The Homer Central girls’ varsity basketball team is following a similar path into the post-season as it did one year ago.
Despite 16 points from Brenna Johnson, who returned to action after missing two games due to illness, the Trojans lost their third straight game, a 59-49 non-league setback to visiting Tully on Senior Night Tuesday. Homer will head to Section 3 Tournament play at 9-11 overall. The Trojans closed out the 2016 17 regular season losing two of their final three games before sectionals. The Black Knights close out the regular season at 16-4.
“They are solid and not too deep, but Tully is good,” Homer coach Jeff Tabel said. “It was nice to have Brenna back as it creates another offensive threat for us and she attacked the basket well in the second half. It felt like we played catch up all night and could not get it done down the end as they hit most of their free throws down the stretch.”
Homer led 12-10 after one quarter, but Tully went to work in the second quarter. Emily Lantiegne hit two 3-pointers and netted eight of the Black Knights’ 16 points as the visitors took a 26-21 lead into halftime. The Trojans cut the Tully advantage to 40-37 as the third quarter ended. Tully outscored Homer 19-12 in the final eight minutes thanks in part to making nine-of-11 free throws. Jessica Donald was five-of-six from the foul line and scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Lantiegne added 17 points to the Black Knights’ offense. Julia Coffin added 15 points to the winning attack.
Caley Cornwell had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals for Homer. Cornwell set a new single season scoring record, the senior now with 320 points this season. The previous best was 318 points by Trish McElroy in her junior season (1995-96). Shawnessy Earle added six points and nine rebounds to the Trojan totals.
Homer awaited word of their sectional opponent, which was to be announced today.
The Homer JVs closed out the season with a 39-31 victory over Tully.
The teams were tied 5-5 after one quarter before Homer pulled in front 20-18 at halftime. The Trojans used a 14-5 third-quarter advantage to open up a 34-23 cushion and held on during the fourth quarter.
“We struggled making a basket in the first quarter,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “We kept shooting and the shots started to fall. We lacked defensive intensity in the first half, but picked it up in the third quarter to force several turnovers.”
Gracie Patriarco set the pace for the Trojans with 12 points and nine steals, Jerze Joseph netted 10 points and had five steals and Aleta Gross also had five steals.
Hailey Olender led Tully with 10 points. Amelia Jaworski added nine points and McKenzie Smith netted seven points.
The Homer JVs wrapped up a 14-6 season with the win.
“It has been a nice season with a great group of girls,” Colasurdo said. “They have worked hard to play together as a team. I am very proud of all of them.”