Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kale’s Kendyl Carson gets around Sitka’s Chloe Morrison in the fourth quarter of a game in the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic at JDHS on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kale’s Kendyl Carson gets around Sitka’s Chloe Morrison in the fourth quarter of a game in the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic at JDHS on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

‘Sky is the limit:’ JDHS girls roll to Classic win

Crimson Bears off to 3-0 start

The Crimson Bears’ offense isn’t a polished product, but it didn’t matter in Monday night’s game at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé.

With senior Kendyl Carson swatting away shots and her teammates creating numerous turnovers, the JDHS girls basketball team coasted past Sitka 52-38 to win the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic.

“Defense is going to be our foundation,” JDHS coach Steve Potter said, “and once our foundation is solid, then we can build on it with an offense.”

JDHS (3-0) won their previous two tournament games by narrower margins: just one point on Friday against West Valley and 11 points Saturday on East Anchorage. The wins were encouraging signs for the revamped Crimson Bears squad with a new head coach, Potter, and two new starters, Carson and freshman Ashley Laudert.

Last year, JDHS lost to West Valley by 26 points, and two years ago lost to East by 31 points.

[Best Juneau sports moments of 2019]

“I expect nothing less for our team, our sky is the limit,” Carson said. “So beating West Valley and East Anchorage — at the beginning of the year it’s not expected, but it’s definitely a goal of ours. We don’t want to lose this year.”

Laudert, Carson and Sadie Tuckwood combined for 38 points in the win. Sophomore Tawny Smith and junior Jocelyn Brady scored nine points apiece for the Lady Wolves, a team of mostly freshmen and sophomores.

Carson had her biggest game of the season on Friday against West Valley. The transfer from Prairie High School in Washington scored 26 points and made the game-tying and go-ahead free throws in the final seconds of the closely-contested game. Carson said the program has a higher ceiling this year than it did her freshman season, her last year playing in Juneau before the move.

“Freshman year, we kind of stayed stagnant, stayed where we were the entire year. I don’t think we ever got better or worse, I think we just stayed flat,” she said. “This year, we’re just looking for improvement after improvement.”

JDHS has missed the state tournament in five of the last six years and last won a Region V 4A Championship in 2013. The Crimson Bears won four straight Region V titles between 2010-2013.

JDHS hosts Colony High School at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Bartlett High School on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s is at 5:30 p.m.

Game recap

JDHS — 11 13 11 17 — 52

Sitka — 6 12 10 10 — 38

JDHS — Carson 14, Tuckwood 14, Laudert 10, Jackson 6, Potter 4, Pusich 4.

Sitka — T. Smith 9, J. Brady 9, Morrison 8, Elefante 6, M. Smith 4, A. Brady 2.

All-Tournament team — Kristi Anderson (East), Ali May (West Valley), Sadie Tuckwood (JDHS), Hadley Blasey (West Valley), Tiffany Elefante (Sitka), Kiana Potter (JDHS), Sheridan Blasey (West Valley). MVP — Kendyl Carson (JDHS).

Capital City Classic — girls scores

Friday — East Anchorage 52, Sitka 46 (OT); JDHS 62, West Valley 61.

Saturday — West Valley 62, Sitka 48; JDHS 52, East Anchorage 41.

Monday — West Valley 68, East Anchorage 49; JDHS 52, Sitka 38.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.

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