Homer basketballers end season at Regions
March 16th 8:06 pm | Sean Pearson
Seven Mariners earn all-conference honors
Both Homer High School boys and girls teams ended their seasons over the weekend at the Southcentral Conference Basketball Tournament in Nikiski.
The Mariner boys made a decent run at the title after dropping their first game of the tourney 41-50 to Grace Christian on Friday. They ultimately fell short of a State Tournament bid with a fourth-place finish in the conference.
Homer boys rebounded from their Friday loss with a 62-60 nail-biting win over the host Nikiski Bulldogs — but just barely. The M's jumped out to an early lead against Nikiski, and took a comfortable 31-17 margin into the locker rooms at the half.
And then the Bulldogs woke up, outscoring Homer 27-18 in the third quarter; they outscored the Mariners 16-13 in the fourth quarter, but it still wasn't enough to offset the 14-point Homer advantage at the half.
The Mariners had four players score in double figures; junior Koby Etzwiler led the way with 19 points, while Jordan Beachy scored 17, and Justin Ellison and Hunter Edens each added 12. Homer shooters poured in seven 3-pointers for the game — but it was still two less than hot-handed Nikiski.
The M's looked to be headed down the same path in Saturday's third-place game against the Houston Hawks. Homer jumped out to a 22-17 lead after the first quarter, and equal scoring in the second quarter maintained the Mariners' five-point lead at the half.
Things would quickly change after the break, as the Hawks clamped down on defense and held the M's to single-digit scoring in the third and fourth quarters. Houston outscored Homer 26-17 in the second half, and went on to win the game 53-49 and snatch up the third-place conference finish.
Ellison and Beachy both scored 13 points to lead Homer, while Joe Carroll picked up seven, and Etzwiler added eight.
This time, the Mariners notched nine 3-pointers, while the Hawks logged seven.
The Lady Mariners picked up a win in the tournament with a 29-24 defensive showdown against the Redington Lady Huskies. Homer led 12-11 at halftime, and used an 8-4 fourth-quarter run to secure the win. Marina Carroll led the scoring for Homer with nine, while senior Uliana Reutov added six.
Friday's win over Redington put the Lady M's up against the Seward Seahawks on Saturday, and were able to hold their own for awhile. In another low-scoring game, Seward led 14-11 at the half, and used a 13-8 fourth-quarter run to outlast the Lady Mariners 31-21.
Kaylee Veldstra scored nine for Homer.
Homer landed four boys on all-conference teams; Etzwiler and Ellison were named to the first time, and Beachy and Carroll earned second-team honors. Beachy was also chosen for the good sport award.
For the Lady Mariners, Reutov was named to the all-conference second team, and Annali Metz picked up the good sport award.
Mariner cheerleaders Falcom Greear and Amaya Varga were named to the all-conference cheer team, Erin Farrell won the good sport award.