Less than 12 hours after flying from Las Vegas to Juneau after being stranded in Sin City for five days, the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls and boys basketball teams went all in with a pair of victories Wednesday during the first night of the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic.
The JDHS girls took home the win against Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School with a score of 59-10 with each player from the team contributing to the lead — which was a delightful surprise, said head coach Tonya Nizich.
“We came out with some tremendous intensity, and we all seemed really hungry for the ball and looked to score,” she said. “As long as we come out with the same attitude and intensity from last night, I believe that we are a strong team that can be successful this season.”
Nizich said she wasn’t sure how the game on Wednesday would play out as it was East Anchorage’s first game of the season, and they played with a few new players. She said despite JDHS taking home the win Wednesday night, she said the East is “definitely a team to watch out for” this season.
Some of the standout players of the night included senior guard Skylar Tuckwood, who Nizich said showed off a glimpse of her impressive skills during the game with five out of seven shots from the 3-point line scoring points. Nizich said posts Mila Hargrave, a junior, and Ashely Laudert, a senior, also had impressive performances with both taking control of the boards offensively and defensively throughout the game.
Nizich expressed her gratitude to the players of both JDHS teams and the other teams that traveled to compete despite the day delay of the tournament due to travel issues.
“I’m just happy the tournament is happening,” she said. We’re blessed with the team coming to make this tournament happen, it’s great for the community and for us to continue with the tournament despite the travel difficulties.”
The JDHS boys team brought the heat Wednesday night evening, taking home a win against Haines High School with a score of 71-27.
“I was really proud of our guys, all the way through the line up I was very pleased with how focused we were despite the delays and travel and everything else,” said JDHS head coach Robert Casperson.
Casperson said Haine were great competitors throughout the game and expects the team will be tough competition throughout the rest of the tournament. He said some of the standout players of the JDHS boys was junior guard Alwen Carrillo who kept the pressure the entire game and played very well defensively. Casperson said junior guard Sean Oliver also maintained consistent effort and was a focal presence for the team which he said is needed moving forward in the tournament.
“It was a great game and nice crowd last night and it was really nice to be home,” he said. “We love the support from the fans for coming out and this will be a great tournament and couple more nights of great games.”
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.