It was another tale of win some, lose some for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls basketball team as they faced off against Ketchikan High School Friday and Saturday night for a pair of conference games at home.
Friday night would go to the Lady Kings as JDHS lost 47-31. Senior Skylar Tuckwood led in scoring with 19 points, junior Mila Hargrave had 5 points, senior Ashley Laudert had 4 points and senior Kiyara Miller finished with 2 points.
Coach Tanya Nizich said on Friday that the team was definitely in a “little bit of a slump period,” but was confident that each player on the team shows up every game ready to win.
“We’re just kind of missing a little bit of contributions from everybody. We’re missing a little bit of fire and we need to get that back,” Nizich said. “We started off hot this season and we need to play like we know how to play. For whatever reason, it’s been difficult to get back into that groove that we know we can be in.”
The Crimson Bears managed to find that missing fire by Saturday’s game as they came back to win against Ketchikan 43-29, maintaining a lead in all four quarters. This time it was Hargrave who led the way in scoring with 13 points, Tuckwood with 11, Laudert had 9, junior Chloe Casperson had 5, senior Carlynn Casperson had a 3-point shot in the third quarter, and Miller finished with 2 points.
While the Bears were motivated from the prior night’s loss, Nizich said it wasn’t just one loss that fueled the team to victory, but rather a “building up” of the last few games, both individually and as a team, that the girls just weren’t satisfied with.
“They came out tonight doing what they should normally be doing in every game,” Nizich said. “It looked really good, it looked really strong and there’s no rhyme or reason why we can’t play with that level of intensity every game.”
Laudert, who had an especially physical game with more points and rebounds than usual, said the path to improvement starts with having more confidence in both each other and themselves.
“I think it was just more of telling myself that I am good,” Laudert said. “I’ve been struggling with confidence this year, especially since losing a lot of our main players last year, I’ve just been struggling with some confidence issues, and tonight I just said, ‘You know what, if I miss, I miss.’ So, my confidence issue kind of disappeared a little bit, I didn’t care about it as much and just told myself to go for it. We’re just excited to get out of our little rut right now, this is how we should be playing every game, so our other games really shouldn’t be any different from what tonight was, we just finally got back into our groove.”
The Crimson Bears girls now have a 14-8 record overall with a 3-3 conference record. Next, they play at Thunder Mountain High School Tuesday and Wednesday at home, both games scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
Nizich said the key to the next two games is showing up with the same level of intensity from Saturday’s game.
“We have a lot of seniors on our team so literally the saying of, ‘play every game like it’s your last game,’ that’s very true, so even though we have regions, these are our last regular season games,” Nizich said. “We needed something to boost our confidence a little bit going into these next games and I think they got the job done with Saturday’s win.”
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.