The top-seeded Metlakatla High School girls basketball team nearly fell under the Region V basketball tournament pressure against fourth-seeded Haines on Wednesday, but they held on for a 29-27 win at Juneau-Douglas High School.
“Can we just talk about the first, second and fourth quarters?” Metlakatla coach Tim Shaw asked. “We probably had the lead and felt a little too comfortable with it. We got too comfortable and they came out and played aggressive. They played hard in the third quarter.”
Metlakatla scored the first 11 points of the game and held a 13-3 advantage after the first quarter. Metlakatla held Haines scoreless in the second quarter, giving the Miss Chiefs a 21-3 margin at the break thanks in part to the inside play of senior Alecia Henderson who blocked two shots and grabbed five rebounds in that span.
Henderson would tally 21 rebounds in the game.
“I try to just stay focused,” Henderson said. “I have one goal in mind, and that is to help the team when we are down. I am just trying to do what helps the team the most.”
Haines outscored Metlakatla 14-0 in the third quarter, closing the game to 21-17, and the Miss Chiefs did not get their first field goal of the second half until 3:07 remained in the final stanza.
Sophomore Kayley Swinton opened the fourth quarter to pull the Glacier Bears within two points at 21-19.
After a Miss Chiefs free throw by Monica Hayward, Haines’ Grace Jones made it a one-point game.
Holly Guthrie hit another lone free throw to put the Miss Chiefs up by two but was answered by Haines’ Jaimie Messerschmidt inside for a tying basket with 5:25 remaining.
Metlakatla’s Monica Hayward scored the team’s first field goal of the second half with 3:07 remaining for a 25-23 advantage, and Henderson hit another off a dribble and dish feed from freshman Kailee Smith for a 27-23 lead. Hayward added a free throw with a minute remaining.
Haines struggled to find the basket, missing nine straight field goal attempts and getting just one free throw with under a minute remaining to pull within 28-24.
After a final free throw by Hayward gave the Miss Chiefs a 29-24 lead, Haines’ Libby Jacobson nailed a 3-pointer to close to 29-27 before time expired.
Hayward led the Miss Chiefs with 11 points, Henderson added 7, Smith 6 and Holly Guthrie 5.
Metlakatla hit 5-15 at the free throw line; Haines went 4-12.
Jones led the Glacier Bears with 10 points, Autumn Gross 6, Celia Bower 4, Libby Jacobson 3, Serena Badoley and Messerschmidt 2 apiece.
The Miss Chiefs advance to play the Craig Lady Panthers at 6:45 p.m. today for the Region V Championship and a berth at the state tournament. Haines plays an elimination game at 8 a.m. today against the Wrangell Lady Wolves.
MHS vs. HHS
MHS- Monica Hayward- 11 PTS, 7 RB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-13 FG, 3-6 FT; Alecia Henderson- 7 PTS, 12 RB, 2 AST, 3-15 FG, 1-2 FT; Kailee Smith- 6 PTS, 4 RB, 1 AST, 5 STL, 3-9 FG; #34- 3 PTS, 4 RB, 2 STL, 1-5 FG, 1-4 FT; Faithe Gray- 2 PTS, 1 RB, 1 STL,1-1 FG, 0-2 FT
HHS- Grace Jones- 11 PTS, 4 RB, 2 STL, 4-6 FG, 3-4 FT; Kayley Swinton- 6 PTS, 11 RB, 3 AST, 3-17 FG, 0-5 3-PT; Celia Bower- 4 PTS, 2 RB, 6 STL, 1-5 FG, 2-4 FT;Serena Badgley- 4 PTS, 4 RB, 1 STL, 2-4 FG Jamie Messerschmidt- 2 PTS, 5 RB, 1-4 FG, 0-2 FT