By Jeff Brady

The Skagway women rolled up more wins at the Don Hather Tourney Jan. 3-4 and easily swept Hoonah Jan. 6-7, while the Panther men bounced back from a winless basketball tourney weekend to hold off the Braves at home.

After an easy time with Whitehorse Vanier to open the annual tourney in Skagway, the Panther women had two clutch victories over bigger Juneau-Douglas and Haines. Trailing JDHS by as many as 10 points in the first half, the Panther women battled back to take the lead late in the game.

“In that game against Juneau-Douglas, we would have lost in the past because we didn’t know how to finish,” said coach Nate Jennings, noting his team’s balance, maturity and belief in each other. “I feel like we’re in a more confident space for all four quarters. … After this (past) weekend, the main thing I took was that we are getting more intelligent each day.”

The Haines game was close all the way to the end, and Skagway again held on. Tatum Sager had a huge game, and her teammates made key free throws down the stretch.

A few days later against Hoonah, it was all about defense, being in great shape and sharing the ball on offense, Jennings said, so that any player can step up and score.

Eliza Myers was a steady scorer at the point, and Peyton Rodig, Jessica Whitehead, Iraida Hisman, and Ava Myers made clutch shots at key moments.

In the Hather tourney, the Panther men had a rough first game against a fleet, quick-handed Vanier team, but played much better against Juneau-Douglas and Haines in losing efforts. Coach Ross Barrett said the tourney was another “learning experience” for his young team.

Against Hoonah, Skagway built a big 20-point lead in the opener, only to see it chipped away late, but they managed to triumph. The Panthers finished much better in the second game of the series against the Braves and now hold a 4-0 league record.

Barrett said he talked to his team about “reducing turnovers and controlling the ball,” and then on defense “making sure we’re stopping those points in the paint, forcing them into a lot of low percentage outside shots. That was the key for us in this game.”

The junior tandem of Silas Myers and Gavin Goebel might be the best in the conference, but they will need more point production from their younger teammates to prevail against the better teams in the league. They got some big buckets from Austin Bricker and Nathan Ozuzun against Hoonah. Barrett said they are hoping for another strong start against Gustavus this weekend and more improvement.

The men will face a Gustavus co-ed team (including former Skagway star Faith Wagner) Friday and Saturday, and then both teams head out for their only road trip of the season — a two-week journey that takes them to Yakutat and Prince of Wales Island for eight games.

NET RESULTS (through Jan. 7)

SHS WOMEN (3-1 league, 8-4 overall)

Jan. 3-4 – Don Hather Tourney

Skagway 49, Vanier 20: SGY- Sager 20, Hisman 8, Rodig 8, J. Whitehead 6, E. Myers 4, A. Smith 3, Myers 2. VAN- Farkas 4, Madrigal 3, Brown 3, Kiemer 3, Grewal 2, Doyle 2, Parr 2, Curvza 1. SGY 18-12-8-11=49, VAN 1-2-9-8=20. Skagway 36, Juneau-Douglas 31: SGY- T. Sager 23, E. Myers 9, J. Whitehead 3, Rodig 1; JD- Marilla 6, Sjah 6, Marilla 6, Gabbi 4, Mariah 2, Natanya 2, Kiyara 2. SGY 5-5-11-15=36, JD 10-8-6-7=31. Skagway 37, Haines 32: SGY- T. Sager 17, J. Whitehead 10, A. Myers 4, E. Myers 3, Rodig 3; HNS- Andeson 14, Boron 9, Crager 6, Long 2, Jobbias 1. SGY 8-10-9-10=37, HNS 7-5-8-12=32.

Jan. 6-7 – at Skagway 47, Hoonah 19: SGY- T. Sager 16, E. Myers 14, A. Myers 6, Rodig 4, Hisman 4, A. Myers 4, J. Whitehead 3; HNH- Wilson 6, Michel 4, Morrison 3, Howland 3, Jewell 2, Lewis 1. SGY 10-16-15-6=47, HNH 6-3-4-6=19. Skagway 29, Hoonah 19: E. Myers 12, Rodig 8, Hisman 4, J. Whitehead 3, A. Myers 2; HNH- Wilson 6, Howland 5, Michel 4, Jewell 2, Morrison 2. SGY 12-9-6-2=29, HNH 4-8-4-3=19

SHS MEN (4-0 league, 4-7 overall)

Jan. 3-4 – Don Hather Tourney

Vanier 65, Skagway 25: VAN-Rumbaoa 18, Williams 13, Sweeney 10, Guan 7, Apostol 7, Tesoro 7, Kim 2, Wanless 2; SGY- S. Myers 13, Goebel 10, Burnham 2. VAN 28-13-19-5=65, SGY 3-10-2-10=25. Juneau-Douglas 47, Skagway 34: JD- Sleppy 10, Soto 8, Nelson 8, Bohulana4, Mulgrew 4, Martin 4, Coute 4, Kesey 3, Salaver 2; SGY- Goebel 16, S. Myers 10, Ozuzun 6, Bricker 2. JD 14-12-12-9=47, SGY 8-6-10-10=34. Haines 64, Skagway 39: HNS- M. Davis 17, Crager 16, Faverty 16, Verhamme 6, Gillham 5, Strong 3, L. Davis 2; SGY S. Myers 18, Goebel 12, Bricker 5, Ozuzun 4. HNS 19-21-11-13=64, SGY 10-9-15-5=39.

Jan 6-7 – at Skagway 42, Hoonah 36: SGY- Goebel 19, S. Myers 14, Bricker 9, Lawrence 2, Ozuzun  1; HNH- Cromer 18, Ross 6, Austin 5, Rump 5, Kohler 2. SGY 15-10-10-7=42, HNH 3-8-15-10=36. Skagway 49, Hoonah 35: Goebel 23, S. Myers 21, Ozuzun 3, Bricker 1; HNH- Kohler 10, Austin 7, Ross 6, Cromer 5, Contreras 4, Johnson 2, Rump 1. SGY 15-11-15-8=49, HNH 6-9-2-18=35.