Marauders end season at district tournament | Girls basketball
Mariner’s postseason came to an end for the second straight year with a loss to district rival Kamiak in the 4A District 1 tournament.
The Knights defeated the Marauders 70-40 in a loser-out girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Kamiak High School.
Mariner (8-14) trailed 13-10 after the first quarter and was behind 29-19 at halftime. The Knights then pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Marauders 23-13 to head into the final period with a 52-32 lead.
“I think we pressed too hard to come back,” Mariner coach Corey Gibb said. “I think we had ill-advised shots where we were settling for 3s when maybe we could have got into the key for an easy jumper.”
Mariner didn’t shoot well from the field and had too many unforced errors, Gibb added.
This was the second straight district appearance for Mariner, which finished fifth in the Wesco 4A with a 5-9 mark.
“The girls expected and we kind of planned to be where we’re at (in the district playoffs),” Gibb said. “The next goal is going to the playoffs and winning a game. It’s a good experience to go and be a part of it. It’s just that next step as a program.”
Senior Zaria Smith scored a team-high 19 points and junior Hannah Hezekiah added 12 points.
“I think we’re learning to win as a program and learning to be competitive,” Gibb said. “We’re still a work in progress.”
Smith, in particular, made significant strides with her game and clearly was the most improved player in the league in Kamiak coach Brian Norman’s opinion.
Gibb agreed with his counterpart.
“She has blossomed as a player and as a person,” the Mariner coach said. “She’s a good student. She wants to be good and wants to be the best on the floor and she’s always giving a 100 percent effort. I couldn’t be more proud of how she elevated her game.”
Gibb expects that Smith will continue her basketball career in college.
“Whoever gets her, they’re going to be pleasantly surprised,” he said.
The other five seniors all contributed to the Mariner program.
“All of the seniors really accepted their roles on the team,” Gibb said. “They gave us everything they could give us.”