Haines teams play at HoopTime tournament
Basketball action in Juneau last month included the Mike Jackson Memorial HoopTime Shootout, which featured “B” and “C” youth teams from Haines.
Top finishes for the Glacier Bears were second place for the “B” boys and third place for the “B” girls.
All-tournament honorees for Haines included seventh-graders Dalton Klinger and Dylan Swinton and eighth-grader Charlie Bower in boys’ “B;” seventh-grader Garrett Ripley in boys’ “C;” eighth-graders Bozhi Sebens and Olivia Wing in girls’ “B;” and sixth-grader Lili Benassi in girls’ “C.”
Teams from Hoonah, Petersburg and Sitka also made the trip to Juneau for the event.
Ralph Swinton, who has coached the boys along with his wife, Sarah, and James Sage, noted the “B” team didn’t place at its first Juneau tournament this season, and showed great improvement on the way to runner-up status. The “B” team defeated teams from Sitka and Hoonah to reach the championship, before falling to a Juneau squad.
Swinton said he is “pretty excited” to see some of the boys play at a higher level next year.
“I think there will be five or six kids moving up to high school,” he said. “They have been a great group to have in the program.”
Swinton said the “C” athletes gained valuable experience in their first out-of-town tournament.
Lori Giddings coached the girls, with support from Brian O’Riley when he wasn’t competing at the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament. Giddings said the “B” girls lost by one point against Hoonah, a nail biter that kept the Glacier Bears out of the championship game.
“I think it was a tough tournament for the ‘B’ team, but they played hard and didn’t give up,” she said. “I’m real proud of the girls.”
Giddings said the “C” team remained enthusiastic while facing teams that have participated in more competitions, and she said a highlight was taking an early lead in one game.
The event was the season finale for Chilkat Valley hoop teams.