Lady Wolves lose two in a row to Haines in away games

Bad luck on Friday the 13th bled into Saturday the 14th for the Lady Wolves as they traveled to Haines to take on the Glacier Bears last weekend.

In the first competition of the new year, the Wrangell High School girls basketball team played against Haines in two games last weekend.

Haines proved to be a formidable opponent from the start of Friday night, taking an early lead and never letting go of it. The triple-threat of MacKenzy Dryden, Grace Long-Godinez and Ari'el Godinez-Long kept Haines on top throughout the competition.

Godinez-Long especially had the ability to steal the ball from the Lady Wolves, easily taking possession and giving her team goal after goal. As much as the Glacier Bears were able to steal, Wrangell's Kiara Harrison was able to block shots. It didn't stop Haines from scoring, however, and the first period ended 15-6 in favor of Haines.

Wrangell struggled to find their footing, often dropping and losing control of the ball. When the Lady Wolves had control, they would drive the ball to the basket, only to miss. By the end of the second period, the Glacier Bears more than doubled their score, while the Lady Wolves added only nine points to fall behind 15-32.

The Lady Wolves stepped up their aggressive play in the second half, with Harrison scoring first in the third period. She was immediately fouled, leading to two missed free-throw attempts.

A series of bad passes and more fumbling led to Haines taking a 21-point lead and ending the period 44-23.

Wrangell became more cohesive in the last period of the game, upping their defensive and offensive plays. Harrison continued to use her height advantage to block the Glacier Bears, while laying down the buckets. Christina Johnson was able to drive the ball in between the opposing team to add to Wrangell's points.

In all, Haines only added two goals to its score in the fourth period and Wrangell added 10. It wasn't enough, though, and Haines won 48-33. Harrison had the most baskets for the Lady Wolves, scoring 19 points.

Head coach Christina Good said it came down to a lack of communication that led to the team's incohesive playing. To start winning, she said the team needs to employ strategies like "reacting to defensive pressure, decision making under pressure, ball handling, rebounding and boxing out."

On Saturday, the game was more of the same for Wrangell, with Haines surging ahead from the start. The first period ended 17-5, with the Glacier Bears in the lead.

Despite being hit in the face with the ball the day before, Kayla Meissner was back to play, replacing Addy Andrews who was hurt at 3:30 into the second period. Meissner played more aggressively, driving the ball downcourt with speed and determination. Wrangell was able to cut into Haines' lead in the second period, but still trailed 27-17 at the buzzer.

Wrangell started to play more cohesively in the second half, putting the pressure on Haines. As Wrangell began to cut into the lead even more, Haines seemed to become flustered, but that was short-lived as the Glacier Bears got their mojo back and surged ahead. The third period ended with Haines ahead by 25 points, 48-23.

Andrews was back in the game during the fourth period, powering through the defense at times, getting fouled but making each free-throw attempt. Harrison continued to rebound the ball off Haines, driving the ball and scoring. Again, in the final period, Wrangell's defense kept Haines from putting too many points on the board, but fell to the home team, 53-38.

"Having more experience (as a team) does help, but it's experiences like this that will help each of the girls improve their game and us progress as a team moving forward," Good said. "Both games exposed some strengths and weaknesses. As coaches, it helps us to understand where our focus needs to be."

The Lady Wolves are scheduled to travel to Petersburg to take on the Vikings on Friday and Saturday.


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