Erlyn Penalosa of the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls varsity basketball team advances downcourt during practice on Dec. 14, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Erlyn Penalosa of the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls varsity basketball team advances downcourt during practice on Dec. 14, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS girls basketball team starting season swinging

A junior- and senior-heavy roster make for a formidable team.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls basketball team will begin its season this weekend with a tournament in Kenai, while other members of the team go to Haines to play.

It’s been about five years since the girl’s team last went to Kenai, said Coach Steve Potter.

“It’s good to be back in the gym. There’s a lot of high energy with the girls,” Potter said in an interview. “They’re excited to play Kenai this week.”

[JDHS boys basketball gets ready to hit the road]

The first tournament will give players someone to measure themselves against, Potter said.

“Getting out to play somebody else will be good. We have no idea where we are until we play,” Potter said. “They’re excited to play someone else besides their teammates.”

Returning juniors and seniors bring a lot of on-court experience to the team, Potter said.

“They’ve played before,” Potter said. “They’ve all been playing basketball.”

The team’s focusing on the foundationals at this stage of the season, Potter said; refinement will come with games.

“We’re trying to make sure we defend. I think we’re going to be better offensively,” Potter said. “We’re going to keep improving in both areas.”

Players are excited to compete in Kenai, which isn’t a regular stop on the circuit for JDHS, Potter said.

“I think they’re excited to travel. I don’t know that some of them have ever been to Kenai before,” Potter said. “Kenai is not a place we regularly travel to.”

Beyond that, the JDHS girls are scheduled to play in a tournament in Fairbanks in January.

“That’s a pretty big trip for us. They regularly have a pretty darn good tournament,” Potter said. “We’re excited to get out there and play.”

The girls team will also play in the Capital City Classic, which starts Dec. 27.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

Coach Steve Potter of the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls varsity basketball team talks to players during practice on Dec. 14, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Coach Steve Potter of the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls varsity basketball team talks to players during practice on Dec. 14, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)