Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys and girls basketball teams took it to Thunder Mountain High School as they won games Friday and Saturday night against their cross-town rival.
The games come before both JDHS and TMHS will play a crowded slate of games against regional schools such as Sitka, Ketchikan and Mt. Edgecumbe, with some away and some home games.
“This is going to be a tough stretch. It’s eight games in 14-15 days,” said THMS girls basketball coach Andy Lee in a phone interview. “What we want to do is come out of this with more momentum and better execution.”
JDHS boys basketball coach Rob Casperson thanked fans for their dedication in watching the game streaming this year.
“I know this is a completely different time for fans,” Casperson said. “We appreciate the fans are finding whatever way they can to watch the games and support the teams.”
The JDHS girls won 41-36 on Friday and 44-41 on Saturday in a pair of close games.
“I think last year we achieved that competitive benchmark. I think this group is beyond moral victories,” Lee said. “We want to go out and compete with the best. We’re satisfied with the effort but not with the outcome.”
JDHS girls Coach Steve Potter noted the teams swapped scoring streaks during the close games.
“We won a couple of pretty close games. Both games, we would go on a run and they would go on a run,” Potter said in a phone interview. “I think that everyone in the region is pretty close. It probably is not even a matter who plays better that night, it’s who plays better last.”
TMHS had solid showings by Mariah Tunavasa, Sam Dilley, and Sydney Strong, among others, Lee said. Avery Kreischer also put in a consistently solid performance.
“Kreischer’s like our Swiss Army knife on offense,” Lee said. “We need a rebound, she gets a rebound. We need a steal, she gets a steal.”
Good shooting helped carry JDHS on Saturday, Potter said.
“We shot the ball Saturday better than we have been shooting,” Potter said. “Trinity (Jackson) and Skylar (Tuckwood) both had a pair of threes. To have five in one game is certainly helpful.”
The JDHS varsity boys won 74-53 on Friday and 78-54 on Saturday.
“The first and foremost, the guys competed,” said TMHS boys coach John Blasco in a phone interview. “The game Friday night was competitive and they (JDHS) blew it open in the fourth quarter. J-D has got a strong team.”
TMHS, which will play Mt. Edgecumbe High School this weekend at home, had strong showing from some individual players this weekend.
“Oliver Mendoza had a couple nice games. I think Friday, he lead us with 14 points,” said Blasco. “Lance Nierra, who’s a freshman, had his first varsity game Friday, had nine points and three assists. That’s something positive when you look at what we’re trying to build going forward.”
Casperson said these games were competitive, and the team is heading the right way, adapting and getting to where they need to be.
“I like the direction our defense is heading in. We made some adjustments from our first weekend. We’re playing our defense more consistently,” Casperson said in a phone interview. “I think we’re gonna get there. I think it’s pretty encouraging where we are considering the turbo start to the season.”
JDHS had solid performances from Cooper Kriegmont, Brock McCormick, Malaki Nichols, Lope Elizarde, and Garret Bryant, Casperson said.
“They certainly believe we can get better,” Casperson said. “If they thought we were a finished product right now, I’d be pretty concerned for where their heads are. But they approach it the right way and they come ready to practice.”