• Homer looks to be more consistent, tweak ‘mental aspect’ of the game
By Sean Pearson
After blowing out the Tikigak Harpooners 68-38 in the opening round of their own Winter Carnival Tournament on Thursday, the Homer Mariners found their next two tournament match-ups to be just a bit harder.
Senior Quinn Daugharty led the scoring for Homer, picking up 18 points. Martin Molodih picked up 14, while sophomore Hunter Harris added 10.
The M’s faced Delta Junction in their second game of the round-robin tourney, and held a comfortable 31-21 lead at the half. The scrappy group of Harpooners were far from done, however, as they edged their way back into the game a few extra points at a time. A 15-9 Delta Junction run in the third quarter left them only four points down, but Homer scored 20 fourth-quarter points to secure the win.
Four Mariners scored in double figures against the Huskies, with Daugharty again picking up a game-high 17 points. Adding to the 60-point total were Filip Reutov with 12, Kenneth Schneider with 11 and Sheldon Hutt with 10 points.
Homer looked strong going into their third and final game against King Cove on Saturday. The Mariners held a 39-32 lead at the half, but struggled with shooting in the second half, and fell 74-44. The T-Jacks got a tremendous amount of help from forward Ian Samuelson, who appropriately wore jersey No. 3.
Samuelson nailed nine three-pointers on his way to a game-high 33 points. Schneider led the Mariners with 16 points, while Hutt added 14 in the losing effort.
“As far as the tournament as a whole, it went pretty well and was overall quite fun,” Schneider said of the weekend games. “All the teams were respectful and enjoyable to play against.”
“I had a very fun weekend and I think the team did too,” he said. “But it sure would have been nice to take first in our own tournament.”
Schneider said he thought the team, as a whole, played well, despite a few difficulties here and there.
“It seems like the third quarter of our games is kind of our Achilles heel,” he said. “Hopefully we can get over that.”
Daugharty called the King Cove game, “a disappointing end to a great weekend of basketball.”
“It’s never fun to lose, but as Martin Molodih said in the locker room after the game, ‘it reminds us we aren’t invincible,’” Daugharty explained. “I think our biggest downfall in that game was our consistency. We have all the necessary keys to winning games and going to State — except for consistency. We need to make it all come together — in every game.”
“Obviously, the King Cove game was hard to handle,” Schneider added. “We definitely need to work on keeping our game up and not dropping our level of play when we get ahead. That’s just a mental aspect of the game that we need to figure out; I think it will come eventually.”
Daugharty is adamant that his team wants to go to State this year.
“I think our biggest focus for the remainder of the season is believing — as a team — that we can win every game we step out onto the court to play,” he said. “We need to believe in our coaches, each other and most importantly, ourselves.”
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