The JDHS boys basketball team celebrates after a hard fought battle against TMHS on Thursday night for the final conference game of the season. Thursday night was also JDHS’s senior night where seniors from the dance squads, prep band and basketball teams were honored in between the girls and boys games. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

The JDHS boys basketball team celebrates after a hard fought battle against TMHS on Thursday night for the final conference game of the season. Thursday night was also JDHS’s senior night where seniors from the dance squads, prep band and basketball teams were honored in between the girls and boys games. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Emotions high for JDHS girls and boys basketball senior night

Region V tournament begins March 8.

It was Round 2 of the week for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain High School basketball teams on Thursday night after a Wednesday snowstorm postponed a second conference game between the cross-town rivals. Thursday night also served as senior night for JDHS.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire 
From left to right, JDHS seniors Izzy Waters, Skylar Tuckwood, Mariah Schauwecker, Ashley Laudert, Kiyara Miller, Carlynn Casperson, and Jossline Aranda-Jackson pose for a group photo on Thursday night for the JDHS senior night.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire From left to right, JDHS seniors Izzy Waters, Skylar Tuckwood, Mariah Schauwecker, Ashley Laudert, Kiyara Miller, Carlynn Casperson, and Jossline Aranda-Jackson pose for a group photo on Thursday night for the JDHS senior night.

The home games brought disparate results for the boys and girls teams, with the JDHS boys prevailing to improve their record against TMHS on the season to 3-1, and the JDHS girls faltering to put their record in cross-town contests at 0-4.

The TMHS girls managed to pull ahead slightly during the first quarter and it’s a lead they would never relinquish with a final score of 58-45. TMHS twin terrors Cailynn and Kerra Baxter tied for the scoring lead with 17 points each while JDHS freshman Gwen Nizich led her team with 13 points. TMHS coach Andy Lee said the team has learned a lot over the season where they’re now able to capitalize on mistakes made early on.

“If you don’t turn your mistakes into productivity and learning then they just stay mistakes and you keep repeating them, we’re not making the same mistakes,” Lee said. “We’re not the same team we were a week ago or a month ago, and mostly it comes down to effort. We’re getting closer to playing 32 minutes of effort, we’re not there yet. We had moments of spectacular defense and we scored some points off of that defense. Our chemistry and comradery is coming along, it’s the intangibles for us, we’re young but we’re fundamentally sound and we have good athletes. It was a total team effort, one through 12 and the result was we scored a few more points tonight, that was the difference.”

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire 
From left to right, JDHS seniors Kurt ‘Kobe’ Magallong, Kai Hargrave, Joseph Aline, Orion Dybdahl, Caden Mesdag and Bodhi Nelson all gather for a group photo on JDHS Senior Night before playing TMHS for the last conference game of the season.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire From left to right, JDHS seniors Kurt ‘Kobe’ Magallong, Kai Hargrave, Joseph Aline, Orion Dybdahl, Caden Mesdag and Bodhi Nelson all gather for a group photo on JDHS Senior Night before playing TMHS for the last conference game of the season.

With Friday night’s win, TMHS girls team now get a little extra time off heading into the Region V tournament, where they will be the top-seeded team in their bracket, a position that Lee said the team has never been in before. Additionally, Lee said having the downtime for prep will be useful, similarly to having the day off from Wednesday’s snowstorm.

“I think the disadvantage is you don’t know who you’re going to play but the advantage is you don’t have to play, so I’m going to cheer for both teams, we have a tough conference, you can look at the state seedings, all three of our teams are top seven, so we’re just going to get ready,” Lee said. “We had a decisive victory leading Ketchikan by 22 points, we got a decisive victory tonight and I’m hoping that says we’re peaking at the right time.”

After seniors were honored at the end of the girls game, the boys basketball teams took center stage for a match that would ultimately fall in the Crimson Bears favor, 73-63. JDHS senior Orion Dybdahl had a big game with 22 points with TMHS junior Lance Nierra and senior MJ Tupou tying for their team’s lead with 18 points. JDHS coach Robert Casperson said he was especially proud of the team for staying focused through the heavy emotions of a “deservedly” celebrated senior night.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire
JDHS freshman Gwen Nizich looks for an open pass down court on Thursday night’s game against TMHS. Nizich led the Crimson Bears in scoring for a total of 13 points.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire JDHS freshman Gwen Nizich looks for an open pass down court on Thursday night’s game against TMHS. Nizich led the Crimson Bears in scoring for a total of 13 points.

“We’ve talked about that all season, just the idea of not letting our highs get too high or our lows get too low,” Casperson said. “It’s good to feed off of that emotion, but maintain it, so I think we did that really well tonight. I thought the seniors that started the game who don’t typically start gave us a great lift and did an excellent job with Mesdag and Nelson, so it was just a lot of fun. The game got tight there and we made some mistakes, but a team like Thunder Mountain isn’t going to quit, they keep battling and we expect that from them, so I’m just happy with the way that we finished the game and secured the win.”

The Crimson Bears previously locked up the top seed in the Region V tournament.

After Thursday’s games, the TMHS boys now sit at 8-16 and 3-5 in conference, with the JDHS boys at 16-9 and 6-2 in conference. The TMHS girls’ record now sits at 17-7 and 6-2 in conference and JDHS girls are at 14-10 and 3-5. The Region V 2A and 4A Tournament is scheduled to begin on March 8 at Thunder Mountain High School.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 6

Here’s what to expect this week.

Looking like a gray turtle, an automated mower cuts grass in front of Thunder Mountain Middle School with boxes stacked in a classroom window beyond. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Random adventures of robo-mowers…now performing again this summer at Juneau’s schools

Four pillow-sized bots resembling turtles with tiny razor-sharp blades provide class for the grass.

Disney Williams (right) orders coffee from Lorelai Bingham from the Flying Squirrel coffee stand at Juneau International Airport on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New coffee stand at airport stirs up heated dispute about having proper authorization to operate

Fans of Flying Squirrel Espresso praise location, hours; officials say FAA violations could be costly.

Nano Brooks and Emily Mesch file for candidacy on Friday at the City and Borough of Juneau Municipal Clerk’s office in City Hall. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
City and Borough of Juneau regular municipal election candidate filing period opens

So far, most vie for Assembly District 2 seat — mayor, Board of Education, and District 1 also open.

Killah Priest performs at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center in December 2019. (Photo courtesy of Lance Mitchell)
Killah Priest sets new record with Alaskan artists on ‘Killah Borealis’

Wu-Tang Clan rapper seeks to lift Alaskan voices and culture in his return performance to Juneau

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, July 10, 2024

For Wednesday, July 10 Attempt to Serve At 10:06 a.m. on Wednesday,… Continue reading

Commercial fishing boats are lined up at the dock at Seward’s harbor on June 22. Federal grants totaling a bit over $5 million have been awarded to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to help Alaskans sell more fish to more diverse groups of consumers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Federal grants to state agency aim to expand markets for Alaska seafood

More than $5M to help ASMI comes after Gov. Dunleavy vetoed $10M for agency.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up the omnibus crime bill, House Bill 66, after signing it at a ceremony Thursday at the Department of Public Safety’s aircraft hangar at Lake Hood in Anchorage. At his side are Sandy Snodgrass, whose 22-year-old son died in 2021 from a fentanyl overdose, and Angela Harris, who was stabbed in 2022 by a mentally disturbed man at the public library in Anchorage and injured so badly that she now uses a wheelchair. Snodgrass and Harris advocated for provisions in the bill.Behind them are legislators, law enforcement officers and others. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Goals for new Alaska crime law range from harsher penalties for drug dealers to reducing recidivism

Some celebrate major progress on state’s thorniest crime issues while others criticize the methods.

Most Read