The Lady Mariners’ end-of-season winning streak stalled out at the state championships in Anchorage last weekend, with losses to Hutchison and ACS bringing the Region III Champions’ eventful season to a close.
“They were crushed,” said the Mariners’ head coach, Chad Felice, of his players after their first loss to Hutchison on Thursday night, which sent Homer into the consolation bracket to fight for fourth place. “But that was from the high expectations we put on ourselves, to win the tournament,” he said.
You can call them the Seldovia Sea Otters boys basketball team and you’d be correct. Better yet, and equally correct, they also can be called the 1A State basketball champions.
In a final tournament game against the Scammon Bay Eagles at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage on March 18, the Otters scored a 62-34 victory, proving themselves worthy of the crown they’ve worked for years to earn.
A collection of young female hockey talent from the Kenai Peninsula earned the second place trophy from the Alaska Girls Hockey Championships in Anchorage last weekend.
The tournament, now in its fourth year, brings together girls from all over the state and was started as an effort to grow and support girls hockey in Alaska. Some of the teams play together all season long, while others are on co-ed teams for most of the year and only play together as a team for this tournament.
For the first time in nine years, the Lady Mariners, recently crowned as the 2015 Region III champions, are gearing up for the 3A State tournament, which kicks off today at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
Over their spring break, the Mariners could be found in the gym, buckling down to fine tune their skills in the lead up to their final weekend of competition, but also having a lot of fun.
It takes a lot to become a champion. Hard work, patience and the tenacity to get through the ups and downs of a long hockey season.
The Homer Hockey Pee Wee C team rose to the occasion over this past weekend and claimed the State Championship trophy for the second year in a row.
The road to the championship was not an easy one for these 11-13 year olds.
With the Homer Mariner girls basketball team poised to head to the 3A State Tournament in Anchorage this week, three southern Kenai Peninsula small-school teams began on Saturday playing in the 2015 March Madness Alaska 1A State Tournament: the Seldovia Otter boys team and the Nikolaevsk Warrior girls and boys teams.
After last week’s Peninsula Conference Tournament, with four days of play and 24 total basketball games, the Nikolaevsk girls team and Seldovia boys team are in the same spot they were a year ago: tournament champions.
The Nikolaevsk boys and Cook Inlet Academy girls also are where they were a year ago: in the tournament’s second-place slot. The four teams will advance to state championship play this week in Anchorage.
By Lindsay Olsen
For the Homer News
The Lady Mariners were crowned Region III champions on Saturday after defeating Houston, Cordova, and finally Nikiski to claim the first place title, paving their way to State for the first time in nine years.
The Mariner boys’ ticket to State was snatched away by two points in the final three seconds of Saturday’s game against Cordova, ending their season with a fourth place tournament finish.
The Kachemak Swim Club Kings, led by KSC Swimmer of the meet, Lucas Story, raced in Soldotna Feb. 27 and March 1. Story, swimming in the 10-and-under division, blazed to six individual and two relay personal records (PRs), qualified for the Alaska Swimming Junior Olympics in the 50 back (42.87), placed in every event, and debuted an aggressive new pacing strategy in his 100 breast (1:42.12).
Six wrestlers from Chapman School particpated in the Middle School State Tournament at Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks last weekend. Three of them came home as first-place champions.
Luciano Fasulo, Chapman’s 114-pounder, went undefeated this season taking gold in every tournament in which he competed. Luciano went to the tournament unseated and dominated his competition.
Last week’s basketball games wrapped up the Peninsula Conference season. Almost. This weekend is the conference tournament. Next weekend is the state championship.
Representing the southern Kenai Peninsula in the conference tournament are girls teams from Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik and Seldovia, and boys teams from Nanwalek, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik and Seldovia.
March 11, 2015: In the photo, the name of Mariner player no. 32 has been corrected; he is Jeremy Tedesco.
In their final weekend of regular season games, the Mariners took on Grace Christian, Anchorage Christian School and Houston at home in a series of nail-biting contests that were decided in the final seconds of play.
Sure there are big-time basketball games with expensive courtside seats and famous athletes. But there’s nothing like basketball in a small high school gym, with rival teams heating up the floorboards, bleachers shaking with shouting and stomping fans and a narrow lead repeatedly reversed with each basket.
That was the scene in Ninilchik Feb. 19 when the Wolverine boys and girls teams welcomed the Nikolaevsk Warriors.
The Mariners defeated the Seward Seahawks on home turf last Saturday, boosting the boys to a third place conference ranking in basketball and the girls to fourth in the final countdown to Regions.
It was a big Saturday for 10 Homer Middle School wrestlers participating at Boroughs competition at Skyview Middle School in Soldotna.
“We did great,” said Coach Daniel Rios. “Our season was hard, but it all turned out well in the end. Ryan (Hicks) and Wayne (Newman) were my two surprises. It was an awesome year.”
Wrestling in the 100-pound division, Wayne Newman, the team co-captain, earned the borough champion first-place title.
Skiing over tracks of man-made snow across otherwise grassy fields, the Homer High School Mariner skiers raced to the finish of their 2015 season at the state championship last weekend at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.
The Mariner girls were awarded for their efforts on and off the snow, taking home first place for highest combined grade point average, with a cumulative team average of 3.94, as well as an overall first place girls finish amongst smaller, 2A-3A schools.
After a kick-off banquet Feb. 9, the Popeye Wrestling Club began practice for wrestlers ages 10 and older Tuesday and holds its first practice for ages 9 and younger Feb. 23.
Jason Cavasos is the program’s head coach and oversees practices at Homer Middle School. Bubba Wells does the same at Anchor Point, with practices at Chapman School.
The age of wrestlers registered with the club is wide-ranging.
For a small school off the road system, participating in events with teams from other schools can prove challenging. Last week the tables were turned, as teams traveled to the south side of Kachemak Bay to play in the Seldovia Basketball Invitational Tournament. Among them were Nikolaevsk School’s boys and girls teams, Birchwood Christian School’s boys and girls teams from the Chugiak area, and the Kodiak ESS co-ed team, with athletes from Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Karluk and Larson Bay.
The Kachemak Swim Club Kings scored 77 points to place 16th at last weekend’s Alaska Age Group Championship Swim Meet in Juneau, bettering their 2014 performance of 13 points and 21st place. Scoring 977 points, Aurora Swim Team of Anchorage slipped past Glacier Swim Club of Juneau, with 971 points, to win the team championship; Northern Lights Swim Club of Anchorage was third with 755.