• Homer boys look to turn things around in post-season play
By Sean Pearson
Apparently, all the Homer Lady Mariner basketball team needed was just a little extra time to get warmed up this season. Yes, post-season play starts tomorrow in Cordova. But if your team is going to peak — well, now is a pretty good time to do it.
Coach Connie Akers and her Lady M’s enter the regional tournament on a four-game winning streak, including last Monday’s Senior Night upset of Nikiski. They are set to kick off Regions against Houston at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. At stake is a prized berth to the March 20-22 State Championships in Anchorage.
A Homer journey north on Friday proved productive for the M’s, as they solidly defeated the Skyview Panthers 35-20.
Both teams got off to a slow start, but a strong defensive showdown left Skyview with a 12-11 lead at the half. Not long into the third quarter, Mariner sophomore Madison Akers started lighting up the board, on her way to a team-high 22 points.
Homer outscored Skyview 13-4 in the third quarter, and 11-4 in the fourth
A smothering Homer defense held the Panthers scoreless for the final six minutes of the game. Senior Tayla Cabana picked up seven points in the game, while Aurora Waclawski added six.
Bolstered by their third straight win, Homer completed their solid week of ball with a 42-26 victory over Seward on Saturday. Both are south-central conference wins for the Lady M’s.
Homer led 16-10 at the half, before handily dispatching the Seahawks with a 13-4 third-quarter run. Akers again led the scoring, picking up all of her 16 points in the second half. Cabana added 11 for the Mariners.
The ladies finished regular season play with a 6-4 conference record.
Homer boys got off to a good start last Monday night as well, slipping past the Nikiski Bulldogs 74-70 at home. Unfortunately, those winning ways did not follow them on the road over the weekend.
The M’s took on the Panthers at Skyview Friday night, where they fell 49-58 to conference play. It was the last home basketball game for the Panthers before the school closes at the end of this year.
Mariners Quinn Daugharty and Filip Reutov combined for 34 of Homer’s 49 points. Daugharty led the team with 19 points, as the M’s fought their way back to within three points as the final quarter got underway.
But a nine-point fourth quarter left Homer shy of the win — by nine points.
The Mariners then headed to Seward, where they finished their regular season with a 35-62 loss to the Seahawks.
Homer kept things close early in the game, trailing 14-16 at the end of the first quarter. But a Seahawk 15-8 second-quarter run all but shut down the M’s for the rest of the game; Homer was only able to pick up three points in the third quarter.
Sheldon Hutt led the Mariners with 11 points, while Daugharty and Kenneth Schneider were held to seven points each.
With the loss, Homer dropped to 16-9 overall, and 5-5 in conference play.
Both teams face the Houston Hawks on Thursday in the opening round of the 2014 Southcentral Conference Basketball Championships in Cordova.
The Lady M’s get underway bright and early at 8 a.m., while Homer boys get a few more minutes of sleep before their 9:30 a.m. game.
All regional tournament games will be live-streamed from Cordova. For more information, visit www.asln.net or “like” the ASLN Facebook page.
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