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

Glacier Bear girls top Wolves


The Haines Glacier Bears girls’ basketball team rocked the gym Saturday, picking up its first league victory in an overtime thriller.

The game capped an excellent weekend series against the Wrangell Wolves, who beat Haines Friday also in a close game.

The first game saw wild swings back and forth on the scoreboard, neither team playing consistently throughout all four quarters. The scoring breakdown per quarter tells the story of the inconsistency. Haines/Wrangell: 11-19, 19-4, 8-24 and 12-15.

Friday’s final score – Wrangell 62, Haines, 50 – left Haines coach Greg Brittenham musing to himself, “We were right there with them, but can we put four quarters together?”

Brittenham did not have to wait long for an answer.

On Saturday, with the teams again evenly matched and a halftime score of 22-19 favoring Wrangell, Brittenham knew the second half would tell the story.

“I knew they were going to come out and pressure us. I just hoped we would be able to push back when they did.”

Early in the second half, senior point guard Jordan Stigen caught a contested pass near half-court that could easily have gotten her into trouble. Stigen calmly faked a pass, which drew the defender out of position, and then advanced the ball up-court for what would become two Haines points on the possession.

“It may not seem like a lot,” said Brittenham, “but that one play, which is not on the score sheet, was a major turning point as far as our team confidence.”

Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of regulation, with Haines’ collective effort answering the repeated strong drives made by Wrangell point guard Anna Allen, who seemed determined to carry Wrangell by herself.

When the final whistle blew in regulation, the teams were tied at 39 apiece, sending the game into overtime. Three Wrangell starters fouled out in the game; no Haines players fouled out.

Haines came together in overtime, with juniors Brittney Bradford and Tulsi Zahnow repeatedly driving the length of the court for easy scores against a visibly tired Wrangell team. Haines eventually pulled away for a 51-46 victory.

When asked about her stellar output (seven of her 11 points were in the final quarter and overtime) and whether she felt confident the whole game, Zahnow said, “Well, kind of in the last four minutes, but not the whole time.”

It seems confidence knows no better ally than timing.

Bradford and cousin and fellow junior Makayla Crager each turned in a double-double performance in the game. Bradford tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Crager led all scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Marissa Haddock contributed an exceptional 16 rebounds.

In what may have been an understatement, Crager summed up the team’s feelings about its first win of the season, “It felt great.”

The Glacier Bear girls, 1-5 in league play, will play at Whitehorse, Y.T., Friday and Saturday in non-league play.


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