Home Glaciers Haines Glacier Bears defeated by Metlakatla in final home games, but will advance to regionals | KHNS Radio

Haines Glacier Bears defeated by Metlakatla in final home games, but will advance to regionals | KHNS Radio


The energy was there in the last home game of the season (Corinne Smith/KHNS)

The Haines Glacier Bears basketball teams faced Metlakatla in their final home games of the season over the weekend (February 25-26). Although the girls’ and boys’ teams did not win, the competition was strong and morale remained high, as Haines celebrated the final games of his senior athletes. And both teams will qualify for the regional competition in Ketchikan next week, March 9-12.

The Haines Glacier Bears’ recent home games drew a cheering crowd to cheer on the athletes, supported by the Haines Cheer Team and Cheer Band, which included students and staff musicians.

The Glacier Bears and Lady Bears played solid games but were ultimately beaten by the Metlakatla Chiefs and Miss Chiefs by double digits on Friday and Saturday night. The boys were beaten 49-61 on Friday night and 41-59 on Saturday night. The Lady Bears lost 28-48 Friday night and 41-56 Saturday. But the two teams will still qualify next week for the regional finals in Ketchikan.

The Haines Glacier Bears lost to the Metlakatla Chiefs but will face off again in Regionals (Corinne Smith/KHNS)

It was a tough loss, but welcome competition for the Haines players. Throughout the pandemic, games have been canceled and travel and logistics have been difficult. But the players grew and got better at their game, says Coleman Stanford, the Haines girls’ basketball coach.

“We’ve had this group, basically this whole group together for three years now, you know, sophomores and freshmen together were the majority of the team,” Stanford said. “And we have grown a lot. And we’re heading into regionals, we’re pretty excited. We didn’t win tonight, but we definitely felt some momentum tonight, and we’re going to put that into action and do some good things when we get to Ketchikan.

Ahead of Saturday’s matches, the teams honored the seniors in their final home matches. Haines senior Sadie Anderson called it bittersweet, saying she will miss playing with the team but is excited to compete in the regionals.

“These girls are not my team, they are my family,” Anderson said. “And I’m so lucky to have them. They’re there through everything. We went through a game last year because of COVID, and it was bad but we made the best of it. And this year we is coming back strong and all the teams are talking about us and it feels good (Corinne: What are they saying?) The outsiders are coming back!

Haines Lady Bears and Glacier Bears are both seeded fourth in the regional tournament. Both teams will face Craig first and then face the Metlakatla Chiefs and Miss Chiefs again, who are both seeded first.

Haines boys coach Tyler Swinton says despite the losses he urges the team to stay positive for this rematch.

“The Mets (Metlakatla) are a tough team,” Swinton said. “The positives of it are we know where we need to be, we just need to get out there and do it… so we need to work hard this week, improve in the things we haven’t done so well and hopefully , take this to the tournament and surprise some people.

Swinton says at least half of the men’s team contracted COVID this season during the omicron push, but came back and played well.

“Any bump in the road only makes the team better if they are ready for this challenge. And hopefully this little downturn with these two games doesn’t make them lose confidence because it’s a good team and a good group of boys, and going into the conference tournament if they have some confidence they can do something of things.”

Not only will the basketball players be heading to regionals, but also the Haines cheer squad and cheer group to rally them.

The Haines Cheer Group is made up of students and staff (Corinne Smith/KHNS)

Haines senior Natalie Jobbins played basketball, but changed this season to cheering and playing drums in the cheer squad.

“It’s really emotional to know that this is the end,” Jobbins said. “But it’s also a happy feeling because we had fun, and memories were made, and those won’t go away.”

Between shifts, Jobbins climbs the bleachers to the full drum set at the top to play the cheer band rhythm.

Natalie Jobbins (Corinne Smith/KHNS)

And that’s not quite the end – the Haines Cheer Squad and Cheer Group will also join the athletes to play regionals in Ketchikan March 9-12. The top two teams will go to the state championship in Anchorage March 16-19.