Boys notch 6th straight victory


Haines High School sent off its basketball seniors in style, with a pair of varsity wins against conference rival Wrangell on Saturday.

The victory completed a weekend sweep for the red-hot boys’ team, which has won six games in a row.

The girls, who were sluggish in a 35-26 loss on Friday, rebounded for a 43-34 win on Saturday, erasing a 12-point deficit at intermission. Wrangell went scoreless in the third quarter.

“The team realized that they needed to adjust to the level of contact allowed in the game, similar to staying just below the speed limit,” said coach Brian Elliott. “We caused numerous turnovers in our full-court press because we took chances, and did a much better job trapping. We rebounded well, allowing for second and third shots.”

Senior Libby Jacobson fueled the Glacier Bear comeback, draining four three-pointers on the night, including three in the third quarter. She tallied a career-high 18 points. Sophomore Kayley Swinton had 11 points; junior Celia Bower, 5; senior Grace Jones, 4; sophomore Autumn Gross, 3; and senior Jamie Messerschmidt, 2.

“Overall, everyone contributed to the win,” Elliott said. “I was waiting for this team to play like the second half all season; they played their hardest and had a lot of fun in the process.”

Swinton’s 8 points led the team in Friday’s loss. Jacobson and Jones had 5 apiece; Messerschmidt, 4; and Bower and Gross, 2.

“The girls realized in the fourth quarter that when they ratcheted up their intensity level, they created a lot of turnovers and converted those into baskets, but our slow start and general tentativeness made a comeback difficult,” Elliott said.

The Haines boys, featuring a roster of seven seniors, topped Wrangell by scores of 60-48 and 53-47. Senior Justin Swinton had 17 points the first night, followed by senior Devin Light, 15; senior Kai Sato-Franks, 13; senior Isaac Wing, 9; junior Keegan Sundberg, 4; and senior Chris Turner, 2.

 On Saturday, Wing scored 14 points, Sato-Franks, 11; Light, 10; Swinton, 9; and senior Chevy Fowler, Sundberg and Turner, 3. Sato-Franks and Wing each drained two treys.

Ralph Swinton and Jason Shull directed the team, as coaches Steve and Ann Fossman were in Anchorage to see their son, Kyle, compete for the Seawolves. This gave Swinton the opportunity to coach his son Justin on Senior Night.

Steve Fossman said during UAA’s game on Saturday, “texts started coming in that Haines won.”

The Haines junior varsity teams posted a 1-3 record for the weekend. The girls lost both games, 50-35 and 39-22. Freshman Olivia Wing tallied nearly half the team’s points on Friday (17), including five 3-pointers.

The JV boys fell, 31-20, on Friday, but took a 34-27 victory on Saturday. Junior Jordan Badger had 10 points, and Sundberg added 7.

Both varsity squads will compete in the Region V tournament in Juneau next week, starting on Wednesday, March 5.


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