Glacier Bears pounce Craig

 

December 20, 2018

Junior Kirby Faverty was a leading scorer Monday and Tuesday against Craig. Lori Giddings photo.

The Glacier Bears boys' basketball team clashed in a relentless back and forth contest with the Craig Panthers as the teams clawed their way into overtime.

Haines struggled to keep up with the Panthers in the first quarter, but with three minutes left in the first half, Kirby Faverty sunk a 3-pointer that narrowed Craig's lead to two points. The shot brought the Glacier Bears out of hibernation and marked the beginning of a huge game from the starting junior whose quiet play Monday night was silenced by the roar of Tuesday's crowd.

Sophomore Mark Davis jumpstarted his defense and stole the basketball twice from the Panthers; the Glacier Bears converted both turnovers into baskets that put the Glacier Bears up by two points with less than two minutes in the half. The Panthers answered with a steal of their own, converted the turnover and tied the game.

The Panther stride continued, stealing and converting twice, again giving them a four-point lead. Davis fought back, stole and drove to the basket and was fouled with two seconds left in the half. He hit one free throw which left Haines trailing by three points at half-time.


The flurry of turnovers and conversions that defined the final three-minute scuffle that left fans necks craning was a skirmish compared to the battle that ensued during the second half.

The back and forth continued throughout the third quarter, Haines never down by more than four points. Freshman Kai Dixon made a crucial steal and lobbed the ball like a quarterback from half court over the heads and through the flailing arms of Panther defenders into Faverty's hands; he sunk an open layup.

An unrelenting Faverty rebounded a missed Panther free throw, later blocked a shot and recovered the ball. Davis' ceaseless defense earned him two additional steals. Freshman David Strong drove for a successful layup which put Haines down by one point. Strong then rebounded a missed Panther shot, drove again down the court and Craig's Gabriel Almenzor made a technical foul against Strong, who struggled to stand up with 30 seconds left. Faverty went to the line for Strong and sunk both free throws. The shots marked 20 points for Faverty and a three-point lead for Haines going into the fourth quarter.

The next quarter saw Craig's Tim Benolken and Faverty hit back-to-back 3-point shots, which gave each team a slight edge as frantic seconds jolted by. Benolken stole two passes from Dixon and continued to drive to the basket to keep his team in the game. With two minutes left, Almenzar drew a foul and went one for two at the line-giving his team a two-point edge. Davis returned the ball, scored and tied the game. The Panthers missed two open shots and the Glacier Bears knocked the rebound out of bounds. Still tied, the Panthers were penalized for a five-second violation and Haines took possession.


Caleb Holm shot an open 3-pointer and missed. Benolken answered with another 3-point shot and also missed. With a minute left in the game, Holm managed to rebound another missed shot from behind the arc and Haines head coach Steve Fossman called a timeout with the game tied 49-49. The Glacier Bears passed to sophomore Wesley Verhamme underneath the basket, who shot and missed. The Panthers rebounded with two seconds left and called a timeout. They attempted a long-pass to half court, but Verhamme intercepted sending the game into overtime. Strong, a leading scorer for Haines, fouled out.

Faverty drove in the opening minute of overtime and scored. Benolken answered with a missed 3-pointer, came back and tied the game. Despite a number of missed shots. Dixon made a crucial shot from the 3-point line. The Panthers answered and scored a shot, leaving Haines with a single point edge. With 1 minute and 31 seconds left on the clock, Verhamme snagged an offensive rebound, went back up for the shot and was fouled. He hit his first from the line but missed his second-increasing Haines lead by two. Mirroring his missed free throw at the end of the fourth quarter, he again stole the ball from the Panthers and passed to a wide-open Faverty who drove to the hoop and was fouled after Almenzor lept over a ducking Faverty in dramatic fashion.


Faverty made both free throws, which gave them a four-point edge. Almenzor came back with a shot and Faverty was fouled again with 12.5 seconds left in overtime. Faverty again sunk both free throws to maintain a four- point lead-crucial shots after Benolken's buzzer-beater swished 3-pointer wasn't enough to tie the game. The Glacier Bears emerged victorious, 59-58.

Faverty finished the game with 34 points, eight from the free-throw line.

The game was the second win for the Glacier Bears boys after a less thrilling, but solid, game against Craig the night before. On Monday night the young boys' basketball squad held a 10-point lead after a strong first quarter and finishing with a 73-60 victory.

Sophomore Mark Davis led the team's scoring with 35 points, more than half from the free-throw line. Davis hit 18 out of 21 from the line. To their detriment, Craig continued to send Davis to the line in the fourth quarter, who continued to convert, securing Haines' victory. "Mark Davis had an exceptional game," Fossman said. "He played really well. He pushed really well. He was the heart and soul of the fast break. Hopefully we'll see a lot of that this year."

Faverty was the second highest scorer with 19 points and Strong followed with 14 points.

In the end, the Glacier Bears' first-quarter play enabled their victory. Craig's offensive rebounds and defense the rest of the game kept Haines from dominating. The two teams each scored 17 points in the second quarter and 18 points in the third quarter. Haines outscored Craig by one point in the fourth.

Sophomore starter Carson Crager sat out with a foot injury, and junior Cade Clay was also benched for a medical issue. Crager is expected to return in January.

The Glacier Bears head to Metlakatla Jan. 11 and 12. They will play at home against the Wrangell Wolves Jan. 18 and 19.

 
 

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