JDHS cagers get to ride the Mustangs next

Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Christian Life's Ahmed Shamseldin and Juneau's Ryan Kelly dive for a loose ball in the first half. Juneau played Christian Life Center of Humble, Texas, in the Alaska Airlines Classic high school basketball tournament at West High School on Friday, January 12, 2011.

The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boys’ basketball team will host the Chugiak Mustangs tonight and Saturday.


“We are looking forward to Chugiak’s arrival,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “It has been a long time since they have been to the Capital City, if ever, and we appreciate that we have this opportunity to play an Anchorage school at home. I am hopeful that we will be able to include more Anchorage schools on our schedule next season, too. Playing in Juneau is a unique opportunity for anyone.”

The Juneau basketball fan base alone, both at JDHS and TMHS, makes the trip worth it for the Anchorage schools. Northern schools traditionally don’t play in front of 800-plus fans that enjoy and appreciate quality basketball, except when the state tournament is at the Sullivan Arena.

“It is a luxury that we cannot take for granted,” Casperson stated.

The Crimson Bears are coming off an impressive tournament at the Alaska Airlines Classic, hosted by West Anchorage, where in two wins and one loss they played their best basketball against the toughest competition to date.

JDHS gave up a season high 74 points to Texas’ Christian Life Center in the tourney opening loss, then turned around and limited North Carolina’s Mt. Zion to 55 in a win and forcing Kodiak into 25 turnovers and allowing just 35 points in another victory.

Chugiak recently lost to Palmer by 20 points and beat West Valley by one before playing Thunder Mountain on Thursday. The Mustangs feature a 6-foot-7 post and some quickness.

“I believe that Chugiak will provide a strong test for us coming off a successful weekend at the Alaska Airlines Classic,” Casperson said. “Our team is making strides in the right direction. We have had a laser-like focus on defense in practice this season and it is starting to pay off. We need to keep moving forward in this direction and continue to improve this weekend.”

Unfortunately, the most recent media poll shows that voters had their head’s in the sand and dropped the Crimson Bears from the top 5.

The Juneau JV will play the Hydaburg boys’ varsity at 5 p.m. today before the Crimson Bears battle the Mustangs at 7 p.m.

On Saturday the Juneau boy’s C team will take on the JDHS girls varsity at 5 p.m., again as a preliminary to the boys varsity and Chugiak at 7 p.m.

The JDHS boys’ basketball team and JDHS administrative staff have invited representatives from Cancer Connection, including Ruth Johnson and Alex Viteri, who will be donating their time, to make themselves available in the lobby to raise the awareness of men’s prostate and testicular cancer.

While women’s issues are important it has been shown that men are often not as proactive as women when it comes to their health. As with many types of cancer, early detection is essential in the successful treatment and possible cure in these diseases.

Men are encouraged to stop by the tables in the JDHS lobby and obtain information, brochures and ask questions. Men often intend to have their health checked but often don’t so women are asked to help encourage sons, husbands, fathers or grandfathers to become aware of the risks and benefits of early testing and detection for prostate and testicular cancer.


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