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Glacier Bears tackle Yukoners

 


The Haines boys’ basketball team posted two wins over a Yukon squad last weekend.

The visitors made the trip from Whitehorse, and the exhibition games took place during Friday and Saturday breaks from the Dick Hotch Memorial Basketball Tournament at Karl Ward Gymnasium. The Yukoners are on a traveling team that competes throughout Canada.

“We haven’t played Whitehorse for a few years, and it was a great series for us,” said Haines coach Steve Fossman. “I think we got a lot out of it, and so did they.”

The Glacier Bears trailed by 10 points early Friday, before sophomore Devin Light and junior Caullen Taylor hit three-pointers to close out the first quarter. Haines went on to win, 59-44.

Senior Tyler Swinton scored 26 points, and younger brother Justin Swinton, a sophomore, added 9. Light tallied 8, senior Logan Simpson, 5; senior Brandon Haxton, 4; Taylor and senior Devin Braaten, 3; and junior Reik Fischer, 1.

Tyler Swinton again led the Glacier Bears on Saturday, scoring 18 points in a 55-47 victory. Simpson had 11, Braaten, 10; Taylor, 6; Haxton, 5; Justin Swinton and Light, 2; and Fischer, 1. Taylor made all six of his attempts from the free-throw line to secure the lead.

Late in Friday’s game, the home crowd got a scare when Light and junior Chris Olsen hit the court with injuries. Light remained in the game with a slight limp due to a sore knee, and Olsen returned to play in Saturday’s contest.

Haines will host Mount Edgecumbe this weekend in its regular season finale.

“They usually have a lot of guys that can handle the ball well, and they usually have pretty nice shooters,” Fossman said. “I think we’ll be bigger, and hopefully we’ll take advantage of that.”

The Mount Edgecumbe games will be a send-off for seniors Braaten, Haxton, Simpson, Swinton, Austin Badger and Parker Schnabel.

“They’re an exceptional group of guys and, numbers-wise, a big group of seniors,” Fossman said. “It’s definitely the biggest group of seniors I’ve ever coached since I’ve been here, and you’re really going to notice it when they’re gone.”

The Glacier Bear girls traveled to Delta Junction for a tournament last week, and notched a 2-1 record on their way to a third-place finish in the eight-team field.

“It was nice to play new teams and learn about us in the process, what things make us work and what things we need to improve upon,” said coach Brian Elliott.

Seniors Amey Messerschmidt and Hannah Wing earned all-tournament recognition.

Haines opened with a 53-27 win over Noorvik on Thursday, and Amey Messerschmidt paced the team with 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior Ashley Messerschmidt and juniors Riley Erekson and Alisha Young had 8 points apiece. Wing scored 7 and dished out five assists, junior Jess Giddings added 7 points, sophomore Jamie Messerschmidt, 2; and sophomore Libby Jacobson, 1.

The Glacier Bears then fell to Dillingham on Friday, 55-47. Haines trimmed Dillingham’s lead to one point in the fourth quarter, but Dillingham held on for the win and went on to lose to Delta Junction in the championship game.

“We did not do what we set out to do, and that was rebound and take care of the basketball, not turn it over,” Elliott said. “It was a close game; we shot poorly; we had 26 turnovers and we didn’t rebound as well as we could have.”

Wing tossed in 22 points, including 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Amey Messerschmidt scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Ashley Messerschmidt and Young each had 4 points, Libby Jacobson, 3; and Jamie Messerschmidt, 2.

Haines recovered on Saturday and routed Glennallen, 47-22. Elliott noted the Glacier Bears improved their rebounding and committed only nine turnovers.

“They showed up to the gym just locked in, and I could tell they were going to put forth a good effort,” he said.

Amey Messerschmidt led with 14 points, and Wing had 13. Other scorers were Ashley Messerschmidt, 8; Young, 5; Erekson, 4; Libby Jacobson, 2; and freshman Celia Bower, 1. Senior Anna Jacobson snatched six steals.

The girls will compete at Mount Edgecumbe this weekend.

The Southeast regional tournament for both boys and girls begins in Ketchikan later this month.