The Mariner girls varsity basketball came out victorious over Mt. Edgecumbe’s Lady Braves during games on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8.
The Mariners and Lady Braves were locked in a tight struggle for the win on Jan. 7. Mariners led with a one point difference at the end of the third quarter and ended with a score of 43-40, thanks to three points by Kayla Stafford.
The Jan. 8 game, however, saw an improvement in Mariner confidence and a clear lead throughout most of the game. Though the Lady Braves made the first two baskets within a few minutes of the first period, this did not discourage the Mariners. Homer’s team made their first three points with penalty shots mid-way through the period, followed up quickly by another point from senior point guard Aurora Waclawski. Less than 30 seconds later, Waclawski made a three-pointer, allowing the Mariners to finish the period neck-in-neck with the Lady Braves leading with one point at a score of 9-8.
“It just shows how much they put in on the off-season and all that work they put in is starting to pay off and they’re such a smart basketball group. … I think we’re headed in the right direction. We’re not quite where we want to be, but we’re getting there,” said girls varsity basketball coach Chad Felice.
After the close finish of the first period, Mariners’ pace picked up, scoring 11 points to the Lady Braves’ 8 points in the second period. Mariners enjoyed a clear lead by the end of the third period, at 40-27 after a series of two- and three-pointers from Waclawski and teammates Stafford and Madison Akers.
Mt. Edgecumbe tried to catch up in the fourth period, succeeding in scoring 13 points on the Mariners, but the Mariners retaliated with another 15 points, ending the game with a 15-point lead at 55-40.
“The difference today from yesterday was we passed it around more and got more open shots,” Waclawki said.
Waclawski scored the most points in the game with an end total of 22, followed up by Akers’ 16 game points. Stafford totaled with eight points, Uliana Reutor made four, Sam Draves scored three and Rylyn Todd scored one.
While Waclawski and Akers — both big scorers on the team — brought in the majority of the baskets, Stafford’s eight points in the game was a personal achievement.
“She’s always had that capability, but has been a little gun shy,” Felice said.
With the majority of the season ahead of them, the team is looking forward to keeping the ball rolling and bringing home more wins in a similar fashion. The players’ focus on teamwork, however, allows for any game they work well together to be a victory in their book.
“If we win, we win, and if not, as long as we tried our hardest and tried as a team then it doesn’t really matter what the outcome is,” Stafford said.