Glacier Bears go 1-1 against Wrangell
January 24, 2019
This weekend's Haines Glacier Bears boys' home games against Wrangell kept fans' eyes glued to the score boards until the final seconds as both games were won and lost by a final shot with only seconds remaining.
Junior and leading scorer Kirby Faverty was the hero Friday night after hitting a jump shot that put the Bears ahead by two with 2.8 seconds left in the game. The Bears trailed the Wolves between five and 10 points the bulk of the game.
In the first quarter, Wrangell made several successful drives to the basket and led 14-7 at the beginning of the second. Haines players made several unsuccessful three-point attempts. Although they plucked successive offensive rebounds and got shots back up, the Wrangell defense swarmed Faverty, Mark Davis and Carson Crager on the arc and Haines couldn't get the ball to drop. The Wolves led 24-13 at the half.
The play was more of the same in the third quarter. After multiple steals from the Bears, Wrangell led by 10 points with two minutes left. Freshman Kai Dixon was fouled behind the arc and landed two of his three free throw shots. Faverty rebounded Dixon's missed free throw and made a jump shot, turning a single possession into a four-point gain leaving the Bears trailing by six at the end of the third quarter.
As the final quarter of the game opened, neither team managed to score. A Wolf fouled Faverty, who hit both free throws and narrowed the point spread to four. Those baskets were a prelude for Faverty who after multiple attempts sunk his first shot behind the arc. The Wolves still led 36-33 with five minutes left in the game. Wrangell's Trevor Miller answered Faverty's comeback by swishing a turnaround jump shot.
Sophomore Wesley Verhamme snagged an offensive board and passed to an open Faverty who drained his second three-pointer of the night. The Bears got the ball back after Wrangell lost the ball and Sophomore Mark Davis tied the game.
Wrangell again lost possession after a bad pass. Possessions went back and forth without scoring until Faverty nailed another long three from five feet behind the line, giving the Bears their first lead of the game. In a flurry of turnovers, Verhamme stole a pass and Wrangell returned the favor as Jacob Hammer made a fast break and made a pass that was stolen by Davis. Davis looked to an open Verhamme down court who missed a layup.
Miller tied the game 41-41 with another jump shot. Haines called a timeout with about a minute left in the ball game. Faverty missed a three from the baseline and the rebound was knocked out of bounds by the Bears. Hammer again attempted a fast break but the Bears intercepted a pass and coach Steve Fossman called their last time-out with 50 seconds left in the game.
The Bears let the seconds tick by waiting to score a final shot until Wrangell's Kylar Lofftus fouled Davis. Davis drained both of his free throws, putting the Bears up by two with 27 seconds left in the game.
Miller drove from the baseline and made a layup. Davis quickly brought the ball down the court and passed to Faverty who dribbled around a Wolf and drained a jumper with 2.8 seconds left in the game. The Wolves attempted a final half-court shot that nearly went in, and Haines emerged victorious 45-43. Faverty scored 32 points in the game.
On Saturday, although the Bears were down most of the game, the point spread remained much closer.
By the fourth quarter, Wrangell was up by four points. Wrangell's ability to bring back offensive rebounds and score kept them in the lead. Dixon hit an open three that kept the Bears at the Wolves' heels and Faverty sunk another three that tied the game with a minute left in the game.
Each team continued to score and Wrangell took a one-point lead after Brett Abrahamson drove to the basket and made the shot, but was fouled by Dixon. Abrahamson made his free throw, giving the Wolves a one-point edge.
Faverty made a move that mirrored Friday night's final second shot, but it fell short. The Wolves won 54-49.
Faverty was again the lead scorer with 15 points, with Crager close behind with 12 points. Davis scored 11.
Fossman said he was happy that Faverty had the confidence to take the final shot in both games. He said he wants to see his players play more aggressively. "I would like to see Mark Davis and Kirby and Carson driving early and in all stages of the game," Fossman said. "But I'd like to see them being aggressive right off the get go."
Crager said the down-to-the-wire games were a good learning opportunity, despite the stress involved. "It was kind of stressful but it was fun," Crager said. "It was a good learning experience to have really close games. It's going to help us do better later on in the season."
The Lady Bears lost both games against the Lady Wolves. On Friday, after a dismal first half where they scored three points to Wrangell's 40, they fell 16-63. But the girls didn't lose heart, and took the court Saturday motivated and ready to put up a fight.
"If you were at both games you would have absolutely seen two different teams on the court," head coach Greg Brittenham said. "Friday night we just didn't execute. There was a sense of intimidation and we let Wrangell control the game. On Saturday, it was a completely different story. We ran hard."
Freshman Avery Williamson came out swinging in the second quarter and scored 10 of the 12 points earned by the Lady Bears. Although already commanding an impressive lead, the Lady Wolves couldn't expand it thanks to the Lady Bears' defense.
Senior Marissa Haddock's shot went six for six from the free throw line, and scored a total of eight points in the second half. Williamson was the lead scorer both nights with 11 on Friday and 17 on Saturday.
Haines lost 45-79. Brittenham said the team is still struggling with unforced turnovers and making free throws.
The Haines and Wrangell boys' junior varsity teams also competed both nights. Haines lost 44-60 Friday night and 36-60 Saturday night. "I'm thankful to Wrangell for bringing their JV team," Fossman said. "It's good to see the young guys who don't have a lot of court time to get out and play."
Both the boys' and girls' varsity squads will play four games this weekend in Craig and Petersburg.