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

Bears finish season; regionals next


March 5, 2020

Kyle Clayton

Gaelen Allen drives on a team from Whitehorse during last weekend's Community Youth Development basketball tournament. Elementary and middle school athletes played games against each other throughout the weekend's tournament.

The Haines Glacier Bears basketball teams completed their regular seasons last week with games on four consecutive evenings in Wrangell and Petersburg. While this was an unusually grueling part of the schedule for any basketball team, for the Glacier Bears it may have been the ideal preparation for their next challenge, the Region 5 Tournament and the chance to earn a trip to state.

Girls Captain Haley Boron discussed life on the road: "When the trips get long and arduous, my role is to keep a happy face on and embrace the challenges." Her team first faced off against Wrangell's relentless full-court defense and were defeated by scores of 68-24 and 61-27. On the second night, due to fouls and injuries, Haines was forced to play the final minutes of the game with only four players. Sadie Anderson was the Glacier Bears' leading scorer, with 8 points the first night and 11 on the second.

The Wrangell boys stayed close for much of the first game until Haines' 3-point shooting allowed them to pull away and win, 57-48. On the second night, Haines again scored most of their points from 3-point range and went on to win, 53-31. Luke Davis led the scoring with 21 points on the first night and 19 on the second. When asked about his late season scoring surge, Davis responded, "I realized I was open a lot, so I started shooting more."

Then it was on to Petersburg to play another pair of tough teams in front of enthusiastic home crowds. The Viking girls team won the first game, 48-18. Anderson had 9 points and MacKenzy Dryden had 6 for the Glacier Bears. The next night, Petersburg went on to another convincing win, 57-24. As the game wound down, the Petersburg radio announcers commented on the mental toughness of the Glacier Bear squad. "These Haines girls are not giving up!" "They never do." Boron expressed a similar sentiment about her teammates, "They all go their hardest." She scored 6 points and both Anderson and Natalie Jobbins had 5.

The Haines boys have known all season that their toughest test would be the Petersburg Vikings. The Petersburg boys are first in the division and went into their final regular season series undefeated at home. They also handed Haines their only home-court losses of the season. On the first night, the Glacier Bears took an early lead and were up 24-22 at the half. They relinquished the lead midway through the third-quarter as their shooting went cold and Petersburg went on to win, 46-32. Kirby Faverty scored 13 points for the Glacier Bears.

On Friday night, the Glacier Bear boys concluded their regular season in dramatic fashion, winning 59-57 in a game that was close all the way and in which both teams held each other scoreless for the final 1:50 of regulation. Mark Davis led a balanced attack with 18 points. "That was a pretty fun, exciting game," Davis said afterwards. "It was great to see David Strong really step up for us in the fourth quarter. He scored six points on these great drives to the hoop."

Now that all five of Region 5's 2A teams have squared off four times against each of their division rivals, they head to the tournament in Juneau to battle for the right to represent Southeast Alaska at the state tournament. Both the champion and runner-up teams will head to Anchorage. The fun begins March 11 when the Glacier Bear girls face the Craig Panthers at 11:30. The winner of that game earns the right to face top-seeded Metlakatla.

The boys are set to face Metlakatla at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner of that game advances directly to the championship while the other team has to play their way in through the losers' bracket. Both Haines and Metlakatla finished the regular season with 11-5 records and they split their head-to-head battles with each team winning on their home court by margins of 1,3,2 and 4 points.

The games will be broadcast on KHNS. Fans can view games and check the tournament brackets online.


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