Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls basketball team lost to Wasilla 47-33 in the second day of the Denali State Bank Ice Jam in Fairbanks on Friday.
“We did not handle their pressure very well at all,” JDHS coach Steven Potter said. “We made a lot of poor decisions. We did not read where the openings were. We pretty much attacked the heart of it over and over instead of avoiding the extra defenders.”
Wasilla is considered one of the top 4A schools in the state this season and the Warriors defense is their strong point, as well as being big inside with two players approaching 6-foot-5.
JDHS seniors Mackenzie Nichols and Gabi George-Frank, junior Ashley Laudert and sophomore Mila Hargrave all battled in the paint.
“I thought we did really well,” Potter said. “Obviously we didn’t score like I would have liked. We mixed it up with them inside and those girls got a lot of touches. But neither one of their players inside were leading scorers, that shows that our bigs are improving defensively.”
The Crimson Bears held their own in the first quarter, getting shots from outside the arch by senior Trinity Jackson and junior Skylar Tuckwood and a basket inside by sophomore Mila Hargrave.
The Warriors would have five different players score and held a 13-10 lead after eight minutes of action.
JDHS would have net just two baskets in the second quarter. Jackson hit from past the arch and senior Mackenzie Nichols did the same.
Wasilla put in another 13-point quarter and held a 26-16 lead at the half.
“I thought that we were kind of making up some ground and figuring things out towards the end of the first half but then we gave up back-to-back shots, where we just didn’t rotate out onto their shooter,” Potter said.
One of those shooters was Wasilla freshman Mylee Anderson who hit back-to-back shots in each of the last two quarters and finished the contest with a game-high 15 points.
Wasilla led 38-22 after three quarters of action.
Jackson and Tuckwood continued their aggressive offensive attacks in the final eight minutes of action, netting three and six points, respectively, as JDHS outscored Wasilla 11-9 to finish the game.
Potter said the Crimson Bears forced close to 20 turnovers in the game, “but we probably had 25 ourselves or more. I don’t know how much of their problems were self inflicted like they weren’t doing what they were supposed to do. I know that we didn’t necessarily do what we were supposed to do. But that’s the whole point of pressure is to make you forget what it is you are supposed to do. If you could make the good decisions all the time against pressure then it wouldn’t be pressure. We had some opportunities. We missed some point blank shots that we should normally make, but again that is pressure.”
Jackson led the Crimson Bears with 12 points. Tuckwood added 11, Hargrave and Nichols three apiece, and junior Kiyara Miller and senior Rebekah Grube two apiece.
Jackson was named the Player of the Game for the Crimson Bears.
“I thought she was really all over the place offensively,” Potter said. “When we stagnated on offense she was able to get into the heart of their zone and sometimes she scored, sometimes she made good passes to her teammates. I thought she brought intensity, offensively and defensively the whole game.”
JDHS hit 11-19 at the charity stripe, Wasilla 7-9.
Freshman Mylee Anderson led the Warriors with 15 points. Senior Megan Alley added 11, freshman Layla Hays eight, junior Bella Hays four, senior Hallie Anderson four, senior Kaci Cox four and senior Andrea Apthorp one.
“I overheard their coaches commenting they didn’t feel like they played particularly well,” Potter said. “I’d like to think some of that had to do with us. We definitely were able to disrupt them, but we just didn’t do enough on the offensive end to have a realistic chance at winning the game.”
The Crimson Bears will finish the tournament against West Valley today.
Also in Fairbanks, the JDHS junior varsity defeated the North Pole JV 44-35 and will play in a junior varsity championship game today.
JDHS JV - Larissa Dybdahl 11, Sandra Bouvier 10, Izzy Waters 8, Erlyn Penalosa 5, Tatum Billings 4, Mariah Shauwecker 3, Rayna Tuckwood 2, Chloe Casperson 2.
North Pole JV - Tiahna Guzman 10, Madison Glynn 8, Jill Ross 6, Neveah Robinson 4, Tayler Croan 4, Hannah Swinning 3.