"Just win, baby" was the motto for the NFL's Oakland Raiders during the late '70s. But it might as well have been the motto of the
Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team Thursday night as it squeaked by Class 4A powerhouse Dimond 47-39 in an ugly overtime win at
the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium.
Turnovers and sloppy play by both teams highlighted a low-scoring affair where only 25 total baskets were made the entire night.
One of Juneau's few bright spots came from junior center Hilary Rehfeld as she scored 23 points to go along with her 13 rebounds --
five offensive --to lead all scorers and rebounders in the game.
Rehfeld was not happy about her performance, citing her slow start and she only shot 35-percent (6-17) from the field.
"The whole team started out really slow," Rehfeld said. "We didn't come out like we were ready to score points."
Head coach Jim Hamey said the flu bug that hit some of the players early in the weak affected their play, but nothing was more evident
than the play of Courtney Mason.
Mason missed practices on Monday and Tuesday with the flu and her game was noticeably off from what Crimson Bear fans are accustomed to
seeing from the high-energy guard.
Mason missed all six of her shots, some of them missing the rim entirely, while playing only 23 minutes and finishing the game with just three points.
"I didn't realize that some of the girls would be so affected by the flu and weight loss from it." Hamey said. "I had no idea we would play so poorly."
"I don't think I have ever seen Courtney play like that before," he added. "None of the girls would ever use that (being sick) as an excuse,
but you could tell it affected them."
The game started quickly with Dimond's Jennifer Sandy taking the opening tip for a quick lay-up. But it wasn't until the 4:24 mark of the
first quarter when the next point was scored on a free throw by Mason.
Juneau took their first lead of the game at the 5:33 mark of the second quarter when Rehfeld sank two free throws for a 10-9 lead.
The Crimson Bears finished the first half with a 18-15 advantage over the Lynx.
Poor execution by both teams continued throughout the second half with airballs, turnovers and jump balls easily outnumbering points,
rebounds and assists.
But Juneau still managed to keep a slight lead over the Lynx until the game's final minutes when Dimond's Jessica Houston nailed a jumper
from 12 feet out with 53 seconds left to tie the game at 35 apiece.
Juneau then waited for the last shot and Mason's jumper fell just short and bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime.
It was all Juneau in overtime as the Crimson Bears outscored the Lynx 12-4.
Junior forward Danielle Larson made what is arguably the biggest play by a Juneau player so far this year when she fought hard to wrestle a rebound away from Dimond's Tina Fakasiieiki.
Juneau's Michael Kohan then sank a jump-shot from 15 feet out for a 42-39 Crimson Bear lead.
"Larson's rebound late in the game was crucial," Juneau assistant coach Jer Hamey said. "She's an amazing rebounder with great strength and competitiveness."
Mason secured the victory for Juneau (3-1 overall) when she stole the ball from Dimond's Jennifer Fleming with 55 seconds to go and was immediately fouled.
Mason proceeded to hit both free throws to extend Juneau's lead to 44-39 and an uncontested lay-up by Kohan with nine seconds left finished off the Lynx 47-39.
"It was an ugly game for our first game of the season," Dimond head coach Kristen Melican-Nevala said. "But I know it's tough to come down here and play and I give a lot of credit to coach Hamey."
The one bright spot for the Bears was team defense. Allowing only 39 points -- including an overtime period -- to a team that qualified for last year's Class 4A state tournament is a significant achievement for the Juneau girls.
"We always pride ourselves in keeping opposing teams under 40 points and we did it again," Jer Hamey said.
Outside of Rehfeld's 23 points, Juneau was led by Kohan with 10 points and five rebounds and Larson, who tallied four points and seven rebounds.
Defensively, the Parr twins, Kari and Suzanne, were all over the court getting five and four steals respectively.
"The Parr twins are warriors," assistant coach Hamey said. "Their competitive spirit lifts the team and their teammates feed off of their efforts at the defensive end."
The Juneau girls will take the rest of the week off and continue action Jan. 12-13 against Service High School at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gymnasium at 8 p.m.
Jeff Kasper can be reached at email@example.com
Crimson Bears 47, Lynx 39
Thursday's girls boxscore at Juneau-Douglas High School
Dimond (39) -- Zee Zee Young 0 0-0 3, Heidi Kessler 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Sandy 5 3-3 13, Julia Fleming 2 0-0 9, Megan Scott 0 1-2 1, Megan O'Connor 1 2-3 4, Jessie Bettin 0 0-0 0, Tina Fakasiieiki 2 0-4 4, Jessi Houston 1 3-6 5. Totals: 14 9-18 39.
Juneau-Douglas (47) -- Kari Parr 0 2-6 2, Suzanne Parr 0 0-1 3, Michael Kohan 4 2-6 10, Courtney Mason 0 3-4 3, Anna Capacci 0 0-0 0, Amy Neussl 0 2-4 2, Hilary Rehfeld 6 11-13 23, Danielle Larson 1 2-2 4. Totals: 11 22-36 47.
Dimond 9 6 5 15 4 -- 39
Juneau-Douglas 5 13 6 11 12 -- 47
3-point goals -- Dimond 2 (Young 1, Fleming 1), Juneau-Douglas 1 (S. Parr 1). Fouled Out -- Dimond 3