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By SPENCER GLEASON
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan High School Lady Kings can’t quite put their finger on why, but for the second game in a row Kayhi’s defense struggled against its opponent.
“We’re hoping it’s not a trend,” Kayhi coach Kelly Smith said.
Kayhi squared off against Soldotna High School in the first round of the Lady Lynx Prep Shootout at Dimond High School on Wednesday. The Lady Stars defeated Kayhi 58-35.
“Defensively, we were off,” Smith said. “We just weren’t crisp; we weren’t talking.”
Soldotna (16-0) jumped out of the gate scoring 19 points in the first quarter.
The Soldotna Lady Stars’ Brittani Blossom hit one of her five 3-pointers within the first eight minutes, and Ituau Tuisaula had 10 points before the game reached the second frame.
“Soldotna’s disciplined,” Smith said. “They’re an older group of seniors who haven’t been to state before.
“We had a lot of good shots,” he continued. “We just couldn’t buy a basket. I mean, Ashley (Huffine) had 20 points, but still didn’t shoot the ball very well.”
Huffine was the only Lady King to score double figures.
The loss bumps Kayhi to the maroon bracket of the Lady Lynx tournament. It will square off against the 3A Southcentral Conference Kenai High School Lady Kardinals (10-5) on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
Kayhi is guaranteed three more days of basketball games in the maroon bracket.
“We have three good games here,” Smith said. “We have time to get to where we need to be.”
Once the tournament finishes on Saturday, Kayhi will get back to a normal routine of four days of practice before hosting Thunder Mountain High School on Feb. 15-16. And practice time will provide an opportunity to hash out Kayhi’s defensive woes.
“We weren’t talking on defense,” Smith said. “And we don’t know why we’re not talking. It’s just one of those things that we need to work on.”
Kayhi: Ashley Huffine, 20; Lianne Guevarra, 5; Emmie Smith, 5; Madison Rose, 2; Dyllan Borer, 2; Paige Boehlert, 1.
Soldotna: Brittani Blossom, 17; Ituau Tuisaula, 14; Aliann Schmidt, 9; Danica Schmidt, 8; Kalyn McGillivray, 6; Drysta Crosby-Schneider, 4.