JDHS girls basketball team poses for group photo during their four-game road trip in Anchorage. The Crimson Bears played one solo game against Service High School with the remaining three games being part of the Dimond Tournament against Lathrop, Colony and Dimond High Schools. (Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich)

JDHS girls basketball team poses for group photo during their four-game road trip in Anchorage. The Crimson Bears played one solo game against Service High School with the remaining three games being part of the Dimond Tournament against Lathrop, Colony and Dimond High Schools. (Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich)

JDHS girls basketball goes 3-1 at Dimond Tournament

Crimson Bears beat Service High School in pre-tourny game.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls basketball team returned home after a four-game road trip in Anchorage where they placed third in the eight-team Dimond Tournament. JDHS was able to walk away with three wins against Service, Lathrop and Dimond High Schools and one loss against Colony High School, putting JDHS’ current record at 12-4 and 2-0 in conference.

Senior Kiyara Miller said this most recent trip was great for the team in terms of continuing to work as a unit on defense.

“We talked a lot, had great help side rotations, and stopped teams from scoring easy buckets for the most part,” Miller said. “Moving forward we need to keep pushing ourselves and our teammates in our upcoming practices. “

Freshman Gwen Nizich added: “This past road trip gave us the opportunity to come together and play as a cohesive team. We were utilizing each player’s strengths and adjusting to the teams we faced.”

To get things started, the Crimson Bears first faced off against Service High School on Wednesday night as a solo game before entering into the tournament. JDHS led handily at the end of each quarter on its way to a 74-13 win. Senior Ashley Laudert led in scoring with a total of 16 points. Laudert said much of the team’s success came down to not just personal confidence but confidence in teammates through trusting one another throughout the entire game.

“We know that we have to push ourselves and our teammates in order for us to get better,” Laudert said. “For myself I am trying to play as confidently as I can and try to prove to myself that I deserve to be where I am.”

On Thursday, JDHS squared off against Lathrop High School, and once again were able to keep a healthy lead from quarter to quarter with a final score of 41-36. Senior Skylar Tuckwood led her team in points with a total of 15 while also earning the Player of the Game award. Tuckwood echoed much of her teammates remarks regarding defense and said it was the area in which they best improved upon during the tournament.

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich 
JDHS senior Skylar Tuckwood, seen here, after earning the Player of the Game award against Lathrop High School on Thursday. Tuckwood also led her team in overall points for a total of 15.

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich JDHS senior Skylar Tuckwood, seen here, after earning the Player of the Game award against Lathrop High School on Thursday. Tuckwood also led her team in overall points for a total of 15.

“Our rotations were much better and we talked a lot more than usual,” Tuckwood said. “But also just playing together, we were all trying to contribute and looking for our teammates all the time.”

Friday’s game is where JDHS ran into some trouble against Colony High School and lost 52-34. Junior Mila Hargrave led with 11 points and also earned Player of the Game. Hargrave said that despite the loss against Colony, from her perspective, she saw the team’s communication improve, which only led to more aggressive gameplay throughout the tournament.

“As a team the more we talked the more we played together which led to better outcomes,” Hargrave said. “There were a lot of good players in this tournament and I think that challenged us and made us more aggressive offensively and defensively.”

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich 
JDHS junior Mila Hargrave, right, stands for a photo after Friday’s game against Colony High School where Hargrave earned Player of the Game while leading her team in points for a total of 11.

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich JDHS junior Mila Hargrave, right, stands for a photo after Friday’s game against Colony High School where Hargrave earned Player of the Game while leading her team in points for a total of 11.

Finally, in Saturday’s game against Dimond, JDHS regained its composure by maintaining a double-digit lead within each quarter and ended its final game of the tournament at 56-43. Tuckwood once again led in scores for the Crimson Bears with a total of 17 points while Nizich earned Player of the Game. Additionally, Tuckwood earned all-tournament honors, as well.

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich 
JDHS freshman Gwen Nizich, left, poses after earning Player of the Game on Saturday against Dimond High School.

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich JDHS freshman Gwen Nizich, left, poses after earning Player of the Game on Saturday against Dimond High School.

JDHS head coach Tanya Nizich said the team was able to play against and watch some of the top-ranked teams in the state, which only goes to improve the team’s performance moving forward.

“Overall, we were happy with our performance but there is always room for improvement each and every day,” Nizich said. “Our communication and defense was key in these games. Defenders don’t always get recognized, but Kiyara is a major factor for our team’s success. She is not only quick and solid on defense but is always talking to her teammates in games and practices pushing us to get better.”

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich 
JDHS senior Skylar Tuckwood (middle) earns all-tournament honors on Saturday at the conclusion of the Dimond Tournament in Anchorage.

Courtesy Photo / Tanya Nizich JDHS senior Skylar Tuckwood (middle) earns all-tournament honors on Saturday at the conclusion of the Dimond Tournament in Anchorage.

Next up, the Crimson Bears will play against Mt. Edgecumbe High School at home this weekend before heading into conference games against Thunder Mountain High School on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at JDHS and Tuesday, Feb. 21 at TMHS, both games at 7:15 p.m.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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