One night after dominating Southeast Conference foe Ketchikan 68-34 the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears found themselves unable to find a basket in a 32-27 loss on Saturday.
JDHS senior Marissa Brakes has never been the best shooter in the gym, until Friday night when she dropped 17 points on the visiting Ketchikan Kings in a 68-34 southeast conference win.
“I always get a little bit more excited when we play conference games,” Brakes said. “I just went out and was ready to shoot, I knew I had to be a scorer. Gabi (Fenumiai) and Esra (Siddeek) are obviously our two go-to people and are always very consistent in our scoring.”
Brakes continued to mastermind the offense, directing the screens, pushing the ball up court and dishing off to seniors Fenumiai in the post or Siddeek and Emily Winters on the wings. Fenumiai was in foul trouble early and on the bench and Siddeek didn’t find the hoop early.
This time, however, Brakes dropped three shots from beyond the arch, a distance that seems far for her diminutive size. Seven Crimson Bears found the net in the first quarter, including five points from Brakes, and JDHS started the second period leading 17-8.
To top it off the Crimson Bears swarmed the Kings in the full court with Brakes bouncing back and forth as the head of the defensive pressure much like the striking dart of a cobra.
“We started the season in a 2-2-1 press,” Brakes said. “We decided to go back to the 1-2-2 because defense is my favorite and I love, love, love to run on defense. I don’t get tired on defense. That is where I get all my adrenaline.”
Forcing nine turnovers in the first period and seven in the second the Crimson Bears were relentless with defensive pressure, allowing just seven points in the second quarter.
Siddeek hit five of her nine game points in the stanza and despite going 2-11 at the free throw line the Crimson Bears were up 38-15 at the break.
Brakes also had the task of guarding Ketchikan’s athletic junior Jayley Taylor. When Brakes was out of the lineup that assignment went to junior Tori Fogg and sophomore Rachelle Roldan. The three held Kayhi’s all-conference guard to just four points.
Nothing changed in the third and fourth periods as the Crimson Bears pressure held the Kings to eight and 11 points while scoring 17 and 13, respectively and JDHS allowed no Kings player to score double figures.
The Crimson Bears shot over 60 percent from the field. Brakes was 6-11 with nine assists. Fenumiai added 11 points on 5-7 shooting and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, Siddeek nine points on 4-8 shooting and junior Kaitlin Fagerstrom six points on 3-5 shooting. Junior Ari Gross scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds. Junior Kymberlee Kelly scored six points, Winters three, Fogg, Roldan, junior Kayla Balovich and senior Amberli Fitka two each, and freshman Cristina Arehart one.
JDHS hit 10-24 at the charity stripe for the game while Kayhi tallied 18-24.
Mikayla Brown-Harrison led the Kings with eight points, Courtney Kemble and Brooke Simmons five apiece, Taylor four, Bayley Lindgren three, Alexis Crellin, Sonja Christensen, Lizzie Carson and Faith Clark two each and Charley Edwardson one.
On Saturday, Brakes and company could not find the hoop as JDHS hit just 8-41 from the floor.
“We left the intensity some place other than the gym tonight,” Boster said. “We were a completely different team. We shot poorly from the field and we didn’t rebound aggressively.”
Fenumiai tallied just eight points, Fagerstrom five, Siddeek four and Brakes two while Kayhi’s Taylor scored a game high 15 points.
The Crimson Bears played solid first half defense but did not capitalize on the scoreboard. Fagerstrom and Fitka nailed three-pointers to help open an 11-5 first quarter advantage.
Ketchikan continued to slow the game down and both teams hit just one field goal in the second period. JDHS led 14-9 at the half.
A lackluster third period kept momentum in Kayhi’s corner as Taylor hit eight points and outscored the Crimson Bears by herself.
“We missed too many easy shots,” Boster said. “Hats off to Ketchikan. They played well tonight. They adjusted well and came ready to play. They were a different team from last night.”
Trailing 24-19 starting the fourth quarter the Crimson Bears worked the score to within two points on a Fagerstrom basket but Taylor hit a field goal and two free throws to seal the win for Kayhi.
Fitka added three points for the Crimson Bears, Kelly and Balovich two, and Gross one. JDHS was 9-18 at the free-throw line, Kayhi hit 11-18.
Lindgren added seven points for the Lady Kings, Simmons six, Crellin three and Kimble one.