• Alumni teams go 3-0 against varsity basketball and hockey
By Sean Pearson
A ripened posse of Homer High School alumni proved their athletic prowess over younger competitors with three wins in generational sports showdowns over the holiday break.
Combined teams of Mariner alums outlasted Homer varsity squads in both men’s and women’s basketball, as well as hockey, to retain bragging rights for another year.
It certainly didn’t hurt that the elders brought deep benches and fresh legs to the competition. (With the exception of an alumni-deficient women’s basketball squad.) And, while many of Homer’s varsity players were not available to participate because of holiday travel and family plans, Mariner alums are sure to overlook that point when mentioning the wins against their freshly spirited rivals.
Alums 34, Lady Mariners 23
A tiny trio of Lady Mariner alums sat patiently on their bench at Alice Witte Gymnasium, hoping for more teammates to arrive to bolster their seasoned roster. But, after a full 45 minutes of warm-ups and waiting, a short-handed Lady Mariner varsity squad opened play against their own junior varsity team.
Scoring was initially slow, with both teams struggling offensively. The two squads remained in single digits until later in the second quarter.
At the half, former Lady Mariner standout Allison Horazdovsky showed up to spark the alums, joining Kristen Fenske-Brown, Erika Gavenus and Amy Maxon. The fab four joined with the Homer JV, and turned a 10-point fourth-quarter run into a 34-23 win.
The Lady Mariner JV travels to Ninilchik tomorrow to take on the Lady Wolverines, before returning to host Anchorage Christian School at 3:30 p.m. Friday and Grace Christian at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The varsity team takes on ACS at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Grace at 1:30 p.m.
Alums 60, Mariners 37
The alumni turnout for the men’s game was a completely different story. Some 20 Homer High graduates filled the visitors’ bench, including members of the Mariners’ 1988-89 State Championship team. Coached by Homer JV Head Coach Tim Daugharty, four full teams of alums were able to switch out through the entire game, giving them consistently fresh legs to add to their already lopsided size advantage.
It also didn’t help that the current Mariners were missing a significant number of team members due to vacation and injuries. Seniors Sam Reinert and Drew Brown joined a host of sophomores to round out Homer’s varsity squad.
The game remained relatively close throughout the first half, with the alums taking a 27-20 lead into the locker room at the break. The second half highlighted the elders’ advantage of a deep bench, sparked by several steals and numerous points scored on offensive rebounds.
The Mariners continued to struggle on offense, scoring only 17 second-half points, and falling 37-60.
Senior Drew Brown twisted his knee in the game, resulting in a tear in his meniscus. He is questionable for the Mariners game against Anchorage Christian School on Friday.
The Mariner JV team hosts the ACS Lions at 5 p.m. Friday, with the varsity following at 8 p.m. The two teams take on the Grace Christian Grizzlies on Saturday, with games starting at noon and 3 p.m. respectively.
Alums 4, Mariners 2
Homer’s hockey team saw much of the same in their alumni game at Kevin Bell Arena, with 16 former Mariner players turning out to face the varsity squad.
Homer’s varsity scored first, with Kiril Sanarov finding the back of the net at the 12:54 mark in the first period. Carson Duggar assisted on the score. The alums answered seven minutes later to tie the score at one. Duggar would step up to answer next for the M’s, putting one past alumni goalie Luke Eckert with four minutes left in the first. Clem Tillion picked up the assist. It would be the Mariners’ last goal of the evening.
The second period began as a defensive struggle, before the alums sent a puck past Homer goalie Alex Sanarov. They would score two more before game’s end, pushing past the varsity squad 4-2.
Sanarov picked up 26 saves for the game, while Eckert turned away 22 shots.
Mariner hockey hosts Palmer tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at Kevin Bell Arena. The team returns to host Colony at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and then Wasilla at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Comments are closed