The Soldotna girls basketball squad soared past Nikiski 49-20 on Tuesday night in nonconference action, moving the Stars to 6-10 overall.
George Stein, SoHi’s head coach, said he was impressed with the grit of both teams.
“I think they played hard,” he said. “Nikiski plays hard. I was impressed with the way they played the game. They were getting on the floor and that kind of stuff, and I thought my girls did the same thing. And that always makes for a fun game to watch.”
Soldotna and Nikiski scored fairly evenly during the first quarter, but by halftime the Stars had inched their way ahead — missing fewer shots and forcing some Bulldogs turnovers with a full-court press.
Soldotna was up 23-12 at the half, and maintained pressure through the end of the game.
Nikiski head coach Rustin Hitchcock II said all his players were standouts of Tuesday night’s matchup, and that the team has been improving on some crucial parts of the game, including limiting turnovers and maximizing rebounding opportunities.
“The girls stepped up and moved the ball on offense,” Hitchcock II said. “We took it to them in the first half. I mean, it was very exciting.”
He also said he was impressed with Soldotna’s performance.
“SoHi’s in a tough spot, I mean they have a lot of injuries and whatnot, and they’re still playing at a really high level,” Hitchcock II said. “So that’s a testament to their coaching and players.”
The Nikiski Bulldogs are 0-13 overall this season.
Senior starter Ellie Burns led the Stars with 10 points, and senior Adarra Hagelund scored eight points for Soldotna. Junior Katelyn Morrison and junior Tanner Inman had seven points, senior Montana Fischer scored six, sophomore Kaytlin McAnelly had five, and senior Jolie Widaman, sophomore Alex Lee, and freshman Sadie Lane had two points each.
Sophomore starter Maggie Grenier was the top scorer for the Bulldogs with six points. Sophomore Shelby Burman had four points, and freshman Kaydence Jeffreys, junior Savanna Stock, senior Kinlee Jeffreys, senior Rylee Ellis and sophomore Brooke Abel each had two points.
Soldotna boys 66, Nikiski 63
The Stars team narrowly slid past the Bulldogs 66-63 during Tuesday’s nonconference game, pushing SoHi to 6-12 overall. Nikiski moved to 6-11 overall.
The Bulldogs had just one off quarter and it ended up costing them. Nikiski led 16-12 after the first quarter, but trailed 25-20 at halftime. The Stars then led 35-33 before a crazy final quarter in which SoHi scored 31 points, and Nikiski had 30.
The Stars put four in double figures — Ethan Sewell had 16, Jakob Brown had 15, and Nate Johnson and Maleda Denbrock each had 11. Also for SoHi, Andrew Pieh had nine, while Zac Buckbee and Brock Wilson had two apiece.
Nikiski also had four in double figures — Dillon Hansen with 15, Brady Bostic with 14, Drew Handley with 12 and Charlie Chamberlain with 10. Braeden Porter added eight, while Simon Grenier had four.
Homer JV girls 36, CIA 28
The host Eagles dropped to 4-9 overall with the Tuesday nonconference loss to the Mariners JV.
Homer led 8-4 after the first quarter, 14-10 at halftime and 22-18 after three quarters.
Minadora Reutov paced the Mariners with 21 points.
For Cook Inlet Academy, Hope Hillyer had 17 points, while Tatum Rozak pitched in 11.
CIA boys 46, Homer JV 33
The host Eagles moved to 5-6 overall with the nonconference victory over the Mariners JV.
CIA jumped to a 17-8 lead after a quarter and a 33-14 lead and halftime.
Ian McGarry poured in 17 points for the Eagles, while Abraham Henderson had 11, James Boyd had eight, Nehemiah Baines had three, Jeremy Dillingham had three and Brady Baeten had two.
For the Mariners, Morgan Techie led the way with eight points.
Soldotna’s Ethan Sewell handles pressure from Nikiski’s Brady Bostic on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)