Ninilchik basketball ends unsucessful weekend

Nikolaevsk’s Kristin Klaich shoots on Cook Inlet Academy’s Emilee Cragg and Anna Cizek on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at Cook Inlet Academy. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

Nikolaevsk’s Kristin Klaich shoots on Cook Inlet Academy’s Emilee Cragg and Anna Cizek on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at Cook Inlet Academy. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

The Soldotna girls won’t be coming home empty-handed from their weekend trip to Ketchikan.

The Stars capped a 3-0 weekend Saturday night with the girls championship in the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic, defeating Class 4A opponent Lathrop in the final 43-34.

With the variety of defenses and offensive styles the team saw each night, SoHi head coach Kyle McFall dubbed it a valuable experience.

“We handled adversity well, and it serves this team well, especially at night,” McFall said. “It was a big crowd, a big atmosphere and (Lathrop) kind of hit us in the mouth a little from the start. It took a little while for the girls to calm their nerves.”

Down 34-33 entering the final quarter, the Stars finished on a furious defensive clampdown, holding the Malamutes scoreless over the final eight minutes while scoring the final 10 points of the game to secure the victory.

Danica Schmidt kickstarted the final run with a 3-pointer and finished the night with 11 points. SoHi senior Brittani Blossom led the offense with 14 points and Ituau Tuisaula had 10.

Lathrop’s Jordyn Johnson made life tough for SoHi with 17 points, including four 3’s.

McFall credited the consistency the Stars showed all weekend, pointing to Blossom’s offensive production and the tough defense played by Schmidt and Tuisaula, the latter of which held Lathrop’s top post player to two points.

“It’s just that the whole town comes out,” McFall said about the boisterous atmosphere. “They’re really supportive.”

A slow start by both teams resulted in the Malamutes holding an early 9-6 lead, but both squads heated up. Blossom poured in 11 points herself in the second quarter, but Lathrop led 28-23 at halftime.

Bishop Blanchet boys 55, Soldotna 42

The SoHi boys finished the weekend with a loss to Bishop Blanchet (Oregon) to take sixth place in the boys tournament with a 1-2 record.

A day after his big 35-point performance against Metlakatla, SoHi junior Jersey Truesdell finished Saturday with 14 points to lead the Stars offense, while Ray Chumley chipped in 10. Lester Sauvale scored a game-high 25 for Bishop Blanchet on seven 3’s.

Bishop Blanchet led 25-21 over SoHi at halftime and 40-36 after three quarters, but the Braves pulled away in the fourth by outscoring SoHi 15-6.

Metlakatla boys 53, Nikiski 50

The Nikiski boys wrapped up an 0-3 weekend Saturday with a close loss to Metlakatla, giving the Bulldogs eighth place at the Ketchikan tournament.

Joe Floyd Christmas Classic

The Ninilchik boys and girls teams finished up play Saturday in Kodiak with losses to larger teams, finishing the weekend a combined 0-7.

The Ninilchik boys lost to North Pole 64-62 in overtime. Garrett Koch poured in 31 points for Ninilchik, hitting 10 of 11 free throws, but Alex Garcia one-upped Koch with a game-high 39 points for North Pole by sinking seven 3-pointers.

The Patriots got out to a fast start at 24-13, but the Wolverines rallied in the second quarter by outscoring North Pole 22-13 to cut the deficit to 37-35 by halftime.

Ninilchik kept it close and eventually tied it up at 57 apiece at the end of regulation. In the extra period, Garcia proved to be too much for the Wolverines as the North Pole guard hit three shots to score all seven of his team’s points.

The Ninilchik girls lost to Class 4A opponent Service 57-17. The Cougars pulled away in the second and third quarters by outscoring the Wolverines 29-10, then won the fourth quarter 21-5.

Isabella Koch paced Ninilchik with nine points, including six in the second quarter, while Service was led by Eden Hopson and Meakenna Noland with 11 points each.

Saturday girls

Stars 43, Malamutes 34

Lathrop 9 19 6 0 —34

Soldotna 6 17 10 10 —43

LATHROP (34) — Wisema 0, Tuck 2, Johnson 17, Roberts 0, Tuck 2, Kraska 2, Johnson-Oates 11.

SOLDOTNA (43) — McGillivray 0, Buckbee 0, Blossom 14, A. Schmidt 6, Boucher 0, Tuisaula 10, Crosby-Schneider 2, D. Schmidt 11.

3-point field goals — Lathrop 4 (Johnson 4); Soldotna 4 (Blossom 2, D. Schmidt 2).

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

Cougars 57, Wolverines 17

Ninilchik 2 8 2 5 —17

Service 7 19 10 21 —57

NINILCHIK (17) — Okonek 0, Jasper 0, Calabrese 0, Robuck 2, Corey 2, Koch 9, Cooper 3, DenBoer 0, Ofstad 0, Okonek 1.

SERVICE (57) — Crutcher 5, Stoddard 9, Hopsen 11, Noethlich 5, Lambert 7, Robanch 0, Campbell 6, Frazier 0, Noethlich 0, Pawcio 3, Noland 11.

3-point field goals — Ninilchik 1 (Koch); Service 5 (Crutcher 1, Stoddard 1, Hopson 1, Noethlich 1, Noland 1).

Team fouls — Ninilchik 19; Service 16. Fouled out — none.

Saturday boys

Braves 55, Stars 42

Soldotna 11 10 15 6 —42

Bishop Blanchet 10 15 15 15 —55

SOLDOTNA (42) — Rich 9, Chumley 10, Truesdell 14, Kant 0, Wells 2, Rosin 0, Michael 7, Denna 0.

BISHOP BLANCHET (55) — Byrne 2, Martin 9, Knowles 4, Sauvale 25, Joynt 2, Prinzivally 2, Fotopoulos 2, Woodward 9, Korman 0, Moore 0.

3-point field goals — Soldotna 6 (Truesdell 3, Chumley 2, Rich 1); Bishop Blanchet 10 (Sauvale 7, Woodward 3).

Team fouls — Soldotna 18; Bishop Blanchet 13. Fouled out — none.

Patriots 64, Wolverines 62

North Pole 24 13 12 8 7 —64

Ninilchik 13 22 13 9 5 —62

NORTH POLE (64) — Garcia 39, Havens 2, Sanchez 0, Bostwick 0, Peterson 11, Dent 0, Sanchez 7, Nelson 0, Holt 5.

NINILCHIK (62) — Nelson 8, Hadro 6, Koch 31, Moore 0, Clark 12, Devila 0, Lemons 3, Mumey 2.

3-point field goals — North Pole 9 (Garcia 7, Peterson 1, Sanchez 1); Ninilchik 7 (Koch 3, Nelson 2, Hadro 1, Lemons 1).

Team fouls — North Pole 19; Ninilchik 14. Fouled out — none.

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