Homer Mariner varsity basketball teams participated in the Donlin Gold Invitational Basketball Tournament in Bethel over the weekend from Jan. 18-20 . The Homer Lady Mariners took first place. Other schools competing at the tournament included Unalakleet and Valdez. The boys team took fourth place.
The Lady Mariners won all three of their games. The first was against Bethel with a score of 50-42, Valdez with a score of 47-44 and Unalakleet 62-45. In the final game against Unalakleet, Minadora Reutov scored 17, Channing Lowney scored 16 and Sydney Shelby scored 12. Other Homer players Julliann Techi, Mally Um, Keagan Niebuhr and Madalyn Miotke also scored points.
Mariner boys coach Jose Musa reported, “We celebrate our Einar ‘Canaar’ Pederson winning the free throw competition (18/20 free throws). We celebrate our Women’s team going undefeated in the tournament, Sydney Shelby taking home MVP honors (again), and Channing Lowney winning the three-point competition.”
The Mariner girls team leaders are Lillie Mae Kuhn, Minadora Reutov and Sidney Shelby.
Homer Mariner girls Coach Dan Miotke noted cultural activities the teams participated in with Ayaprun Elitnaurvik School, a Yup’ik immersion school in Bethel. The first goal identified on school website states the opportunity “to provide the benefits of proficiency in Yup’ik language and understanding of Yup’ik culture.” Miotke identified the opportunity to try ice cream, baked salmon and fry bread. The basketball players also were able to participate in tribal dances, ice fishing and fish processing.
“Everyone was pretty excited about the opportunity and jumped in and tried everything. It was a great part of the trip,” Miotke said.
The Mariners are scheduled to play the Seward Seahawks in Seward on Friday. Homer will also host the 2024 Sons of the American Legion Winter Carnival Tournament Feb. 8-10 with teams joining from Ninilchik, Delta and Galena.