Juneau-Douglas High School’s bid to end Ketchikan’s regional girls basketball supremacy fell short on Friday at the B.J. McGillis Gymnasium at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.
Ashley Huffine scored 20 points and the Lady Kings defeated the Crimson Bears 47-43 for their sixth-consecutive Region V Class 4A championship.
Senior Caitlin Pusich scored 16 points for JDHS, who suffered a heartbreaking loss two days earlier to the Lady Kings. Sadie Tuckwood scored 13 points and Jenae Pusich added six points.
“They deserved to win the game at the end,” JDHS coach Steve Potter said. “They played better and they were able to move the ball and get what they wanted on offense and we struggled to do that. Even with our struggles and their success, it was in doubt up until the last second.”
Jenae Rhoads added 10 points and Madison Rose scored eight points in the win.
JDHS took three out of the four games with Ketchikan during the season, but was less rested than Ketchikan entering Friday. The Crimson Bears played Thunder Mountain on Thursday in the loser’s bracket.
“It feels so good,” Huffine said. “We said coming into this (tournament) we were the underdogs and no one really thought we really had a chance but just kept working. We figured out a way to do it and it felt really good.”
Huffine sparked an 11-3 run to start the second half. The senior guard sliced through the Crimson Bears defense and banked the ball off the glass two minutes into the third quarter. Dyllan Borer, Rose, Guevarra and Rhoads all followed with baskets that pushed Kayhi ahead 30-26.
Caitlin Pusich’s 3-pointer brought JDHS within 31-29 before Huffine went right back to work. The shooting guard lined up her third 3-pointer of the game for the 34-29 lead after the third quarter.
Huffine continued to thwart the Crimson Bears’ comeback attempts in the fourth quarter.
Alyxn Bohulano’s fastbreak layup brought JDHS within 37-36 midway through the final frame. But Huffine countered with another 3-pointer, and Kayhi remained ahead by three or more points the rest of the game.
The Wrangell Wolves and Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves were also victorious in their respective championship games. Both games were decided in the final seconds. Wrangell defeated Metlakata 41-39 in the 2A championship after Wolves player Kaylyn Easterly scored the game-winning shot with about 10 seconds left.
Mt. Edgecumbe’s Faith Kamerof was the hero for her team. Kamerof’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer lifted the Lady Braves to a 49-48 win over Sitka in the 3A championship.
KAYHI 11 9 14 13 — 47: Huffine 20, Rhoads 10, Rose 8, Guevarra 7, Borer 2.
JDHS 17 6 6 14 — 43: C. Pusich 16, Tuckwood 13, J. Pusich 6, Bohulano 5, Potter 3.
Region V Basketball Tournament girls scores
Ketchikan 39, Thunder Mountain 30
Petersburg 67, Haines 45
Ketchikan 52, Juneau-Douglas 51
Metlakatla 41, Craig 36
Juneau-Douglas 60, Thunder Mountain 38
Wrangell 49, Petersburg 34
Craig 50, Haines 21
Mt. Edgecumbe 40, Sitka 39
Petersburg 51, Craig 22
Ketchikan 47, Juneau-Douglas 43 (4A championship)
Wrangell 41, Metlakatla 39 (2A championship)
Mt. Edgecumbe 49, Sitka 48 (3A championship)
Metlakatla vs. Craig (2A second-place)
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.