Juneau-Douglas's Erica Hurtte lays it up against Thunder Mountain's Cyrene Uddipa during their game Friday night at JDHS. Juneau-Douglas won 46-36.

Juneau-Douglas's Erica Hurtte lays it up against Thunder Mountain's Cyrene Uddipa during their game Friday night at JDHS. Juneau-Douglas won 46-36.

Crimson Bears girls pull off double OT win over Falcons

In a double overtime game against their crosstown rivals Saturday, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team once again came out on top against Thunder Mountain High School.

Playing at home on senior night, the Crimson Bears found themselves in another gridlock with their conference rivals from the valley, and came out on top 52-48.

Juneau basketball fans have come to expect lead changes, physical play and last second heroics from these games, and Saturday’s match did not disappoint. The scoring advantage switched nine times, and TMHS senior guard Siniva Maka hit a 3-pointer with just 4.8 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 41-41.

Maka, Thunder Mountain’s best perimeter shooter, knew the ball was coming to her.

“She (coach Tanya Nizich) told me to hit a three,” Maka said. “I wanted to shoot it. That’s the first thing that came to my head.”

The shot forced overtime, which turned into a free throw shooting battle. JDHS freshman Erica Hurtte played a key role in extra time, forcing turnovers and hitting a free throw at the end of both overtimes.

JDHS senior Kallen Hoover led her team with 14 points. Hoover feels this season’s wins over Thunder Mountain served as validation.

“We haven’t beat Thunder in a while so each of these wins this year have been monumental and meant a lot for us,” she said.

Following Hoover’s lead was freshman Alexyn Bohulano with 12, senior Cristina Arehart with 10 and senior Tona Fogg with seven.

TMHS senior Ava Tompkins led all scorers with 15 points, surpassing 1,000 career points this weekend. Tomkins was followed by junior Alondra Echiverri with 12, and Maka with 11.


Senior night sentiments

The Crimson Bears girls graduate five seniors this year: Toma Kimlinger, Carrie Bennett, Cristina Arehart, Kallen Hoover, and Tona Fogg. The Empire caught up with Arehart, Hoover, and Fogg after Saturday’s match to get their thoughts on the “bittersweet” joy of playing their last home game.

“It’s been such a great season, we have such great chemistry,” Hoover said. “We just love each other so much.”

Said Fogg: “It’s been something solid in my life. When everything else goes bad, basketball is always there. We have amazing teammates and coaches, it’s really just this loving place.”

The girls have been playing together since childhood, something they wouldn’t have been able to do without the help of family, coaches and teammates.

“I’d like to thank all of my coaches over the years: Mary Reifield, coach Knight — she’s the big one. I’d like to thank my coaches and family,” Fogg said.

Said Hoover: “I’m thankful that my mom came back to coach. It’s meant a lot to me to have her at practice every day. I think her passion for basketball translates through all of us. I don’t think we came in loving basketball; I think she taught us to love it.”

Said Arehart: “I’d like to thank Joe Tompkins. Since I started playing basketball he’s always been there on the sidelines with constructive criticism.”

Friday’s game: JDHS 46, TMHS 36

At home on Friday, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team took down Thunder Mountain High School in the fourth meeting between the two teams this year.

JDHS defeated Thunder Mountain 46-36, winning by a margin that surpasses the combined gap of all three of their wins over the Falcons this season.

The Crimson Bears overcame an eight-point first half deficit by outscoring the Falcons 30-12 in the final two periods. JDHS drove their way to the free-throw line and employed a persistent team defense in the third and fourth to spur the comeback.

Juneau Douglas distributed the scoring evenly, with nine players making the scorebook. JDHS was led by freshman Erica Hurtte with 10 points, followed by freshman Alyxn Bohulano with nine, senior Tona Fogg with eight, and senior Kallen Hoover with six.

Falcons senior Ava Tompkins had a big night, scoring a game-high 17 points, but it wouldn’t be enough to hold the Crimson Bears at bay. Tompkins was followed in scoring by junior Alondra Echiverri with six, freshman Cyrene Uddipa with five and freshman Nina Fenumiai with four.

The game started in Thunder Mountain’s favor, with Ava Tompkins scoring in bunches to lead her team to a 17-7 first quarter lead. JDHS then slowed the game down by sending Tompkins to the line repeatedly in the second, allowing them to whittle a 10-point lead to eight before halftime.

The Crimson Bears came out of the locker room with a renewed intensity on offense, looking to drive the basket and get Thunder Mountain in foul trouble. JDHS got into the bonus early in the second half, as Thunder Mountain’s Tompkins, Fenumiai and senior Siniva Maka all fouled out. The Crimson Bears took advantage of their free throws down the stretch, going an impressive 18-23 from the line in the second half.