JDHS boys b-ball team travels to Las Vegas

JDHS boys b-ball team travels to Las Vegas

Crimson Bears to play against Utah squad Wednesday

It’s not often Alaska and Utah high school basketball teams get to play one another.

But that’s what will take place for the second time in three years Wednesday in Las Vegas. The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé boys team plays Timpanogos High School of Orem, Utah, at the Tarkanian Classic, one of the largest high school tournaments in the country. The tournament will feature 10 different brackets going at once.

At JDHS’ first Tarkanian appearance two years ago, one of their two losses came against Layton Christian, a private high school about an hour north of Timpanogos.

“We love the atmosphere and the environment of this tournament and the games that it provides for us,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said by phone Tuesday. “We’re able to get four high-quality opponents out-of-state that essentially give us a great measuring stick for where we are in the season.”

[2019-20 Basketball Preview: Upperclassmen talent galore for Juneau teams]

JDHS and Timpanogos play at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Desert Oasis High School in the Premier Bracket. There will be seven other Premier Bracket first-round games earlier in the day featuring teams from Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Oregon and the Bahamas.

“We watched some film from them this year, and they play really hard and they go after the boards with reckless abandon,” Casperson said of Timpanogos.

Win or lose Wednesday, the Crimson Bears’ tournament will continue with additional games Thursday, Friday and Saturday. JDHS played all Las Vegas teams at last year’s tournament, losing their first three contests before mustering a 61-52 win against Valley High School.

JDHS furnished a 2-2 record at the 2017 tournament.

“Our first year, coming down here blind, we were 2-2, last year we were 1-3, but really we lost a game on a buzzer-beater that we should’ve won … so we could have been 2-2 last year,” Casperson said. “So, I feel like if you’re coming out .500, they got you in the right spot. If we were blowing people away, then we’d probably be in too low of a bracket or if we were getting blown away, it might be too high of a bracket.”

The 2017 tournament was the first time the program left the state in three decades, Casperson said.

“We stayed local for a long time and filled our schedule in-state, but I wanted to get these guys out, give them different opportunities, see things that are going on,” Casperson said.

[Nationally known photographer shares advice, his Bob Dylan story and why he’s still drawn to old tech]

Sierra Canyon High School of California will be playing in one of the higher-end brackets. The basketball team this year features LeBron “Bronny” James Jr., the son of NBA star LeBron James, and Zaire Wade, the son of retired NBA great Dwyane Wade.

The Crimson Bears will play the remainder of their 24-game regular season in-state, with 11 games to be played in Juneau. The JDHS boys and girls teams will play in their respective home openers at the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic Dec. 27.

Thunder Mountain High School boys and girls team open their respective seasons next weekend on the road.

The TMHS boys play at the Punahou Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 27-30, and the TMHS girls play at the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan Dec. 27-29.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.

More in Sports

An estimated 185 people, many dressed in unconventional attire for running or walking, take off from the starting line outside Centennial Hall during the Only Fools Run At Night on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau revives its summer solstice spirit with Only Fools Run At Night

Runners and walkers in madcap costumes fill downtown streets as race returns after six-year absence.

Lydia Jacoby, Alaska’s gold-medal swimmer, announced Tuesday she is withdrawing from the U.S. Olympic Trials. (Alaska Sports Report photo)
P.J. Foy does not advance, Lydia Jacoby withdraws from U.S. Olympic swimming trials

First-ever Juneau swimmer to compete in trials finishes 49th among 61 competitors Friday.

Trout Unlimited's Matt Boline holds a container with coho fry for official documentation of anadromous fish use in an unnamed creek in the vicinity of Juneau. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Survey says…

Our floatplane cleared the notch in the snowy ridge then turned slightly… Continue reading

Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)
Alaskans secure spots at 2024 Olympics; Juneau swimmer PJ Foy will try for his spot on Friday

TMHS graduate seeking to qualify in 100-meter butterfly at U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

At least one female wood duck has invented a novel feeding technique. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Wood ducks, redstarts, yellowlegs and flowers

Mid-June, and a few days ago we saw a wood duck with… Continue reading

Competitors in the AlaskAcross 2024 race prepare to depart from Eagle Summit at 10 a.m. on June 8, 2024. From left are Bruno Grunau, Mark Ross, Forest Wagner, Mike Fisher, Sarah Hurkett, Clinton Brown, Tracie Curry and Curtis Henry. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Journey through a sub-Arctic summer night

“You guys are the result of thousands of years of selection,” Fran… Continue reading

Barn swallows firmly attach their nests to walls, so they support the weight of nestlings and visiting adults.  (Photo by Bob Amrstrong)
On the Trails: Spring to summer

Spring temperatures were cool this year, but the lengthening days gave birds… Continue reading

In the spirit of Dolly Parton’s country music roots, race participant Mendenhall River Community School Principal Eric Filardi runs in costume with young Lucy Vogel wearing heart-shaped sunglasses as they enjoy the sunny Saturday weather on the Airport Dike Trail race course. About 85 runners participated, many wearing pearls and pink hats provided at the starting tent. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Busting out the pink and pearls at the first Dolly Dash

Dolly Parton-inspired fun run raises funds for free books for kids.

A cruise ship makes its way through early morning fog last summer. The passengers who have been arriving lately have not been experiencing similar tranquility. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Racing the weather

Daylight is unstoppable this time of year. Not like up in the… Continue reading

Most Read