The Mariners kicked off their basketball season last weekend with games Friday and Saturday in Cordova. The Lady Mariners defeated the Wolverines both days, finishing ahead in a 44-42 game on Friday, and taking home a decisive 50-33 win on Saturday. The boys team split the weekend with two close games, resulting in a 48-45 win on Friday and a 43-52 loss on Saturday.
Friday, the Lady Mariners were neck and neck with the Wolverines.
“Our first game was really close,” said the girls’ head coach, Chad Felice.
Homer managed to keep a small lead for most of the game, hitting a few key three-point shots. When the Wolverines pulled ahead in the second half, the Mariners responded.
“We were down for a bit but (the Mariner girls) didn’t buckle, they fought back,” said Felice.
With a tied score and 20 seconds left on the clock, sophomore Mariah Hendrickson pushed through to score a crucial layup, pulling the Mariners into a two-point lead and solidifying their win.
Saturday’s game got off to a low-scoring start, with Homer leading only 15-11 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, the Mariners broke away into a run, scoring 18 consecutive points and finishing the game with a 23-point lead. Junior Madison Akers led the team in points, contributing 22 points to Friday’s game and 24 on Saturday.
“I’m really proud of the way they played,” said Felice. “Overall great, hard, team defense. Two great team wins.”
The Lady Mariners will compete against SoHi, Kenai, and Seward this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the Kenai River Challenge Tournament at Kenai Central High School.
The boys game on Friday had an inauspicious start for the Mariners, with Cordova leading 11-1 in the first quarter. At the break between quarters, however, the Mariners were able to compose themselves, and came back out onto the court ready to meet the Wolverines’ challenge.
“In the second quarter we threw on a full-court press, and that was the turning point,” said the boys’ head coach Nate Creel. The Mariners won Friday’s game 48-45.
In Saturday’s game the Mariners came out strong, going into halftime with an eight-point lead. However, in the third quarter a few calls were made against the Mariners, which Creel thinks disrupted their focus. The Wolverines were able to rack up points at the free-throw line, and ended up defeating the Mariners 52-43.
“We had a few mental mistakes in our second game; a couple of things to work on there,” said Creel. Overall, he was pleased with the Mariners’ performance, though, calling the second game “a learning expeience.”
Seniors Kenneth Schneider and Filip Reutov led the Mariners in points for both games.
The Mariner boys will compete against Palmer, Thunder Mountain and Seward this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Al Howard Tournament at SoHi.
Lindsay Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.
Mariner girls 44, Cordova 42
Mariner boys 48, Cordova 45
Mariner girls 50, Cordova 33
Cordova boys 52, Mariner boys 43