An early wake-up call didn’t bother the Kodiak girls Thursday morning.

Playing in the 8 a.m. game, Kodiak easily rolled to a 53-16 Northern Lights Conference Tournament quarterfinal victory over Homer at Wasilla High School.

The Bears advance to today’s 3 p.m. semifinal against Soldotna, a 52-36 winner over Palmer.

The winner of that game slides into Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game and earns a berth to the 4A state tournament.

The loser can no longer earn one of the NLC’s two automatic bids to state and drops to Saturday’s 12:30 p.m., third/fifth-place game.

Soldotna, the South Division champion with a 9-1 NLC record, swept Kodiak during the regular season, winning 44-40 and 47-35 in Kodiak at the end of January.

“The night that we lost by four we were outrebounding them by two at halftime. They outrebounded us by 17 in the second half,” Kodiak coach Stephanie Dandliker said earlier this week. “That hurts, especially when a lot of those were offensive rebounds. That is what really killed us against them.

“We just have to be firing on all cylinders and hope the ball rolls your way against a team like that. They are a good team,” she said.

Kodiak (10-10) looked like the North Division’s No. 2 seed Thursday.

Homer, the South’s No. 3 team, scored the game’s first bucket, but after that it was all Kodiak.

The Bears scored the next 22 points to take a commanding 22-2 lead midway through the second quarter.

Kodiak led 33-5 at intermission and played its starters sparingly in the second half.

Sophomore Megan Pyles and freshman Ila Hughes each led Kodiak with 10 points, while junior Sarah Ng collected nine points.

Kodiak’s bench accounted for 35 of the Bears’ 53 points. This is only the third time this season Kodiak has eclipsed 50 points.

Hughes also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Kodiak’s defense held Homer to single-digit points in each quarter and generated 18 steals. Homer had 24 turnovers.

Soldotna 52, Palmer 36

Kailee Skjold scored 17 points to lead Soldotna past Palmer 52-36.

Soldotna led 25-10 at halftime and put the game away with a 20-point third quarter to take a 45-20 lead.

The Moose were paced by Taylor Blake’s 14 points. Palmer drops to the consolation bracket and will play Homer with a trip to Saturday’s fourth/sixth-place game on the line.

Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

BEARS 53, MARINERS 16

Homer 2 3 9 2 — 16

Kodiak 16 17 11 9 — 53

Homer (16) — Oliver 1 0-0 2, Gee 0 0-0 0, Tutt 1 2-2 4, Graham 0 0-0 0, Alexander 1 0-0 2, Beach 0 0-0 0, Fellows 0 0-0 0, Mastolier 0 0-0 0, Turner 1 0-0 3, Koplin 1 0-0 3, Cabana 1 0-0 2. Totals 6 2-2 16.

Kodiak (53) — Alcaide 0 1-2 1, Aquino 0 0-0 0, Timu 2 0-0 4, Ng 4 0-2 9, Cannon 1 2-2 4, Taan 0 4-5 4, K. Hughes 1 3-4 5, Lampl 1 0-0 2, Pyles 3 4-4 10, Wandersee 2 0-0 4, Horn 0 0-0 0, I. Hughes 5 0-1 10. Totals 19 14-19 53.

3-point goals — Homer 2 (Turner 1, Koplin 1); Kodiak 1 (Ng 1). Team fouls — Homer 9, Kodiak 5. Fouled out — none.

Thursday’s Games

Kodiak 53, Homer 16

Soldotna 52, Palmer 36

Colony 30, Kenai 27

Wasilla 72, Skyview 13

Friday’s Games

Consolation bracket

8 a.m. — Homer vs. Palmer

11:30 a.m. — Skyview vs. Kenai

Semifinals

3 p.m. — Kodiak vs. Soldotna

6:30 p.m. — Colony vs. Wasilla

Saturday’s games

9 a.m. —Fourth-place game

12:30 p.m. — Third-place game

6 p.m. — Championship game

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