Chiefs defeat Glacier Bears in Metlakatla
January 17, 2019
The Haines Glacier Bears girls’ and boys’ basketball teams fell to unrelenting Metlakatla squads last weekend.
Despite successful drives to the basket and open shots, the Glacier Bears struggled to get the ball to drop Friday night while the Chiefs seemed unable to miss. Down by 13 points in the second quarter, sophomore Mark Davis, freshman David Strong and junior Kirby Faverty managed to rally, and they each drained a three-point shot, but Metlakatla players continued the onslaught.
The Glacier Bears, aware of their point deficit, continued to attempt three-point shots, though unsuccessfully, through the quarter. Davis played scrappy defense and earned several turnovers, but the Chiefs continued to score. As if to prove the Chiefs couldn’t miss, a Metlakatla player swished a buzzer beating turnaround three pointer. At the half, the Chiefs led 39-17.
In the second half, the boys continued to get good looks at the basket and make three-point attempts, but the ball still wouldn’t drop. Haines managed to snag several offensive rebounds, but failed to convert. Despite a few sloppy passes that resulted in turnovers, the Chiefs continued their strong play, driving to the basket and finding open assists like clockwork. The third quarter ended with the Chiefs up 56-17.
Although too late for a comeback, Haines started making shots in the fourth quarter. Strong came alive and made a successful drive to the basket. Crager nailed a three-point shot. Faverty also made a successful drive, a three pointer and hit freethrows.
Metlakatla announcers commended Haines’ play, despite the unflattering point spread. “I’ve never seen it happen to a team as much as it’s happened to Haines tonight,” the announcer said of the Glacier Bears trouble making shots. “They’re playing good basketball. The scoreboard’s not pretty right now, but you know tomorrow’s a whole new deal if some of these shots start falling.”
The Glacier Bears lost 40-63, but came back the next evening driven and ready to play.
“It takes a lot of maturity to take a hit with a strong start like Metlakatla had and recover from it,” head coach Steve Fossman said. “A lot of times it takes experience. They do a good job of playing hard.”
On Saturday, Haines pushed its offense faster to keep Metlakatla from setting up their defense, which allowed Haines to stay in the game. More shots fell for Haines, and the Glacier Bears were able to keep the deficit to less than 15 points for much of the contest, but Metlakatla continued to outplay Haines. By halftime, the Chiefs led 28-17.
Metlakatla increased their lead in the third quarter and in the fourth they were up by more than 25 points. Instead of lying down, the Glacier Bears fought back. Davis’ tough defense forced several turnovers, and scoring from freshman Kai Dixon, Crager, Strong and Faverty brought the Chiefs’ lead down to 13 points when the final buzzer sounded. The Glacier Bears fell 50-63.
“Everything they were doing, they were doing a good job of,” Fossman said of the Chiefs. “They were shooting really well so it really caught up to us and there seemed to be a lid on the basket.”
Leading scorer was Faverty with 21 points on Friday night and 12 points on Saturday night. Crager 11 points on Saturday.
The Lady Bears also lost both games. Similar to the boys, the girls improved Saturday, narrowing the final score’s point deficit from nearly 40 points to 20.
On Friday night, Haines kept up with the Miss Chiefs and the game was still competitive at the half. “We were down nine points at halftime and had all the confidence in the world and they came out with a little bit more pressure and we didn’t respond well to it,” coach Greg Brittenham said. “I didn’t make the adjustments at the time I needed to make them.”
During Saturday night’s game, the Miss Chiefs took a commanding lead and were up 31-7 at the half. That lead didn’t discourage the Glacier Bears, at least not enough to keep them from fighting back. Haines outscored the Miss Chiefs in the third quarter by one point and both teams scored six points in the final quarter of the weekend’s contests.
Final scores were 19-57 Friday night and 24-45 Saturday night. Freshman Avery Williamson led Friday with 14 points and Saturday with eight points.
The Lady Bears need to significantly reduce their unforced turnovers such as traveling and throwing the ball away when it’s uncontested if they hope to win, Brittenham said. “Our main focus this whole week in preparation for Wrangell is to start turning the ball over,” said Brittenham. “It’s not a secret to the girls. They know the turnovers are killing us. We need to absolutely address that first and then we can compete with these teams.”
In their preparation for games against Wrangell this weekend, Brittenham said the girls are playing the best he’s ever seen. He said the girls compare their play to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In an effort to channel their potential, they often chant “one, two, three, Dr. Jekyll!” before taking the court.
“We’ll see who shows up,” Brittenham said. “I’m hoping the Dr. Jekyll side shows up because Dr. Jekyll plays strong.”
On Friday, the boys’ JV team will compete against Wrangell at 4:30 p.m., the boys’ varsity team will play at 6 p.m. and the girls will play at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, the JV team will play at 4 p.m., the girls will play at 5:30 p.m. and the boys varsity team will play at 7 p.m.