Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 4:54 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nome tourney doesn't break Homer spirit

By Angelina Skowronski
For the Homer News

The sub 35 degree weather did not scare the Mariners from competing in the Nome Subway Showdown last weekend. While the temperature dropped outside, the boys' basketball team played for second place behind Nome. The Homer girls' team came in fourth overall, learning solid ball lessons from their competitive opponents.

"This was a difficult tournament against some good teams," said head boys Coach Mark Casseri. "It was fun to watch the team mature."

The stakes were high with Homer winning or losing within a few close points for each game. Homer won 63-61 against Bethel on Thursday, with senior Dyllan Day scoring 25 points for the team, seven of which came off the three-point line.

"We played hard and had good defense which is why I think we did so well," said junior Konstatin Reutov. "We learned that our offense needs to improve against defensive zone."

Friday's game was far from disappointing though a game loss. The Mariners held Nome at bay for majority of the game, but the tournament's winners came back to win the game a mere five points ahead, 59-54.

"Nome had good defense and box-and-one combination zone which forced us to call a different offensive set," said Casseri.

Saturday, the Mariners faced-off against Point Hope for a win 66-61. Point Hope's tough team gave Homer a battle.

"There was good nip and tuck during the Point Hope game," said Casseri. "The boys were able to play through their adversity."

Senior Robin Glosser, who scored 40 of the weekend's points, was named to the all-tournament team.

Other notable performances were by senior Dyllan Day with 51 accumulative points, sophomore Quinn Daugherty with 27, junior Sam Reinert with 25 and senior Ryan Cotney with 20.

The girls team ended the tournament 0-3 against some of the state's fiercest basketball competition.

"We played some really good teams this weekend," said head girls Coach Dennis Welch.

"It was good for the girls to see the level of commitment and intensity of the other teams."

Thursday's game against Point Hope ended 57-33, Nome on Friday was 62-29, and Bethel on Saturday closed the weekend 47-26.

Scores do not reflect personal wins, of which sophomore Maggie Koplin had a season's best record of eight points against Point Hope's five-member team. Sophomore Tayla Cabana also shined against Point Hope with 11 points.

Other stellar performances were by junior Hayley Oliver sinking 24 accumulative points for the weekend, senior Elissa Tutt scoring 23 points and junior Tiyana Hill with eight points.

The long tournament weekend gave the girls the opportunity to talk to the members of the other teams about their game experiences.

"They took those conversations to heart and it got them thinking about what they want and how to get it," said Welch.

Taking what they learned in Nome and applying it to the Kenai Peninsula courts, the Lady Mariners are in high spirits to bring some wins back to Homer.

"We can improve based on what we experienced," said junior Maggie Graham. "The other teams had good communication and composure and that is what we will be working on."

This week Welch is drilling his team on passing, ball handling and offensive rebounding.

"We are taking each game to learn about what we need to isolate in practice," said Welch.

With the tough weekend under their belts, the Homer girls and boys basketball teams are onto the next challenges.

Casseri said, "From what I've seen on the peninsula and with how the boys did this weekend, we can beat more than half of the teams out here."