Wolves sweep Bears at home and away
After sweeping Petersburg the previous week, the Haines Glacier Bears got swept by the Sitka Wolves.
Girls’ team leader and spark plug Hannah Wing rolled her ankle Monday during practice and again in the early moments of the Friday night game. Coach Brian Elliott kept her out for the second half.
Sitka spread the floor with accurate passing and good spacing to break down the zone defense used by the Bears in their effort to contain six-foot post player Sariah Ady. The senior Ady finished with 17 as the Wolves cruised to an easy victory, 63-30. The Wolves also hit five treys.
Bright spots for Haines included going 6-9 from the line in the fourth period, and contributions from sophomores Libby Jacobson and Grace Jones and freshman Celia Bower.
Senior Amey Messerschmidt finished with 8 points; Jones, 5; juniors Riley Erekson and Alisha Young, 4; seniors Wing, Ashley Messerschmidt and Marnie Rasmussen, 2; Libby Jacobson, 2; and junior Jess Giddings, 1.
Scorers for Sitka behind Ady were sophomore Megan Reid, 14; senior Katina Wathen, 8; freshman Sidney Riggs, 6; senior Karly Fuller, 5; sophomores Sophia Mudry and Kendal Phippen, 5; sophomore Isa Ramil, 2; and senior Hunter Huddlestun, 1.
Coach Rich Krupa said his Sitka girls had lost the night before to the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears in the closing minute of the game. Against Haines, he thought they played solidly in the half court and trapped well.
Different teams showed up for Saturday night’s contest. Haines coaching adjustments in the zone defense and more desire in their effort gave the girls a good chance to win.
The Sitka guards had a hard time finding Ady in the paint and their perimeter shooting fizzled. The Wolves led 21-14 at the half, scoring as the buzzer sounded. Haines outscored and outplayed Sitka in the second half but came up short, losing 41-35.
Wing spent significant time on the bench with foul trouble but played hard the whole fourth period with four fouls. Amey Messerschmidt posted a career-high 21 points, some of which were from layups right at and past Ady. Rasmussen had 7 points and was key in the rebounding battle. Wing tallied 5 points and Erekson scored 2.
The Glacier Bear junior varsity gave the fans a treat, winning in overtime Friday night. They let the Wolves back into the game after leading 22-8 at the half. Sitka scored 21 in the fourth quarter to tie, but the Haines girls prevailed in the extra frame, 52-47.
Bower’s 15 points led the offense for Haines. Jones added 14, and a dozen were in the fourth and overtime. Other scoring was Jacobson, 6; Giddings, 5; sophomore Jamie Messerschmidt, 5;and freshman Natalia Taylor, 5; and freshman Paige Winge, 2.
Sitka’s Mele Sitani paced the all-freshman Wolves’ scoring with 19 points.
Saturday the young Glacier Bears trailed 5-4 at the end of the first period, but then settled down, played three quarters of tough, physical basketball and won, 38-29.
Jamie Messerschmidt led with 9 points. Bower, Libby Jacobson and Jones chipped in 7 each. Giddings and Taylor tossed in 4 points apiece.
The Haines boys’ team traveled to Sitka and dropped two to the Wolves, 71-43 and 66-38.
“Sitka has a good, deep team with big guards,” said coach Steve Fossman.
Taking a nine-man team with ineligible players left home and senior guard Austin Badger out for the season with a knee injury, Fossman did not make excuses.
“We have to focus on fundamentals and not try for the home run every time,” he said.
Senior Tyler Swinton led all scorers Friday with 18 points. Classmate Logan Simpson had 13; sophomore Justin Swinton, 4; senior Devin Braaten, 3; senior Parker Schnabel, 2; junior Chris Olsen, 2; and senior Brandon Haxton, 1.
Senior Mik Potrzuski paced Sitka with 17 points and senior Bae Widmeir had 11.
Tyler Swinton was the top scorer for Haines again Saturday, with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Justin Swinton added 8 points; Simpson, 5; Schnabel, 3; Haxton, 2; and Braaten and junior Caullen Taylor, 1.
This week the boys are home against Wrangell while the girls make the trip to face the Wolves in their den.