Haines girls 2-1 at Petersburg tournament
The Haines High School girls’ basketball team posted two double-digit wins and fell to Class 3A Petersburg in a season-opening tournament Dec. 20-21.
Nine Glacier Bears competed in Petersburg’s Little Norway tournament, and “everybody got meaningful minutes,” said coach Brian Elliott.
“Our bench did a great job of entering the game and adding some energy, making plays and just making things happen,” he said. “That’s what you need your bench to do – to come into the game and make an impact.”
Haines started play with a 37-24 win over Cordova. Sophomore Kayley Swinton led the team with 10 points, followed by junior Celia Bower, 9; senior Grace Jones, 6; senior Libby Jacobson and sophomore Destinee Cowart, 4; sophomore Autumn Gross, 3; and senior Serena Badgley, 1.
“I feel like Cordova was a team of similar skill and experience with us,” Elliott said. “We got down early; we were down 11-4 after the first quarter, but we didn’t really get down about that. We just stuck to the game plan and ratcheted up our defensive intensity a little bit.”
Next, the Glacier Bears lost to a ferocious Petersburg team, 45-20. Scoring was sparse for Haines, with Bower tallying 6 points; Gross and Swinton, 3; and junior Natalia Taylor, Badgley, Jacobson and Jones, 2.
“We learned a lot from that game, that this team needs to be tougher and we need to be able to play with pressure a lot better,” Elliott said. “…We need to be able to feel comfortable with pressure in our face, because that’s an important part of basketball and we’re going to face that for the remainder of the year, regardless of opponent.”
He said the Vikings wore the Glacier Bears down and pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“It was pretty close in the first half,” Elliott said. “It was tough, gritty, and nothing was easy offensively. They put a press on, which we had worked on a little bit at that point in the season, but not a whole lot, so we struggled with that.”
Haines then routed a Thorne Bay squad that had only five players, 54-20.
Bower poured in 17 points on her way to all-tournament recognition. Other scoring for Haines included Jacobson, 13; Gross, 9; Swinton, 6; Jones, 4; Cowart and Taylor, 2; and sophomore Jenae Larson, 1. Jacobson drained a pair of three-pointers.
“The challenge of that game was coming out with the right amount of intensity, and not just showing up and playing down to the level of our opponent,” Elliott said.