Haines basketball fans enjoyed a solid week of games with the Wrangell boys here Monday and Tuesday, the Yukon girls here Thursday and the Craig Lady Panthers here Friday and Saturday.
On Thursday, coach Brian Elliott played 12 girls and eight of them scored, defeating the Yukoners, 49-45. Junior Alisha Young scored a career-high 13 to lead the team. Senior Hannah Wing followed with 11, Marnie Rasmussen, 10; Amey Messerschmidt, 6; junior Riley Erekson, 5; and seniors Anna Jacobson and Ashley Messerschmidt, 2.
Friday the Craig Lady Panthers pushed the Glacier Bears but came up short, losing to our deeper bench, 55-46.
In the closing moments of the game, coach Elliott said, “That’s the kind of leadership I’m looking for,” to point guard Wing when she pulled up and brought the ball back to center court, instead of forcing a shot.
Four Haines seniors led the way in scoring: Wing, 19; Ashley Messerschmidt, 13; Amey Messerschmidt, 12; and Rasmussen, 7. Erekson and Young chipped in 2 apiece.
Saturday’s last home game, a 61-55 loss, came too soon for fans and players alike. Five Haines girls graduate this year, including the Messerschmidts, Jacobson, Rasmussen and Wing.
The score at the halftime buzzer was 36-24, with the Panthers out in front. The Glacier Bears then held the sharp-shooting Panthers to 8, while scoring 16, in the third. Wing tallied 10, and spent three minutes sitting after picking up her fourth foul. Wing paced a valiant effort in the fourth, when she posted another 10 points, including two treys and four from the charity stripe.
Craig, though, was able to cancel the effect of Haines’ deeper bench with excellent shooting and patient play. For the game, the Panthers shot 64 percent from the floor.
Wing held high-point honors for the Glacier Bears with 29. Other scoring was Amey Messerschmidt, 10; Ashley Messerschmidt, 9; Rasmussen, Young and Libby Jacobson, 2; and Erekson, 1.
Junior varsity girls gained more valuable experience, dropping both contests to Craig, 51-25 Friday and 37-32 Saturday. Sophomore Grace Jones had 17 and Libby Jacobson, 8, in the two contests, followed by freshman Natalia Taylor, 11; freshman Celia Bower, 9; sophomore Jamie Messerschmidt, 8; and sophomore Coral Bauer and junior Karlie Spud, 2.
The girls travel the rest of the season to Metlakatla, Delta Junction and Mount Edgecumbe and the regional tournament in Ketchikan.
Senior Tyler Swinton led the Glacier Bear boys with 22 points in a 65-56 win over Craig on Friday. Seniors Devin Braaten and Brandon Haxton had 10 points each, senior Logan Simpson, 9; sophomore Devin Light, 6; and senior Parker Schnabel, juniors Reik Fischer and Chris Olsen and sophomore Justin Swinton with 2 apiece.
Saturday night was a big turnaround as Craig led throughout, with Haines making runs to keep it close. Swinton’s 36 points and 18 rebounds weren’t enough to stop the outside game of Craig, which connected on six treys and defeated the visiting team, 68-65.
The Bears had seven three-pointers: Three from Swinton, two from Simpson and one from Braaten and Light. Simpson ended with 13 points, Haxton, 7; Braaten and Light, 3; Justin Swinton, 2; and Schnabel, 1.
Haines won both JV games by slim margins, 49-48 Friday and 46-41 Saturday. Fischer led with 31 points in the two games.
Coach Steve Fossman remains optimistic about the team’s chances at the regional tournament.
“Anyone can win at the tournament and we have to be good to get past any of the teams there,” Fossman said. “The kids are working hard and finding their roles.”
Metlakatla is here this weekend.