The Juneau-Douglas High School girls’ basketball team got mired in the full-court pressure defense of the Gig Harbor Tides, falling 34-27 to the Washington school in the final day of the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic on Monday night.
“We were 7-24 from the line and lost by seven, that is frustrating,” Juneau-Douglas coach Dee Boster said. “We played hard but we need to keep our composure and run our plays. We try to do things that are beyond our ability sometimes.”
Junior Rachelle Roldan gave the Crimson Bears their only lead of the game by draining a shot deep beyond the arch to start play. Seniors Kaitlin Fagerstrom and Kymberlee Kelly pulled down two rebounds apiece in the quarter but the Crimson Bears couldn’t capitalize offensively.
Gig Harbor went on a 10-1 run to end the quarter.
Kelly pulled two more rebounds to open the second quarter and scored to pull JDHS to within 11-6.
Gig Harbor increased its pressure to both end lines and ran off 10 points to two by Fagerstrom and settled into the break leading 20-8. The Crimson Bears committed six turnovers in the final five minutes.
Tides sophomore MaKenzie Alton started the third quarter by hustling back to block a breakaway lay-in by Crimson Bears senior Tori Fogg but drew her fourth foul on the next possession and had to rest at the bench.
JDHS couldn’t capitalize and turned the ball over three times under the Gig Harbor press before Fogg was fouled and canned two free throws and Monika Rivera hit inside.
The Tides responded with a buzzer-beater by sophomore Sydney Bertholf for a 24-12 advantage to end the period.
Three turnovers by the Crimson Bears allowed the Tides to get a free throw by freshman Izzy Turk and a deep triple by Alton.
After two hard drives by senior Kymberlee Kelly and Rivera, the Crimson Bears picked up their defensive full-court pressure, forced a turnover and drew within 30-20 with 2:57 remaining.
JDHS sophomore Kallen Hoover canned two big baskets to keep the Crimson Bears in the game.
“I just concentrated on playing,” Hoover said. “I just tried to focus on playing hard.”
Gig Harbor’s Alton answered Hoover’s barrage with a basket of her own, a steal and a blocked shot.
Alton and teammate KJ Keim each hit a free throw to push the Tides to 34 and JDHS’ Fagerstrom scored for the final 27 for the Crimson Bears.
Gig Harbor was led by Alton’s 10 points, Keim and Turk added seven apiece, Tessa Waage and Sydney Bertholf four each, and Katie Emery two.
The Tides went 5-15 at the free throw line; the Crimson Bears hit 7-24.
Hoover, and seniors Kacey Jackson, Kelly and Fagerstrom scored six points apiece for the JDHS. Rivera, Fogg and Roldan scored three apiece.
“The nice thing is we didn’t give up,” Boster said. “The intentions are there, we just need to come together as a team. The nice thing is we didn’t give up. We played aggressive for 32 minutes. The kids saw that if they played that way through out then a game like this could be turned around.”