Juneau-Douglas gears up for Classic after Vegas trip

JDHS teams to play three games in four nights at annual tournament

Juneau-Douglas’ Caitlin Pusich lays the ball up in the Crimson Bears’ first game of last year’s Capital City Classic at JDHS. The JDHS girls play East Anchorage, Sutherlin, Oregon and Chugiak at this year’s tournament, which starts on Wednesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

For over 25 years, the Capital City Classic has welcomed teams from around the country and world to Juneau.


This season, teams from Oregon and Washington state will join the Crimson Bears and three other Alaskan teams at the tournament, which started in 1991.

The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears, Friday Harbor (Washington) Wolverines, Sitka Wolves and Palmer Moose make up the boys field.

The Chugiak Mustangs, East Anchorage Thunderbirds and Sutherlin (Oregon) Bulldogs join host JDHS in the girls tournament.

The JDHS girls will play at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Likewise, the JDHS boys play the same three nights at 7 p.m.

Game tickets are $3 for seniors and $5 for adults and students.

The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team is playing in a different “Classic” this week — the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan. The TMHS girls team has the week off.

JDHS girls basketball coach Lesslie Knight said the tournament is a hub for more than just basketball players.

“It’s a place where everyone comes back at Christmas from college, from wherever they live, and they can connect with people they haven’t seen in a long time,” Knight said.

“They don’t necessarily have to be Juneau alums, it’s just locals all gathering in the same place to see each other,” she added.

Both the JDHS teams are coming back from Las Vegas where they each played four games in the Tarkanian Classic basketball tournament.

The boys team finished 2-2 at the tournament, posting a 73-67 win on Thursday against La Salle Prep High School from Oregon. Senior Erik Kelly scored a team-high 45 points in the win. Two days later, the Crimson Bears defeated Western High School from Nevada. Kelly scored 18 points in the 60-48 win.

The JDHS girls lost all four of their games at the tournament by an average of 17 points.

Still, Knight said the experience will be a boon to the team the rest of the season.

“It was well worth a 0-4 trip,” she said.

Cassie Dzinich scored 34 points in the third game of the tournament, a 73-71 overtime loss to Nevada’s Legacy High School.

Watch it live

The Juneau Empire’s sports Facebook page, Juneau Sports, will be live streaming both the JDHS games on Wednesday and Thursday night. On Saturday, the Empire will be live streaming the JDHS games on its website, JuneauEmpire.com.

Princess Cruises Capital City Classic

All games played at JDHS gymnasium

Wednesday, Dec. 27

1 p.m. Chugiak girls vs. Sutherlin

3 p.m. Sitka boys vs. Palmer

5 p.m. Juneau-Douglas girls vs. East Anchorage

7 p.m. Juneau-Douglas boys vs. Friday Harbor

Thursday, Dec. 28

1 p.m. Chugiak girls vs. East Anchorage

3 p.m. Friday Harbor boys vs. Palmer

5 p.m. Juneau-Douglas girls vs. Sutherlin

7 p.m. Juneau-Douglas boys vs. Sitka

Friday, Dec. 29

Noon: Tour of Juneau

3 p.m. Shooting Contest

5 p.m. Banquet at JDHS commons

Saturday, Dec. 30

1 p.m. East Anchorage girls vs. Sutherlin

3 p.m. Sitka boys vs. Friday Harbor

5 p.m. Juneau-Douglas girls vs. Chugiak

7 p.m. Juneau-Douglas boys vs. Palmer

8:30 p.m. Awards

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nolin.ainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow the Empire Sports on Twitter (@akempiresports) and Facebook (@JuneauSports) for the latest on Juneau Sports.


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