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

Glacier Bears win in quadruple overtime


February 8, 2018

It’s not often that a basketball game goes into four overtimes. “I saw it once,” remembers Haines coach Steve Fossman, “on T.V.”

He would witness it again a few hours after his team landed in Petersburg for this season’s first showdown between the Glacier Bears and the Petersburg Vikings.

Petersburg tied the game at 45 with a desperate three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end regulation. The crowd went crazy, and the players would go on to play what amounted to another half a game.

With 1 minute and 14 seconds remaining in the third overtime period, Kirby Faverty drilled a three-pointer to tie the game at 60. With 29 seconds to go Wesley Verhamme came down with an offensive rebound and was fouled. He sank both free throws to give the Glacier Bears the lead. However, Petersburg again tied the game on a buzzer beating shot and the game headed into an improbable fourth overtime.

Only one point was scored in the final period. With less than four minutes to play, Carson Crager hit the second of two free throws to give the Glacier Bears a 64-63 lead. With eight seconds left, Crager came up with a blocked shot close to the hoop, thwarting Petersburg’s final scoring attempt and preserving the narrow margin of victory.

“It was a blessing to experience a game like that,” said sophomore Cade Clay, “and then to win it after working so hard.”

Dylan Swinton led the Glacier Bears in scoring with 20 points and rebounds with 10. Crager added 16 points and Verhamme contributed nine rebounds.

Sunday morning’s rematch was another close game, with neither team able to open up a significant lead. With a minute-and-a-half to go and a two-point lead, Haines went into their spread out, slow down offense and was able to eat a full minute off the clock before Petersburg was forced to foul, sending Swinton to the line. Swinton hit four free throws in the final 28 seconds to seal the 64-58 victory. Mark Davis led Haines with 18 points, Swinton came through with 16.

In their Saturday night game, the Haines girls fell behind early to a tough Viking squad, 17-0 and trailed 32-13 at the half. Like every other Region 5 opponent that Haines has faced this season, Petersburg came out in a full-court press. Haines met the challenge with an improved press breaker, setting picks, cutting hard to the ball and showing confidence in their ability to move the ball up-court. Once up-court they suffered a bout of cold shooting and the final score was 50-28, Petersburg. Makayla Crager scored six points for Haines.

The Glacier Bears’ shooting showed signs of warming up in the 9 a.m. Sunday morning game. Brittney Bradford drained a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter and Makayla Crager had a productive game in the low post, finishing with 14 points, as Haines used sharp passing to move the ball around quickly in their half-court offense. In the end Petersburg would have another home court victory, 51-24.

The Bears head to Metlakatla this week and will play four games in six days with many long travel hours in between. Girls coach Greg Brittenham compares it to the travel schedule he kept for 20 years as an NBA trainer with the New York Knicks. “There’s a lot of similarities. We’d play four games in five days,” Brittenham said. “We’d fly from LA to New York. The accommodations were nicer. I went from staying in the Ritz-Carlton to the cafeteria floor. I’m glad to be here.”


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