Weekend Preview: JDHS girls host Ketchikan this weekend

The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team heads into their third weekend of play with just one loss, but that number may grow as they host Region champions Ketchikan for both teams’ first conference games of the year.

The Crimson Bears girls and the Lady Kings tip off at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at JDHS for Juneau’s only local high school sports games of the weekend.

JDHS (4-1) last played Ketchikan (3-2) in the 2016 Region V tournament finals, losing 37-27 for a trip to the state tournament. Ketchikan lost in the second round of the state tournament last year, garnering a third-place finish.

This weekend’s conference-opening games should establish who’s the Southeast 4A team to beat this year. Both teams’ rosters drastically differ, so it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.

Falcons boys at Prep Shootout

Coming off a two-game series split with West Valley, the Thunder Mountain boys basketball team heads to the Dimond Prep Shootout at Dimond High School for games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The boys open at 3 p.m. against Palmer with their Friday and Saturday games determined game outcomes. A tournament schedule can be found with this story online.

The Dimond Prep Shootout will be streamed live online at ustream.tv. A full link to the game stream can also be found online with this story.

At an even .500 win percentage, Thunder Mountain (4-4) will look to make make a splash against Anchorage schools who haven’t yet seen the Falcons play. With Southeast Region V play as strong this year as it was last year, the strength of the Falcons’ showing at the Shootout will go a long way to solidify their case for an at-large bid should they fail to earn a berth to the state tournament by beating Juneau-Douglas and Ketchikan for the Region crown.

Falcons girls at Sitka

The TMHS girls (2-5) head to Sitka this weekend for two games against the 3A Wolves. The girls are coming off their first two wins of the season, and the first of new coach Chandler Christensen’s tenure.

Look for coverage of those games online at juneauempire.com, and in Sunday and Tuesday’s print editions.

Crimson Bears boys on ‘circus’ road show

The JDHS boys just cracked the Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches top-five this week with their inclusion at the No. 5, their first ranking of the season. They’ll look to bolster their reputation — and climb the rankings — this weekend with three games at the Fairbanks-based Joe T. Classic tournament.

The Crimson Bears face off against Ben Eielson at 4:40 p.m. Thursday, Soldotna at 4:40 p.m. Friday and Lathrop at 8 p.m. Saturday.

JDHS plays eight away games in three weeks before coming home at the beginning of February for games against Thunder Mountain. Head coach Robert Casperson called the trip a “circus” of an away stretch that will test the team’s ability on away courts before opening conference play.

JDHS hockey on Anchorage tour

Coming off two routs of visiting Houston High School, JDHS hockey (2-0 Conference, 5-7 non-conference) head to Anchorage for games against Chugiak, Service and Eagle River.

Thursday’s game against Chugiak didn’t make print deadlines. Check out the Empire online for coverage.

JDHS faces Service at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Eagle River at 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

• Contact Sports and Outdoors reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 or kevin.gullufsen@juneauempire.com.

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