• M’s land four on All-Tourney team; Daugharty named MVP
By Sean Pearson
Mariner senior Quinn Daugharty amassed 60 points in three games to lead his Homer Mariner Varsity Basketball team to first place in the 25th-annual Nikiski Tip-Off Tournament over the weekend.
His performance didn’t go unnoticed, as he was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Juniors Sheldon Hutt and Kenneth Schneider were both named to the all-tournament team.
“I was pretty happy with my own performance, but it was definitely the team effort that won all three games,” Daugharty said of the winning weekend. “We played some tough games, and team defense is what came through for us in the end.”
It didn’t hurt that the M’s were consistent at the charity stripe, shooting an average of 66 percent from the line in three games.
“We have been getting better and better with every game,” Daugharty said. “Our team has a special connection; we have been playing together for a long time and it’s finally paying off.”
Homer Coach Mark Casserri agreed, calling the weekend “wonderful” for the boys team.
The M’s opened the tourney with a 65-55 win over the Houston Hawks on Thursday. Junior forward Hutt scored 20 points, while Daugharty added 17. Homer then moved on to defeat Nikiski 62-55 on Friday, where Daugharty pumped in a game-high 27 points against the Bulldogs. He added 16 more in the team’s 65-42 win over Dillingham in Saturday’s championship game.
But Daugharty isn’t satisfied just yet.
“One thing we still need to work on as a team is limiting turnovers and taking care of the ball on the offensive side,” he said. “Staying positive has been a huge emphasis by our coaches after last year. We are an experienced group and have learned to appreciate our teammates and coaches and what each person brings to the team.”
Daugharty said the coaching staff has been teaching the team to play with a positive mental attitude since day one.
“Down the stretch in close games, it really pays off to be patient with each others’ mistakes,” Daugharty explained. “When we do start getting down on each other, our game starts to fall apart. So we take the positive road. Everyone on the team plays better with the positive support of each other.
Daugharty has seen sporadic action in the past, thanks in part to a back injury he’s fought over the last few years.
“It feels so great to be back on the floor at 100 percent,” he said.
For the tourney, Hutt racked up 43 points, while Filip Reutov added 25. Homer’s outside-shooting game also heated up, with the M’s sinking 17 three-pointers overall.
Casserri said the three wins on the road will help with confidence heading into a tough home conference game against Seward this Friday.
In girls’ action, the Lady Mariners cruised to a 41-28 win over Houston in the tourney’s opening game, but struggled in the next two, falling to both Nikiski and Dillingham.
Sophomore Madison Akers contributed 38 total points for the Lady M’s and was named to the tourney’s all-tournament team. Senior Tayla Cabana added 26 points, and was also named to the all-tourney team.
Following Homer’s success over Houston, the Lady M’s struggled with shooting against Nikiski in Friday’s 35-60 loss. None of the Lady M’s scored in double figures.
Saturday’s game against Dillingham opened well, with Homer jumping out to a 12-9 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Wolves answered with a 14-4 run in the second quarter, taking a 23-16 lead into the half — and a 27-22 lead into the final quarter.
The Lady Mariners put 17 hard-fought points in the fourth quarter, but Dillingham’s 20-point performance closed the gap for good, and Homer fell 39-47. Akers notched a game-high 17 points.
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