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

Petersburg an uphill slog for Glacier Bears


Justin Swinton, Libby Jacobson and Riley Erekson won all-tournament honors for the Glacier Bears and Keanu Lynch picked up the Sportmanship-Teammate Award.

But most of last weekend’s Little Norway Tournament in Petersburg was an uphill slog for the Haines boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball squads.

Both teams started their 2012-13 campaigns off 0-3 in what girls’ coach Brian Elliott and boys’ coach Steve Fossman called “good learning experiences.”

“We rebounded the ball well in all three games and played well defensively in the final two. Low field goal percentage and turnovers were the story of our tourney, though. These games helped so we can now step back and have a much clearer picture on where we need to put emphasis in practice,” said Fossman.

Fossman said he was happy with the determination of his team. “We never gave up. Now we just need to learn from this and go on into conference play.”

Thursday night the boys started their season against 2A rival Wrangell in a non-conference game, losing 41-51. The Glacier Bears were ahead early in the first half but lost the lead to defensive mistakes and difficulty scoring against a set defense.

The Petersburg boys, possessing a stronger bench, defeated the Bears 25-56. On Saturday the Bears played a very talented Klawock team and lost 25-51.The Glacier Bear girls started their season Thursday against Petersburg losing 45-19. The Bears played Klawock on Friday, falling 58-30. They lost Saturday to Wrangell, 43-27.

“(In the future) we will focus on boxing out and taking care of the ball. I was really happy with the girls’ effort; we just need to figure out where we need to be,” said coach Brian Elliott. “The second night against Klawock we gave them 30 points off of turnovers and offensive rebounds. We did play well in the half-court and got to the free throw line often, including Riley Erekson getting to the charity stripe eight times in the last two games.”

“Right now the high school game is new for a lot of players, so mentally we have to slow it down and look to become more calm and efficient,”he said..

The girls play the alumni 6:30 p.m. Friday Jan. 4, then start league play against Craig in Haines on Jan. 11-12. The boys’ next scheduled games are Jan. 11-12 in Craig.

Combined tournament points for the boys included seniors Caullen Taylor, 22, and Chris Olsen, 4; juniors Justin Swinton, 34, Kai Sato-Franks, 5, and John Gross, 1; sophomores Keanu Lynch, 7, Jordan Badger, 4, and Keegan Sundberg, 3. Freshman Harley Morden scored eight points.

Point totals for the girls included seniors Riley Erekson, 19, Jessica Giddings, 12, and Alisha Young, 3; juniors Libby Jacobson, 11, and Jamie Messerschmidt, 2; sophomores Celia Bower, 11, and Natalia Taylor, 2; freshmen Kayley Swinton, 15, and Autumn Gross, 1.


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