The Northern Lights Conference Basketball Tournament kicked off yesterday here in Kodiak with eight games. Another eight games are scheduled for today’s second round.
In the girls bracket yesterday, the Palmer Moose advanced with a 41-19 trouncing of the Soldotna Stars. The Colony Knights rolled over the Skyview Panthers 64-21. And the Wasilla Warriors beat Homer 58-35. The only southern division team to win yesterday was the top-seeded Kenai Kardinals, who edged the fourth-ranked Kodiak Bears 30-to-29.
In that game the Bears lead by six at the half, but were outscored by seven in the second. Kodiak was lead by sophomore Joanna Garcia, who rained down a trio of three-pointers and added a free throw for seven points. Emily Garner added six and Rachel Norton contributed five. Guard Samantha Hull had nine points – all but two from the free thrown line in the fourth period – to lead the Kardinals to the one-point win.
On the boys side, Wasilla beat Kenai 60-52, Palmer edged Homer 44-42 in overtime, Colony downed Skyview 63-41, and in the nightcap, Soldotna beat the host Bears 57-42.
In the Kodiak game, sophomore Rafael Matautia had 18 points to lead all scorers. Mark Galindo and David Diocares each added six. SoHi was led by Liam Andrus with 15 and Blaine Carver who had a dozen.
In second-round action Friday, the Lady Bears will take the court at 8 a.m. against the Mariners. At 9:45 the Skyview and Kenai boys face off. At 11:30 a.m. the Skyview and SoHi girls play, and at 1:15 p.m., the Kodiak boys play Homer.
In the later winners-bracket games, the Colony and Palmer girls play at 3, the Colony and Wasilla boys take the court at 4:45, the Kenai and Wasilla girls play at 6:30 and in the nightcap, the Soldotna and Palmer boys play.
Championship and consolation games will be on Saturday. The top three teams will advance to the state championships.