Meki Toutaoilepo rises up for a shot against Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Thunder Mountain High School won makes against MEHS on Wednesday and Thursday. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)

Meki Toutaoilepo rises up for a shot against Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Thunder Mountain High School won makes against MEHS on Wednesday and Thursday. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)

Juneau hoops teams notch six wins in stuffed week

JDHS boys, girls and TMHS boys all notch victories.

The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team improved its record to .500 with a pair of mid-week victories over Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

The Falcons, who now sit at 3-3, prevailed 61-57 on Wednesday and bested Mt. Edgecumbe 61-52 on Thursday. TMHS boys coach John Blasco said both games were tightly contested.

“Edgecumbe never quits, and they battled,” Blasco said, noting that a double-digit TMHS advantage in the Thursday night game was whittled down to just two scores near the end of the fourth quarter. “Edgecumbe never lets up. They competed. We got complacent and didn’t understand how to close out a game properly. It’s all part of learning as a young team.”

Thomas Baxter paced Thunder Mountain in scoring more than 20 points both nights. Baxter scored 25 Wednesday night and 22 on Thursday night.

Mason Ivanoff led MEHS in scoring Thursday with 18 points and contributed 16 points in Wednesday’s narrow loss.

Thunder Mountain will chase the two-game tilt against Mt. Edgecumbe with a pair of games Friday night and Saturday afternoon home games against Sitka High School.

The four games in barely more than three days are part of oddball scheduling caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes on the heels of a basketball-free lull for the Falcons following postponements.

“It’s a wild and rapid pace right now, but it’s just great for these kids to be competing, and thankfully our communities are in a safe place where we can get these games in,” Blasco said.

JDHS boys continue winning ways

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys are in the middle of their own four-game stretch and will play Mt. Edgecumbe Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

The Crimson Bears picked up victories over Sitka High School on Wednesday and Thursday by scores of 67-54 and a 77-46. That improves the team’s record to 10-0.

“We’ve had a pretty balanced attack in the last few games, which had been nice,” said JDHS coach Robert Casperson.

He said he’s sure a lot of teams would like to be able to focus on shutting down Cooper Kriegmont who tallied 19 points on Wednesday night, but Garrett Bryant, L.J. Elizarde and Brock McCormick make for a multi-pronged scoring attack.

Casperson praised Elizarde’s effort on the defensive end, too.

This is JDHS’s second four-game week in a row.

“It’s eight games in 11 days for us, too, against these same opponents,” Casperson said.

The Crimson Bears’ so-far unblemished record can fuel the competitive fires in other teams, but Casperson said the team and its seniors remain focused on making the most of an unpredictable season.

“We’re really focused on making sure we’re excited for the games,” Casperson said. “And we’re ready to compete, and kind of flip the script, and make sure they’re getting our best shot every night.

“They’re really getting after it, and it’s been a fun thing to be a part of,” he added.

Friday night’s game will be senior night for JDHS, and in a departure from typical pandemic restrictions, parents will be allowed in the gym.

“It’s going to be a welcomed addition.”

JDHS girls

The JDHS girls added two victories of their own this week and now sit at 5-3.

They defeated Mt. Edgecumbe High School in a pair of mid-week away games. JDHS won 69-27 on Wednesday and 55-46 on Thursday.

“I thought we were definitely really excited to be traveling,” said JDHS girls basketball coach Steve Potter in a phone interview. “We played with a lot of energy the first night here. We were much more sluggish the second night. We were still able to pull out the win, but we didn’t play nearly as well.”

The Wednesday night game saw two JDHS players score career highs. Jenae Pusich poured in 23 points and Kiana Potter added 17.

Potter said JDHS was always in control in the second game, but just couldn’t put Mt. Edgecumbe away.

Next up for the JDHS girls are Friday and Saturday night games against Sitka High School.

The two teams split two games last week, and Potter said tough contests are expected.

The two teams will play again soon. Mt. Edgecumbe will travel to Juneau for a pair of games on Wednesday and Thursday, and Potter said JDHS is scheduled to leave Friday morning for games in Ketchikan.

No games played

The TMHS Lady Falcons had the week off with games against Ketchikan High School scrapped due to COVID-19 concerns.

TMHS girls basketball coach Andy Lee said his team is rolling with the punches as best as it is able.

“We made a commitment very early on before the first game that we would be prepared for whatever adversity comes our way,” Lee said. “They’ve held to that commitment.”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt
Thomas Baxter paced Thunder Mountain High School in scoring in pair of victories against Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Baxter scored more than 20 points in each game.

Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt Thomas Baxter paced Thunder Mountain High School in scoring in pair of victories against Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Baxter scored more than 20 points in each game.

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