The Glacier Bear boys had a rough regular season finale last weekend, but they did put together their best first half of the year in the opener against Metlakatla.
Haines led the visiting Chiefs at intermission, 23-20, on Friday, thanks in large part to four 3-pointers from senior Caullen Taylor. Metlakatla, though, went on a 20-0 run in the third quarter to take control of the game. The final score was 53-30.
Scoring for Haines were Taylor, 12; junior Justin Swinton, 9; junior Kai Sato-Franks, 3; senior Chris Olsen, 2; junior Chevy Fowler, 2; and sophomore Keegan Sundberg, 2.
Coach Steve Fossman said the Glacier Bears were effective with their fast break early in the game, but couldn’t sustain that tempo. He called Metlakatla the best team in the conference, and said playing the Chiefs was “a tough way to end the season.”
Metlakatla was more dominant on Saturday and nearly doubled up the Glacier Bears, 29-15, in the first half, on the way to a 65-33 win.
“I thought that Metlakatla hit a lot of tough shots,” Fossman said.
Sophomore Keanu Lynch provided a spark for Haines. He had two treys in the first half, and 10 points for the game, to tie Swinton as the team’s leading scorer. Taylor had 6 points; Sato-Franks, 3; junior Isaac Wing, 2; Olsen, 1; and junior John Gross, 1.
Fossman said Lynch is the Glacier Bears’ “most fearless” player, and that aggressiveness led to the sophomore swiping six steals. Lynch sat out much of the first game against Metlakatla after a collision.
Saturday was the final home game for seniors Olsen, Taylor and Russell Clark, who were honored during a Senior Night ceremony.
“They’re playing well,” Fossman said. “They’ve been in the program and I hope they can have a strong finish down at regionals.”
Metlakatla also swept the junior varsity games, 34-25 and 40-34. Double-figure scorers for the Glacier Bears were Gross, with 10 points on Friday, and Wing, who tallied 16 on Saturday.
Fossman said Haines is set to face Metlakatla at the regional tournament in Sitka next month. The conference’s four teams will battle for two berths to the Class 2A state tournament.
There was some controversy over how many spots at state would be reserved for Southeast teams after some schools moved down to 2A, Fossman said. The strong showings of area squads, including two state championships by the Glacier Bears in recent years, contributed to the conference netting two slots at the tournament, he said.