Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 1:48 PM on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mariner boys win 2, lose 1 during Seward Tournament

Homer hosts Winter Carnival tourney beginning today

Traveling to Seward was the first obstacle for the Mariners' boys and girls basketball teams last weekend. But a long bus ride stuck behind an avalanche did not stop them from making waves at the Seward Tournament.

Individual highlights were junior Haley Oliver who made the all-tournament girls team, seniors Robin Glosser and Ryan Cotney who made the all tournament boys team, and senior Devon Kennelty, in his second playing weekend of the season, who was named MVP.

"This weekend was the best defense all season," said Mariners' Head Boys Coach Mark Casseri. "If we continue to play like this we'll do well in Regions."

The boys played a strong first day of the tournament, winning against Skyview 41-35 and Valdez 70-40.

"Not a single game did we give up points all weekend," said Casseri.

In the 70-40 Valdez game, every Mariner player made a scoreboard change, with top scorers being MVP-awarded Kennelty with 18 points, Cotney with 13 points, and junior Konstantin Reutov with 12 points.

Saturday's game against Seward proved to be more challenging. The Mariner boys lost 41-30.

"Seward is a good team and they played well," said Casseri. "Our team played great against Seward and gave them competition."

The tournament, though not regular conference games, gave the boys team a boost in confidence before facing the bigger Mat-Su Borough teams before the end of the season.

"We're playing well, the problem is coming into it with the larger schools," said Casseri. "We can't go in with less than an A-game with these teams."

Casseri and his coaching squad assisted with coaching the girls team at the tournament.

"The girls played hard and they got after it," said Casseri. "What we are going to try to do is get them a little more competitive."

Head Girls Coach Dennis Welch is out for an indefinite amount of time due to a family emergency so Casseri, along with his assistant coaches Tim Daugherty and Brent Keene, is helping coach the girls team this week.

"We are going to take them back to day one and give a crash course on fundamentals as well as working on conditioning," said Casseri.

Junior Maggie Graham sees the improvement needed.

"We need to work offensively with passing and running the offense," said Graham. "I feel like we did well on the fly this weekend considering we learned a new offensive strategy five minutes before the game started."

This week Homer hosts the Winter Carnival Tournament at the Alice Witte Gymnasium. Today, the boys face Palmer and the girls go up against Seldovia.