Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Metlakatla tops Bears


The Haines Glacier Bears were winless in a slate of basketball games this weekend, but each squad had at least one contest that went down to the wire.

The girls’ varsity, coming off an overtime loss to Craig, trailed visiting Metlakatla by one point, 37-36, with eight seconds remaining on Friday. The Bears then turned the ball over on a traveling violation, and a Metlakatla free throw and buzzer-beating bucket extended the final margin to four points, 40-36.

Tallying points for Haines were senior Riley Erekson, 13; senior Alisha Young, 6; sophomore Celia Bower, 5; freshman Kayley Swinton, 4; seniors Jess Giddings and Karlie Spud, 2; and junior Jamie Messerschmidt, 2. The Bear full-court press also flustered Metlakatla into scoring on the wrong basket.

Haines had a slower start on Saturday and fell to Metlakatla, 43-26. Scoring for Haines included Swinton, 10; Spud, 8; Bower, 7; and Messerschmidt, 1.

Erekson, the team’s top outside shooter this season, missed the game with a knee injury. Elliott noted Erekson has had success drawing fouls to get to the free throw line for easy points, and he hopes she can return to play this weekend at Wrangell.

“She is becoming a beast,” Elliott said. “In her senior year, she’s putting it together.”

Elliott said he was disappointed with the team’s energy and focus Saturday. He credited Swinton and Spud for providing a spark off the bench. Swinton was a threat both inside and outside, and Spud drained some deep shots that fired up the crowd.

“It’s nice to have your bench with some scoring potential,” Elliott said.

The junior varsity girls faced a non-varsity Juneau-Douglas team to open play each night. Haines fell narrowly in both games, 36-27 on Friday and 34-33 on Saturday.

The Glacier Bear boys made the long trip to Metlakatla and battled a hot-shooting Chief varsity team. Metlakatla blew the game open in the second quarter of Thursday’s game, scoring 28 points on the way to a 68-30 win. The Chiefs continued their offensive barrage on Friday, 61-25.

“Metlakatla, they have a real big front line,” said coach Steve Fossman. He said the Bears struggled with the Chiefs’ depth.

Senior Caullen Taylor led Haines with 9 points on Thursday, followed by senior Chris Olsen, 5; juniors Justin Swinton and Kai Sato-Franks, 4; juniors Chevy Fowler and James Morgan, 2; and sophomore Keegan Sundberg, 2.

Swinton’s 9 points paced the Bears on Friday. Taylor added 8; Sato-Franks, 4; and Olsen and Fowler, 2.

The junior varsity stayed close to Metlakatla, but the Chiefs held on for two wins, 37-32 and 31-24.

Haines was able to squeeze in one more game in Ketchikan before returning to the Upper Lynn Canal. Saturday, the Bears varsity lost a triple-overtime thriller against the Ketchikan junior varsity, 60-58.