The Thunder Mountain High School varsity boys beat Sitka in an away game on Feb. 19, 2021. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

The Thunder Mountain High School varsity boys beat Sitka in an away game on Feb. 19, 2021. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

Juneau basketball teams have solid weekend of games, home and away

JDHS boys continue their undefeated streak, now 12-0

The varsity and junior varsity boys basketball players of Juneau-Douglas High School Yadaa.at Kalé continued their winning ways, beating Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka high schools to go 12-0 so far this season.

“We’re doing things that are helping us be successful in games,” said coach Robert Casperson in a phone interview. “What I’m really enjoying is how much of our offense is being created off of our defense. We’re disrupting the other team with steals and deflections and turning them into points.”

Thunder Mountain High School’s varsity boys also put up wins against Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka at home.

“It was a good four-game series for us especially after such a long break,” said TMHS boys coach John Blasco in a phone interview. “It was good to be back in the gym. The guys played well together. This young group is starting to play well together.”

The JDHS girls had a rockier weekend, winning both games against Mt. Edgecumbe but losing against Sitka in a pair of tight games.

“We just played Mt. Edgecumbe twice, and one of those games was by far our best effort of the year,” said coach Steve Potter in a phone interview. “We ran into our problem of having trouble scoring early in our games against Sitka. We were not very effective.”

The TMHS girls team’s games against Ketchikan were canceled due to Ketchikan’s high coronavirus risk level. The team is ready to get back in gear, said coach Andy Lee in a phone interview.

“After a week without games, we’re eager to play. We’d play our grandmothers if we could,” Lee said. “We like to play and have that edge. Our practices are really competitive. We challenge each other in practice and I hope that’ll carry over to the game.”

The Thunder Mountain High School varsity boys beat Sitka in an away game on Feb. 19, 2021 in a 4-0 weekend. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

The Thunder Mountain High School varsity boys beat Sitka in an away game on Feb. 19, 2021 in a 4-0 weekend. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

An industrious midseason

The JDHS varsity boys are led by consistently performing players and good teamwide grasp on turning effective defense into scores, Casperson said.

“We’re able to knock the ball away and disrupt their offensive flow. If it doesn’t turn into a steal we can panic the opponents and make them play they don’t want to,” Casperson said. “One of things we talked about is, we are as good as our defense.”

Leading JDHS performers Cooper Kriegmont, Lope Elizarde, Brock McCormick and Garret Bryant were joined by freshman Sean Oliver during one of the games against Sitka when Oliver scored 12 points. Efficient performance led to Oliver’s double-figure score, which is difficult to achieve with the limited playing time the freshman usually has, Casperson said.

The JDHS boys are scheduled to go against Ketchikan this weekend if the city’s risk level will allow it, Casperson said.

The THMS boys will play their first out-of-town games this weekend, Blasco said, playing Mt. Edgecumbe this Wednesday and Thursday and Sitka Friday and Saturday.

The JDHS girls will face off against Mt. Edgecumbe Wednesday and Thursday to wrap up their regular season games, Potter said.

“We need to make more shots,” Potter said. “I think that we’re frustrated that we’re not scoring more. But I think that we’ve certainly shown that we can play hard on the defensive end for longer than we thought we could.”

The TMHS girls will square up with Mt. Edgecumbe once JDHS has had their shot, Lee said. Their senior night is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27.

“We want to play basketball and Mt. Edgecumbe brings so much energy and pressure and it’s a constant test for us,” Lee said. “They’re well coached and they seem to have an endless stream of athletes to run at you.”

Senior night for the JDHS girls and TMHS boys is scheduled for March 6.

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

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