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

Bears clinch nail biters


Two last-second wins punctuated the Haines High School girls’ home basketball series with Craig last week.

With the game tied and seven seconds remaining in Friday’s varsity contest, a Panther shooter missed the second of two free-throw attempts. Glacier Bear senior Kayley Swinton “got the rebound and drove the length of the court with a defender on her and made a left-handed layup to win the game at the buzzer,” said coach Greg Brittenham.

Swinton tallied 24 points in the 39-37 victory. Sophomore Brittney Bradford added 6 points; sophomore Tulsi Zahnow, 4; senior Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, 3; and sophomore Makayla Crager, 2.

Haines trailed 32-19 at the end of the third quarter and reeled off 20 points in the final frame.

The Glacier Bears took the lead on two Bradford free throws with 14 seconds left. Zahnow also was a spark, draining two timely outside shots in the fourth.

“We would not have been in a position to win the game had it not been for every single person on the court,” Brittenham said.

The victory followed an 18-17 junior varsity thriller, capped off with a game-winning free throw by Haines sophomore Zoe Hamilton.

The varsity also defeated Craig the previous night, 37-32. Scoring totals included Swinton, 12; Crager, 9; senior Autumn Gross, 7; Bradford, 5; senior Jenae Larson, 2; and Zahnow and junior Jordan Stigen, 1.

Senior Destinee Cowart missed the series due to a knee injury and Gross missed part of the second varsity game after taking an elbow to the jaw.

The varsity boys went 1-1 on their trip to Craig, spurred by senior Trevor Cox’s 30 points in the second match-up.

Also scoring in the 63-51 win were sophomore Dylan Swinton, 12; junior Jacob Stigen, 10; sophomore Hudson Sage, 5; senior Matthew Green, 4; and junior Dylan Palmieri, 2.

“We led pretty much the whole game,” said coach Steve Fossman. “It was close for a lot of it, and then we pulled away.”

Fossman credited Swinton for a strong rebounding performance and said the Glacier Bears’ fast break offense freed up Cox for baskets. “It gives the other team’s defense less chance to focus on him.”

The Panthers took the first game, 62-39. Swinton was the lone Glacier Bear in double figures, with 10 points.

The boys host Wrangell on Friday and Saturday in JV and varsity contests. The girls traveled to Petersburg this week before a series with Wrangell.


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