Kayhi pulls away late to defeat JDHS

Crimson Bears face off with Lady Falcons Thursday with season on the line

Juneau-Douglas’ Alyxn Bohulano, left, and Caitlin Pusich reach out to block Ketchikan’s Madison Rose Wednesday night at Ketchikan High School. The Lady Kings defeated the Crimson Bears 59-50 and can win the Region V 4A championship with a win on Friday. (Dustin Safranek | Ketchikan Daily News)

Ketchikan High School junior Ashley Huffine scored the go-ahead layup with three minutes left and the Lady Kings defeated Juneau-Douglas High School 59-50 in the second-round of the Region V 4A basketball tournament Wednesday night.


JDHS junior Caitlin Pusich scored 19 points and senior Cassie Dzinich had 17 points in the loss. Sophomore Nadire Zhuta and senior Ashley Huffine scored 12 points apiece for the Kings.

It was the third Lady Kings’ defeat of the Crimson Bears this season but first since mid-January.

The path to a Region V championship now requires JDHS to win three games in a row, starting Thursday afternoon. The Crimson Bears play the Lady Falcons at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Wednesday’s game featured 53 free throws, a testament to the pep the teams’ played with throughout the game. Dzinich, who led JDHS with nine free throws, has been an inspiration to her teammates and coach. The senior forward is playing through a torn ACL.

“She’s giving us a lot of confidence that she’s doing her best and it makes us feel better when she’s out on the court,” Pusich said.

“I think anybody who’s had injuries knows that when you’re playing with injuries, it plays both the physical and mental game,” JDHS head coach Lesslie Knight added. “She’s been the toughest I’ve seen her in her four years. I can’t be more proud of her.”

JDHS started the game on a 10-3 run and went to the foul line on three different occasions in the first quarter.

The Kings responded with multiple 3-pointers.

Zhuta hit two 3’s in the first quarter and one in the second to catch the Crimson Bears. The sophomore’s basket early in the second quarter put Kayhi up 18-16, and the home team retained the lead throughout the rest of the half.

JDHS trailed 32-28 at halftime but went on a 6-0 run to take a 45-43 lead early in the fourth quarter.

After a Hannah Maxwell two-pointer, Dzinich put the Crimson Bears back up. Slick tied it up again, and Huffine gave the Kings the lead shortly thereafter.

With the score tied at 47-47, Bohulano fouled out, and the Kings scored 12 of the final 15 points of the game. Knight said Bohulano’s ballhandling against the Kings’ full-court press was missed in the final minutes of the game.

“We had way too many turnovers in that fourth quarter, and once Alyxn fouled out, we turned the ball over repeatedly,” she said.

Thursday’s Games

11:30 a.m. JDHS vs. TMHS girls

1:15 p.m. JDHS boys vs. TBD

3 p.m. Metlakatla vs. Petersburg girls

4:45 p.m. Metlakatla vs. Petersburg boys

6:30 p.m. Sitka vs. Mt. Edgecumbe girls

8:15 p.m. Sitka vs. Mt. Edgecumbe boys

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


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