It was a hard-fought battle between the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls basketball team and cross-town rivals Thunder Mountain High School on Tuesday, which saw both teams neck-and-neck for most of the game. However, the Falcons would prevail in the end, 43-41.
“We played 32 minutes, that’s the quote, we played 32 minutes,” said TMHS coach Andy Lee. “This is our fourth game in six days, we won three, that’s a big deal. We’re not done, we’re going to build on this.”
The first two quarters saw both teams tied 13-13 and 24-24, but by the third quarter the Falcons slowly started to inch ahead by only two to three points. After Tuesday’s game, TMHS now sits at a 14-7 (3-2 in-conference) record with JDHS at 13-6 (2-1 in-conference).
JDHS senior Mariah Schauwecker and freshman Gwen Nizich both sat out of Tuesday night’s game due to injuries, which JDHS coach Tanya Nizich said is always a test for coaches and players to adjust to.
“It always changes things when you have two starters sitting out for a big conference game like that,” Nizich said. “In the end, to be honest, it kind of forced some people to step up and it was quite a pleasant surprise from some kids that were able to get in the game and do some great things for us. It shows their efforts and their abilities that they can get in the game at any time, even crunch time and perform well.”
TMHS sophomore Cailynn Baxter led her team in scoring with 11 points with her sister sophomore Kerra Baxter following right behind with 10 points. JDHS senior Skylar Tuckwood led her team and all scorers with 19 points with junior Mila Hargrave coming in with 10 points.
Lee said that while any game won is a positive step forward, improvements will need to be made if the team expects to capitalize on the win.
“We can’t play like this in the next game and expect to win, we have to play better,” Lee said. “We appreciate the Bears, that’s a great team over there, there’s a good team in Ketchikan, too, there’s a reason we’re four, five, six in the state, and we’re going to get better.”
The two Juneau teams will face off again at TMHS at 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21 for another conference game.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at email@example.com.