Lady M's fall short in Seward
SEWARD - The Homer Lady Mariners knew the hard work they have been putting in over the past month would eventually pay off. If they stayed the course, they knew they would find themselves in a position to win games in the fourth quarter.
They didn't win a 48-42 nail-biter on Saturday afternoon in front of a large crowd in Seward, but they certainly gave themselves that opportunity. Only a remarkable free-throw shooting performance by Seward's Ashley Jackson in the final eight minutes prevented a victory.
"Despite the loss, junior Rylyn Todd said he was pleased with the team's development.
"It's been a long road for us since last year," she said. "It felt good to be a close game and have a chance, and to have the opportunity to learn how to be in those type of games. I know it was a loss, but we've been working hard and I think we're getting better."
Seward would likely attest to the fact that Homer is improving. Thanks to the Lady Mariners' physical defense and the hot shooting of Alyssa Cole and Ana Godfrey, the Lady Seahawks trailed for much of the game.
Cole helped Homer get off to a quick start. She and Todd both pushed hope baskets in the early moments and staked the Lady Mariners to a 4-0 cushion. Cole added a pair of free throws moments later and led the team into the second with a 6-5 advantage.
Seward managed to fight its way back in the second. Coral Petrosius pushed a shot in at the 5:24 mark of the second and knotted the score at 12-12. The Lady Seahawks outpointed Homer by a 9-5 clip over the remainder of the half and took a 21-17 lead into the half.
Homer erased Seward's lead quickly in the third. After Rylee Douty had opened the frame with a basket, Todd tossed up a three-pointer from the corner that staked the Lady Mariners to a 22-21 lead just 1:10 into the second half. Cole added a pair of free throws moments later to build the lead to three, at 24-21.
Todd finished the game with 10 points.
After Seward had closed to within 29-28, Cole breathed new life into the HHS offense in the closing seconds of the third. She knocked down an 8-footer from the wing with 21 seconds left in the frame and sent Homer into the final stanza with a 31-28 cushion.
Cole finished the contest with a team-high 16 points, including six during the Lady Mariners' 14-7 third-quarter outburst.
Jackson keyed Seward's late heroics. She highlighted a 20-11 fourth-quarter run by sinking 12 of her 14 attempts from the free throw line. Anna Godfrey also played well for Homer, finishing with six points.
The Lady Mariners didn't get off to a great start to the weekend's action on Friday, dropping a 37-30 decision to Grace Christian in Anchorage.
Homer will travel to Nikiski on Feb. 3.