 2, Zweifel); Kenai 2 (Vest 2). Team fouls — Seward 14, Kenai 20. Fouled out — Zweifel.

 

Stars 65, Mariners 46

Homer 14 11 15 6 —46

Soldotna 11 19 20 15 —65

HOMER (46) — Rohr 2 0-0 5, Etzwiler 4 2-2 12, Beachy 5 0-0 14, Edens 2 0-0 4, Kallelid 6 0-2 12, Carroll 0 0-0 0, Cortez 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 2-4 46.

SOLDOTNA (65) — Trammell 0 0-0 0, Kuntz 1 0-0 3, Sheridan 1 0-0 2, McElroy 0 0-0 0, Reutov 0 0-0 0, Crowder 0 0-0 0, Casey 9 0-4 18, Spence 3 0-0 7, Dickson 2 0-0 5, Smithwick 9 2-2 25, Evans 2 1-4 5, Kant 0 0-0 0, Tuisaula 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 3-10 65.

3-point goals — Soldotna 8 (Smithwick 5, Kuntz 1, Spence 1, Dickson 1); Homer 6 (Beachy 4, Etzwiler 2).

Team fouls — Soldotna 10; Homer 9. Fouled out — none.

 

Sea Otters , Warriors 40

Nikolaevsk 11 11 12 6 —40

Seldovia 18 12 12 8 —50

NIKOLAEVSK (40) — K. Molodih 2 0-0 5, G. Trail 0 0-0 0, N. Fefelov 3 0-0 6, Gordeev 4 0-0 8, F. Molodih 4 0-0 10, J. Fefelov 5 0-2 11, M. Trail 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 0-2 40.

SELDOVIA (50) — Waterbury 1 0-0 3, Botero 2 0-0 4, Collier 3 2-2 10, Haller 0 0-0 0, Philpot 9 2-3 25, Stanish 3 2-4 8. Totals — 18 6-9 50.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 4 (F. Molodih 2, K. Molodih, J. Fefelov); Seldovia 8 (Philpot 5, Collier 2, Waterbury). Team fouls — Nikolaevsk 11, Seldovia 5. Fouled out — none.

 

Tuesday girls

Warriors 60, Sea Otters 32

Nikolaevsk 17 24 5 14 —60

Seldovia 9 2 10 11 —32

NIKOLAEVSK (60) — K. Klaich 0 2-4 2, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Mametieff 1 0-0 2, Fefelov 5 0-0 10, Kalugin 9 0-0 19, Gordeev 1 0-0 2, Dorvall 1 0-0 2, Hickman 8 3-4 19. Totals — 27 5-8 60.

SELDOVIA (32) — Elvsaas 0 0-0 0, Cook 0 0-0 0, Chissus 4 0-2 8, Metcalf 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Romanoff 0 0-0 0, LaBelle 0 0-0 0, Turner 6 0-0 13, Waterbury 2 0-0 4, Polakova 1 0-0 3. Totals — 15 0-2 32.

3-point goals — Nikolaevsk 1 (Kalugin); Seldovia 2 (Turner, Polakova). Team fouls — Nikolaevsk 7, Seldovia 6. Fouled out — none.

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