After a basketball season that took them as far north as Barrow and as far south as Ketchikan, the Homer Mariners reached the end of the road at the Southcentral Regions Tournament in Cordova last week.
On Saturday, the final day of the tournament, the Mariner boys had a 48-43 victory over the Skyview Panthers in an overtime game. Kenneth Schneider scored 22 points for the Mariners and Sheldon Hutt added another 12.
That win put the Mariners into a match later in the day against the Houston Hawks for third place in the tournament. The Hawks won 39-35. They held a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, but expanded it to 20-14 by the end of the half. Schneider’s 12 points make him the top-scoring Mariner of that game.
The Mariner girls headed into the tournament after four conference wins in a row.
“The girls were playing well together, everyone was beginning to look at the basket to score first, pass second,” said Head Coach Connie Akers. “Our rebounding and defense was strong. Everything was coming together just in time for Regions.”
Their first game was 8 a.m. March 6, “a tough time of day to play, but the Mariners were prepared and put up a good fight, defeating Houston for the third time this season,” said Akers.
On Friday, the girls fell victim to Anchorage Christian School’s drives and three-point shooting. Making matters worse, Mariner starter Madison Akers was sidelined with a stomach virus for the second half of Friday’s game, as well as Saturday’s game against Grace Christian.
“I was confident we could advance to the third-place game that evening, but our girls weren’t able to pull it off,” said Coach Akers.
“So, our team ended with a loss Saturday morning to Grace Christian, a team we had beaten twice.”
Grace had a 21-10 lead at halftime. Homer narrowed it to 27-23 at the end of the third quarter, but Grace pushed to a 40-28 victory. Aurora Waclawski was the top-scoring Mariner with 10 points.
Injuries plagued the Mariner girls as early as January, with the loss of Shelby Alexander, Abbey Luck and Uliana Reutov.
“Our JV and varsity teams really needed those three athletes,” said Coach Akers. “Despite these setbacks, the Mariners worked hard, improved and finished their season strong. We have the potential for another strong team next season, and we could be very competitive if our girls work on their skills consistently in the off-season.”
ACS’s boys and girls teams took first place in the Cordova tournament, the boys winning their game with Grace Christian and the girls winning their game with Nikiski.
Mariner girls receiving recognition were:
Maggie Koplin, good sport team;
Aurora Waclawski, second team all-conference;
Madison Akers, first team all-conference;
Tayla Cabana, first team all-conference.
From the boys team, the following Mariners were recognized:
John Walsworth, good sport team;
Ken Schneider, second team all-conference;
Filip Reutov, second team all-conference;
Quinn Daugharty, first team all-conference;
Recognized for their cheering were:
The 2015 regional tournament will be held in Homer.