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

Non- league series challenges Bears


January 26, 2017

The Glacier Bears boys’ and girls’ basketball teams both traveled out of town last weekend for non-league competition.

The girls headed north and took on a Whitehorse team that left Haines coach Greg Brittenham joking afterwards, “We went to a hockey game and a basketball game broke out.”

Senior point guard Bozhi Sebens agreed with Brittenham about the physicality, “It was kind of like rugby.”

Despite the rough play, Haines played well and split the two games, losing the first 62-54 and winning the second 61-51.

Junior Makayla Crager led the team to its victory, pouring in 30 points and grabbing nine rebounds Saturday.

Crager’s postgame thoughts were about the team. “We worked really well as a team. Instead of forcing a shot when there was someone guarding you, we made the extra pass for a layup. That was good.”

All-around team play for Haines was evident in team scoring: Brittney Bradford, 10 points, 4 assists; Marissa Haddock, 4 points, 8 rebounds; Bozhi Sebens, 10 points, 5 assists; Tulsi Zahnow, 5 points, 8 rebounds, and Jordan Stigen, 2 assists, 6 rebounds.

Luann Brittenham, who serves as unofficial team manager and assistant, said the team has come a long way.

“I’ve watched these girls for three years now, and to see Bozhi driving the lane and finishing strong or Tulsi getting 12 points and 10 steals in game one. Oh, I am just so proud of all these girls.”

In boys’ action, Haines was in Cordova taking on some of the state’s top 2A teams, including Eielson and defending champion, Unalaska. They lost to Unalaska, 58-25.

Senior Jacob Stigen was positive about the weekend, despite three losses in the series.

“We played some amazing defense against the best teams in the state. And offensively, we forced most teams into zone (defense) because man-to-man wasn’t working (for them),” Stigen said.

Another big positive from the weekend was the emergence of a consistent inside scoring threat, as junior Hudson Sage tallied double figures in all three games: 12, 10, and 13 respectively.

Coach Steve Fossman said the team focused on getting rebounds and defensive stops. “Before we went up, we worked a lot on rebounding and it had a huge influence up there. We rebounded right with every team and that was, to me, the biggest change I saw.”

“Also, we scared (3A) Cordova and Eielson, a bit, too. We were right there with them,” he said.

Haines lost to Cordova 71-49 but the score after three quarters was 43-39. Haines fell to Eielson 56-46.

Fossman added Stigen’s development as a defender gives the team flexibility with its own defensive sets.

“He’s probably our best on-ball defender. He’s quick and sticks right with guys, so if another team has a tough guard, without hesitation I’m picking him to guard those guys. That really lets us shore up some other areas when we know he’s got that perimeter guy covered.”

There are no games this weekend, but due to ferry schedules, both Haines teams head out Monday for an extended road trip. They will play Craig on Wednesday and Thursday and then take on Petersburg Saturday and Sunday. The teams return home Monday, Feb. 6.


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