Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain High School will play their last regular-season games at TMHS this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The crosstown rivalry will include TMHS’ senior night, days before the regional tournament begins Tuesday at JDHS. The J-D girls will be the top-ranked team in that tournament.
“We have already secured the No. 1 seed for regionals, but are not taking these games lightly,” said JDHS coach Steve Potter in an email. “Thunder Mountain has improved quite a bit over the season. We anticipate them to be very aggressive.”
Thunder Mountain’s senior night will be Saturday. There are six seniors on the team, including three seniors who have played on the varsity team for four years.
Those girls are Tasi Fenumiai, Taz Hauck and Kira Frommherz, said TMHS coach Andy Lee.
Other seniors to be recognized are the team’s four-year student administrative assistant Vespasia Whitmore, Chayla Ault and Samantha Wiley.
“Our seniors, we’re really excited to honor them and have them go out on a high note,” Lee said in a phone interview.
He said the team has shown improvement over the season.
“Our goal all year has been to improve game by game,” Lee said. “If that means a win we’ll take it.”
He also said the team is eager to get on the court. The Lady Falcons games scheduled for last week were canceled. That means the TMHS girls will go from no games to a lot of games in short order.
“I don’t think any coach would set up a schedule where you play two rivalry games and two days later you play our most important games of the season,” Lee said.
There have been injuries and illnesses on both sides, including Hauck, who has an injured wrist, and a number of ailments on the JDHS side, but the coaches are confident in fielding decent teams this weekend.
“We do anticipate Kendyl (Carson) returning to play this weekend in a limited fashion,” Potter said. “Yesterday’s practice was our first practice with all the varsity members present in two weeks, so it was nice to see the different options we have with all of our players together. We’ve had girls out due to injury, illness, and a variety of other legitimate unavoidable occurrences.”
Lee echoed the sentiment and said TMHS’ season-long commitment to spreading out playing time to a lot of athletes could soon pay off.
“I think we’ve played 11 players nearly every game, and that’s not just in garbage time or at the end of the game, it’s in crunch time,” Lee said. “That was with this time of the year in mind, so we can get through what could be four, fix, six games in seven to eight days.”