Thunder Mountain’s Khaye Garcia, left, and Juneau-Douglas’ Sadie Tuckwood chase down a loose ball at JDHS on Friday, March 3, 2018. JDHS won 53-33. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Thunder Mountain’s Khaye Garcia, left, and Juneau-Douglas’ Sadie Tuckwood chase down a loose ball at JDHS on Friday, March 3, 2018. JDHS won 53-33. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Falcons look to defend homecourt, and JDHS’ Pusich

TMHS girls host Juneau-Douglas Friday and Saturday night

Here’s a look at all three Juneau basketball series this weekend.

TMHS girls (7-10, 0-2 Southeast) vs. JDHS (9-3, 2-0 Southeast), 6:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, TMHS

Thunder Mountain spoiled its crosstown competition’s senior night the last time these teams played in Juneau.

Now, 11 months removed from that exhilarating win, the Falcons are hoping the Crimson Bears don’t repay the favor. Thunder Mountain will be recognizing two seniors before their game on Saturday.

“We’re hoping that they’re not out for revenge on that one,” TMHS coach Chandler Christensen.

It will be the neighboring teams’ first meeting of the season. The Falcons and Crimson Bears’ respective seasons will continue to intersect over the Kia Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout (Feb. 6-9), a second crosstown series at JDHS (March 1-2) and Region V Basketball Tournament in Sitka (March 5-6).

Thunder Mountain has lost nine of its past 10 games, including three straight. There is a silver lining to half of those defeats though. The past five losses on the road against Wasilla, Bartlett and Barrow and at home against Ketchikan have been decided an average of nine points. While their game against Wasilla (the 2018 state runner-up) on Jan. 16 ended 49-32, the Falcons only trailed by two points at halftime.

Christensen wants her girls to start winning the third quarter.

“We start the game with a lot of intensity and we’re playing good, and then third quarter comes around and that’s usually when we die out,” Christensen said. “We’re trying to figure out ways to combat that and get them back in the game. But at this point in the season, with our last home games, it’s senior night (on Saturday), it’s JD, they’ve gotta have a little fire in their stomachs to get them going.”

Strong defense on JDHS senior Caitlin Pusich will be a focus. The senior’s shot-making has been the bane of Thunder Mountain for some time, including last year’s regional tournament, when two late go-ahead baskets ended the Falcons’ tournament and season. That March 8, 2018, game, which JDHS took 44-40, was the last time these teams played each other.

“She can shoot from anywhere, so you always have to have a hand up in her face,” TMHS guard Charlee Lewis said.

JDHS coach Steve Potter expects starting point guard Alyxn Bohulano back in the lineup. The senior guard sustained a concussion late in the Crimson Bears’ 50-44 win against Ketchikan last month.

JDHS has kept its opponents under 45 points in all but three games this season.

“We’re a little bit deeper than we’ve been in the past and so it gives us the opportunity to be more aggressive on the defensive end for longer periods of time,” Potter said. “I think that we’re doing a good job of understanding that we expect everyone to play hard all the time.”

TMHS boys vs. Service, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, TMHS

Thunder Mountain opens a seven-game homestand on Friday night. Thunder Mountain’s past two home games didn’t go so smoothly. The Falcons, who twice fell to Colony by double digits, should have an easier go against the Cougars. Service is on a four-game skid and near the bottom of the Cook Inlet Conference standings.

JDHS boys at Kayhi, 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium

JDHS and Ketchikan split their first two games of the season. JDHS won the first night 75-67 before losing 65-32 the next night.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


Thunder Mountain’s Tasi Fenumiai, right, shoots against Juneau-Douglas’ Chloe McAdams, left, and Caitlin Pusich at JDHS on Friday, March 3, 2018. JDHS won 53-33. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Thunder Mountain’s Tasi Fenumiai, right, shoots against Juneau-Douglas’ Chloe McAdams, left, and Caitlin Pusich at JDHS on Friday, March 3, 2018. JDHS won 53-33. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Thunder Mountain’s Kira Frommherz shoots over Juneau-Douglas players at JDHS on Friday, March 3, 2018. JDHS won 53-33. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Thunder Mountain’s Kira Frommherz shoots over Juneau-Douglas players at JDHS on Friday, March 3, 2018. JDHS won 53-33. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

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