Petersburg High School basketball teams spent about a week getting to and from Haines. But as Angela Denning reports, when they finally hit the court they won four of four games.
Weather would not cooperate this past week. High winds canceled ferries and both basketball teams got stuck in Juneau for the weekend. While there they made the most of it and played basketball teams in Juneau.
The Vikings’ main event was still waiting for them in Haines. That finally happened Monday and Tuesday. The boys won the first game Monday night against Haines 64-32 but coach, Rick Brock, says the team needed some time to warm up.
“The first game on Monday was a little sloppy I think on both sides,” Brock said. “I think that was partly due to you know when you have expectations of playing on a Friday, Saturday, then the games get changed to Saturday, Sunday, then you take the ferry early in the morning, travel all day, it took us a little while to get our feet I guess.”
He says by the time the team was entering the second quarter they were able to get into an offensive rhythm.
The boys team played again Tuesday at noon winning by a larger margin, 73-31.
“Both teams played better, it was a hard fought contest in the first quarter,” Rick Brock said. “We ended up being ahead 15-10. But it was a much more physical, better played game. And then defensively, we held them scoreless for approximately seven minutes in the second quarter.”
That took the five point lead at the first quarter and stretched it out to a 24 point lead at the half. Brock says the team played well in the second game against Haines and had balanced scoring among the players. Senior Stewart Conn had 21 points, Senior Wolf Brooks had 10 points, and Juniors Dale Strong and Mark Neidiffer each had nine.
The boys now have a record of 6-0. They were State runners up last year to Unalaska. Brock says they’re looking great so far this year but can still work on improving.
“Our foundation is on the defensive end and I feel we’re getting better,” Brock said. “We still struggle rebounding-wise in parts of the game, helping each other defensively. We’re becoming a transition team. We’re turning the ball over too many times trying to force the issue. You know, those are key things but it’s still pretty early in the season and we’re growing and learning, I like the path that we’re on.”
The girls also beat Haines twice. The final score in the first game was 37-14. The second game was 58-22. Girls coach Dino Brock says the team started out really strong defensively in game one.
“Held them under 10 points each quarter obviously and just did a really nice job,” he said. “Started out with 13 in the first quarter, 16 in the second and just kind of cruised from there. Second game we won 58-22, started out really strong, score in double figures all four quarters, which is big for us. And put 58 points on the board, it was a nice way to end everything.”
“So kind of not high scoring games?” I asked him. “Certainly, the first one must have been a defensive game.”
“Yeah, it was,” he replied. “We actually put double digits on the board which is kind of a gauge the first two quarters. And then the second quarters everybody got a lot of playing time, kind of had some different line ups in but defensively we continued to play real well.”
Senior Emma Chase led scoring for the weekend. She had 11 points in game one and 20 in game two. Senior Chandler Strickland had 10 the first game and 16 the second game.
Brock says it’s too early in the season to tell if the girls’ team can reclaim their state title this year.
“Our goal even last year–every year–is just to continue to get better every week,” Dino Brock said. “We talk about getting better every day and just kind of see where that takes us.”
Getting back from Haines was also tricky. A delayed flight out of Seattle had the teams stuck in Ketchikan for part of the day Wednesday before finally making it home.
The Vikings were scheduled to play Craig this weekend at home. But those games have been canceled due to poor weather on Prince of Wales Island. They are now scheduled to play Craig at home January 23-24.
Before that the girls will play in Metlakatla January 19-22. The boys will play Metlakatla at home January 20-21.