The Whaler Invitational took the Mariner boys and girls varsity teams all the way to Barrow last week for three days of basketball. With the Barrow boys taking first place in the tournament, the Mariner boys took second in the event. In the girls competition, Mt. Edgecumbe took the title, with the Homer girls returning home without a win.
Games between the Mariners and the Barrow Whalers got the tourney started on Jan. 30, with the Whalers boys team claiming a 56-47 victory. High scorers for Homer were Quinn Daugharty and Sheldon Hutt, each with 14 points.
The following day, Mariner boys had a 56-53 win against Mt. Edgecumbe. Daugharty led with 16 points, Hutt with 14 and Kenneth Schneider with 13.
On Saturday, the Mariners wrapped up the three days of play with a 47-34 win against Hutchison. Hutt was the top-scorer with 14 points.
Homer players named to the all-tournament team were Daugharty and Hutt.
The Mariner girls suffered a 46-37 loss against Barrow on Jan. 30. Madison Akers scored 15 points. Connie Akers, head coach for the Mariners girls team, cautioned that scores don’t reflect the on-court effort. Of the game against Barrow, Coach Akers said, “Five Mariners scored and we rebounded well. Madison (Akers) worked hard and grabbed 18 rebounds.”
The biggest challenge defensively in the game was guarding Barrow’s all-state guard Angela Miguel.
“She was a juggernaut driving the lane and ended with 26 points,” said Coach Akers. “Barrow was very physically aggressive, earning 21 fouls, and I think some of the (Mariner) girls are still feeling the effects of that play.”
In the Friday game against Mt. Edgecumbe, Homer’s varsity girls were outscored 49-30. Tayla Cabana had 11 points for the Mariners.
“They were the better team, but we also went onto the court drooping from fatigue or something. The spark was missing from the team,” said Coach Akers.
In their final game, the Mariner girls fell 45-30 to Hutchison. Akers was the high-scorer with 15 points.
“We really should have won that game or been much closer in the score, but we missed several lay-ups and close shots, as well as free throws,” said Coach Akers.
“Only three Mariners scored, and it’s tough to win a game without a broader scoring roster. Our rebounding kept us in the game until about midway through the third quarter, with Madison (Akers) pulling down double figures again and Tayla (Cabana) and Larsen (Fellows) each working hard on the boards.”
Coach Akers credited Fellows with playing “the best of anyone on the team on Friday. She made four baskets and rebounded aggressively. She had a good game, and I was happy to see her play well.”
Akers was named to the all-tournament team.