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Lady Braves Fall to Haines

posted Mar 1, 2011, 10:17 AM by Mark Nance

By Craig Giammona
Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel

The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves fell to 2-8 in conference play with two losses to Haines Feb. 18-19.

MEHS coach Carl Blackhurst said the Lady Braves lost 64-52 Friday night, in a game they trailed by as many as 32 points in the second half. But MEHS trimmed the Haines lead with a hot fourth quarter, including a half-court buzzer beater by Venita Demoski to end the game. Blackhurst said the main issue for the Lady Braves Friday was the Haines press.

“We did not handle the pressure well at all,” Blackhurst said. “It was all press, layups and transition.”

Kristin Johanson and Scarlett Beaver led MEHS Friday night with 9 points each, while Mariah Martin chipped in 8. Demoski had 8, Brandi Hale scored 6 and Tasha King and Minnie Simon had 5 each.

Blackhurst said the Lady Braves did a much better job handling the press Saturday, but Haines went on a run in the fourth quarter and won 52-33.
“I’m seeing good things,” Blackhurst said. “We’re working hard, playing hard. We just need to get an offensive rhythm going.”

Simon had 12 points in the game and Hale scored 7.

The Lady Braves, coming off a thrilling state title run, have had a hard time this season. Blackhurst has an inexperienced roster and the learning curve has been steep for the Lady Braves.

But when the Region V tournament opens next week, records will essentially be meaningless.

“We’re just trying to get them going,” Blackhurst said. “That’s the thing about regions, the teams that show up focused and hungry and ready to play, the season goes out the window. We just want to go play hard and hope for the best.”

The Lady Braves are currently sixth in the Region V standings, with a first-round game against Sitka a distinct possibility. The games between the local teams this weekend could affect the seeding, as could games between Metlakatla (2-8) and Wrangell (0-10).