The Juneau Empire’s expanded coverage of the Juneau Lions Club 74th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament is made possible by Sealaska Corp. Thanks to this sponsorship, this article —and all of this year’s Gold Medal coverage — is available online without a subscription to the Empire.
An earlier version incorrectly attributed a quote to Shaye Jensen. It was said by Lexi Smith, this article has been updated to correct the attribution.
If you want to know how to pass, screen, rebound, defend and score, the clinic started Tuesday at 6 p.m. as Prince of Wales defeated Sitka 82-24.in the Women’s Bracket of the 74th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé gymnasium.
Prince of Wales put 53 points on the scoreboard in the first half, including nine from past the arch. Five of the 3-point shots came from Cassi Williams.
“I’ve only been that hot in high school pretty much,” Williams said of the shooting display.
Williams, who tallied a game high 26 points, played for Klawock in 2009-2013 and for the University of Alaska Fairbanks 2013-2019.
“It definitely relieves a little bit of our stress to get points on the board early,” Williams said. “Great passing by the teammates to get open.”
Using a tough defense across the court Prince of Wales led 30-5 after the first 10 minutes of action. Running time was implemented at the start of the second quarter and Sitka was limited to just 11 first half points.
“Just talking and switching when there were screens,” Michaela Demmert said. “And just making sure we hedge and cut somebody off. Mainly just communication on defense. We definitely wanted to make sure we build our chemistry, I thought we did pretty good on that.”
Kenai Holen added 15 points for Prince of Wales, Lillian Borromeo and Nani Weimer nine apiece, Molly Sharp and Demmert seven apiece, Elizabeth Isaacs and Tina Steffan four apiece.
Prince of Wales hit 4-6 at the free throw line, Sitka 6-11.
Breanne Erickson led Sitka with 11 points, Lexi Smith added eight, Shaye Jensen three and Starr Jensen two.
“We tried,” Smith said. “Just have to keep playing as a team. We came as a team. We can do what we can, play some ball and have some fun. It was slightly painful, but it was fun.”
Prince of Wales advances to Thursday’s 4:30 p.m. semifinal against Yakutat, while Sitka plays an elimination game at 2 p.m. Wednesday against Kake.
Prince of Wales is pursuing their sixth Women’s Bracket title, the last championship was in 2005.
Sitka is pursuing their first Women’s Bracket title. The town has 15 Gold Medal championships, the last in 2000 in the, then, A Bracket.