Houston Hawks

Houston's Hunter Jefferson and Homer's Clayton Beachy battle for the rebound Saturday, March 13, 2021, in the third-place game of the Southcentral Conference boys tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. 

The Houston Hawks overcame a slow start to score a big win and third-place finish in the conference tournament.

Houston beat Homer 73-50 during the Southcentral Conference Championships boys’ third-place game Saturday at Kenai Central High School.

The Hawks outscored the Mariners 66-29 during the final three quarters. Homer had built a 21-7 first-quarter lead. Hayden Howard hit five three-pointers and scored a game-high 26 points. Howard also helped spark the Hawks with a dozen of Houston’s 24 second-quarter points. Cody Wyrick and Cole Taylor each hit a pair of threes and scored 12 points. Braden Cork drained a trio of threes and added 11 points.

Houston fell into the third-place game with a 55-42 loss to Grace Christian in the semifinals. Grace jumped to a lead with a 21-9 second-quarter run. Howard and Cork led Houston with 10 points each. Hunter Jefferson added eight.

In the quarterfinals, Taylor’s 3-pointer at the buzzer pushed the Hawks, the No. 3 seed from the north, past the Seahawks, No. 2 from the south. Seward falls to 10-7 overall.

After Houston missed the front end of a bonus, Seward’s Trey Ingalls nailed a 3-pointer from the corner with 10.6 seconds left to tie the game at 55.

Seward led 16-11 after a quarter, 30-26 at halftime and 41-38 after three quarters.

Taylor and Braden Cork each had four 3-pointers to finish with 17 points, while Hayden Howard hit four 3-pointers to finish with 16 points.

Homer scored a 38-23 win over Redington in the girls’ third-place game. Against the Huskies, Homer used its tough defense to pull away. The Mariners, No. 1 from the Southern Division, led 6-5 after the first quarter, then 17-7 at the half and 29-14 after the third quarter against the Huskies, No. 3 from the north. Laura Inama paced the Mariners with 13 points, while Delilah Harris added eight. For Redington, Lexi Seymore had 10 points, while Destiny Simmons had eight.

The Redington boys scored a win on the final day of the tourney, capping their season with a 44-43 win over Nikiski. Bryce Murdock led a balanced attack for the Huskies with 11 points, while Trevor Bowman and Logan Seymore each had nine and Cort Sandefur added eight.

Nikiski defeated the Houston girls 49-44 on the final day. The Hawks had a 24-20 at the half and 36-35 lead after three quarters, but Nikiski finished the season on a 14-8 kick. Anna Whitted had 10 points for Houston, while Hanna Elson, Hana Haddeland and Kate Bredberg each had nine.

Hawks, Huskies named all-conference

A group of Houston Hawks and Redington Huskies were named All-Southcentral Conference.

Houston’s Hayden Howard and Cody Wyrick were named to the boys first team. Redington’s Lexi Seymore was named to the girls first team.

Houston’s Cole Taylor and Braden Cork, and Redington’s Logan Seymore were named boys’ second-team. Houston’s Anna Whitted, and Redington’s Twyla Anderstrom and Destiny Simmons were named to the girls second team.

Redington’s Cort Sandefur, Jahzeah Williams, Bryce Murdoch and Trevor Bowman were named boys honorable mention. Houston’s Tonda Smude and Redington’s Hailey Stoker were named girls honorable mentions.

Houston’s Ted Van Dussen was named the boys coach of the year.

The Peninsula Clarion contributed to this report.

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