Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 4:13 PM on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Committed to success

They may be young, but Lady Mariners focus on improving in every game

By Angelina Skowronski
For the Homer News


Photo by Angelina Skowronski, Homer News

Junior Miranda Beach goes for a free throw shot at Saturday's game against No.1 seeded Kenai.


That's the word Head Coach Dennis Welch uses to describe the 2012 Homer High girls basketball team.

"These girls made the commitment to end the drought of no success for Homer basketball," said Welch. "They are working hard every day in practice."

Commitment is what it will take for the Lady Mariners to rise in the Northern Lights Conference.

"We are a young team so we are still working on fundamentals," said Welch. "We are focusing on conditioning and ball passing."

The 10-person team has only two returning seniors on the roster, the majority of the experience is weighted with the six junior class players.

"There is less pressure from upperclassmen this year which can be a good and bad thing," said junior Kayla Hutt. "Upperclassmen in years past have been hard on the girls still learning the game. I don't think us juniors have that same mentality this year."

Though short on senior class leadership, Homer's girls hoops squad is not lacking in skilled guidance. At least once a week, the team has been playing against some of Homer's best female cagers.

"We have a weekly women's scrimmage which allows the girls to get more game time against experienced players," said Welch.

This is the team's second year using the women's scrimmage in practice, coordinated by Wendy Todd.

"Our goal is to be there and support the girls in any way we can, whether it is playing a scrimmage game, defense or offense," said Todd. "It's all about being supportive and having fun, too."

For more information on joining the women's scrimmage for weekly practices, contact Todd at 399-4922.

Practice makes perfect, but playtime makes for experience. Welch says that playing more games will help his young team excel.

"We need more play experience so we don't get rattled every time we have a game," said Welch. "As the year goes on and the kids gain more skill, the game will come to us. There is a genuine commitment and effort from top to bottom to improve."

With a 2012 season packed full with games scheduled every weekend, Homer's girls' basketball team will get their experience. One part experience, two parts commitment and improvement is just a game away.