JDHS boys basketball team poses for a group photo on Monday in Las Vegas for the Tarkanian Classic tournament. (Courtesy Photo / Robert Casperson)

JDHS boys basketball team poses for a group photo on Monday in Las Vegas for the Tarkanian Classic tournament. (Courtesy Photo / Robert Casperson)

Both JDHS basketball teams compete in Las Vegas tournament

What happens in Vegas, gets reported from Vegas.

This week both the girls and boys Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé basketball teams traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the annual Tarkanian Classic tournament, which sees over 200 high school basketball teams compete.

The Juneau-Douglas boys lost their first game of the tournament on Monday against California’s Norco High School with a final score of 75-58. Tuesday the boys fared better against Sunrise Mountain High School, coming out on top with a final score of 78-39.

Coach Robert Casperson said the team played well on Monday for their first game out, Norco just played better, adding one thing the team fell short on was their rebounding, which ultimately gave Norco an advantage. Casperson said a lot of the Juneau-Douglas players contributed and everyone played. Casperson noted junior Sean Oliver brought great energy that translated into a solid all-around performance with scoring 24 points, with five defensive deflections and a handful of rebounds.

“We shot 51% from two-point, we shot 28% from three-point, those are really good numbers in high school, it’s just that Norco ended up shooting 41% from three-point and that ended up making a little bit of a difference, and they were 12 of 13 from the free throw line, so those two things, they had six more points on threes and they had seven more points on free throws and then got another layup in there somewhere for their final margin of 17,” Casperson said.

Tuesday’s game came down to a lot of the pressure applied by the defense, Casperson said. Senior Orion Dybdahl had a solid performance on both sides of the ball with 22 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Casperson said junior Alwen Carrillo was another key factor in Tuesday’s win by setting the tone with his defense with four steals and ended up in double figures in scoring. Oliver also brought intensity and effort, diving on the floor multiple times throughout the game. Casperson added that several players scored their first career varsity points, freshman Brandon Casperson, junior Jonathan Sleppy, junior Jhowel Estiogy and sophomore Gavin Gerrin.

“Right away we got after their guards and Alwen set the tone doing a great job disrupting their offense with deflections and steals,” Casperson said. “Alwen ended up with six steals and five deflections. Alwen was really a disruptive force in that game. Overall, what really made a huge difference for us was our unselfishness and moving the ball against Sunrise.”

The Crimson Bears boys next take on Bonanza High School Wednesday night. Casperson said they feel a little more prepared going into Wednesday’s game after having had the chance to see Bonanza play a couple games within the tournament so far.

“They’ve had pretty tall kid in the middle and they surround him with a bunch of shooters, so we’re going to have to do a really good job tonight containing the dribble penetration and close out on good shooters and not give them open hooks as best we can, that’ll be a new challenge for us down here, a totally different approach than what we’ve seen so far,” Casperson said.

Juneau-Douglas girls first played against Dominguez Monday, winning 54-14, but then lost against Las Vegas High School on Tuesday by only one point with a final score of 40-39. Wednesday night, Juneau-Douglas girls faced off against Mt. Eden High School from California.

On Monday, senior Mariah Schauwecker had 16 points, one rebound, two turnovers and one steal. Senior Skylar Tuckwood had 14 points, three rebounds, one turnover, two assists and two steals. Senior Ashley Laudert had 10 points, five rebounds, three turnovers, one assist and one charge. Junior Mila Hargrave had four points, six rebounds, one assist, three blocked shots and three steals. Freshman Gwen Nizich had four points, three rebounds and one assist. Senior Carlynn Casperson had three points, two rebounds and one assist. Senior Kiyara Miller had two points and two assists, senior Izzy Waters had one point, one rebound and one assist. Junior Rayna Tuckwood had one rebound and junior Chloe Casperson had one rebound and one assist. The girls were 5 for 16 on free throws with Schauwecker at 1-2, S. Tuckwood 1-6, Laudert 0-2, Hargrave 2-2, Miller 0-2 and Waters 1-2.

“This was a good first game to play to work out some bugs and allowed us to apply things we have been working on in practice such as different defensive situations. They had height and were an aggressive team and we adapted well. We all worked well together and everyone was looking for scoring opportunities. Skylar, Mariah, and Ashley were our lead scorers and really stepped up,” said head coach Tanya Nizich.

For Tuesday’s game, Gwen Nizich had 10 points, three rebounds, six turnovers, and went 2-4 on free throws. Hargrave had eight points, seven rebounds, one turnover, one steal and five blocked shots, going 0-2 on free throws. Skylar Tuckwood had seven points, nine rebounds, one turnover, three assists, three steals and went 2-2 on free throws. Schauwecker had six points, seven rebounds, three turnovers and two steals. Laudert had six points, five rebounds, one assist, and went 2-8 on free throws. Miller had two points, two rebounds and one assist. Rayna Tuckwood had one rebound while Waters and Chloe Casperson each had one assist.

“We rebounded well against the Las Vegas team,” Tanya Nizich said. “Skylar, Ashley and Mila really helped control the boards to keep us in the game. Unfortunately we struggled with free throws. The main focus on tonight’s (Wednesday) game and every game from here on out is to rebound and push the ball and attack the basket. We have a fast group and need to utilize that to our full potential.”

Wednesday games were slated to take place after the deadline.

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

JDHS girls basketball team poses for a team photo as they join the JDHS boys team in Las Vegas to compete in the Tarkanian Classic tournament which wraps up at the end of the week. (Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich)

JDHS girls basketball team poses for a team photo as they join the JDHS boys team in Las Vegas to compete in the Tarkanian Classic tournament which wraps up at the end of the week. (Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich)

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