The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears girls high school basketball team used tough, tenacious defense to stymie the Service Cougars, winning 59-33 on Friday night and 46-33 on Saturday night at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gymnasium.
Juneau junior Hilary Rehfeld proved she can play with the best centers in the state by getting the better of Service's standout post player Katie Gilbert, who is heading to the University of Idaho next fall on a basketball scholarship.
Gilbert was not much of a factor in either game and was held to 11 points on Saturday and looked visibly frustrated at times as Juneau's (5-1) relentless defense took its toll on her.
"Katie wants to win," Service head coach Phil Jordan said. "Sometimes her competitiveness gets the better of her."
Rehfeld, Juneau's leading scorer heading into the weekend, managed only eight points, mainly due to Service's double-teaming efforts. But Rehfeld used the double teams to her advantage by dishing off the ball when the defense would collapse around her.
"Katie (Gilbert) played stronger tonight and she didn't get in foul trouble like she did last night," Rehfeld said. "I'm thankful for my guards and Danny (Larson) for pulling down the rebounds."
Danielle Larson was the recipient of three of Rehfeld's assists as Larson continued to impress girls head coach Jim Hamey with her smothering defense and tough rebounding.
"She looked great out there and did a super job at rotating," coach Hamey said. "She also did a real nice job helping out on their big girl."
Saturday's game started a lot like Friday's game as Juneau and Service battled for position and searched for each others weaknesses.
Kari Parr equaled her buzzer beating heroics from Friday's game with a layup and foul at the end of the first quarter, with the Bears trailing 11-8 on Saturday (her 3-pointer Friday gave Juneau an 11-10 lead).
Rehfeld took center stage in the second quarter as she took turns taking the ball to the basket and dishing off to the open Larson who would put it in.
"They were in a zone and when people come forward you know that someone is open," Rehfeld said.
The Bears headed into the locker room with a slim 22-19 half-time lead and tightened the knot on Service in the second half.
The Cougars would only score 11 points the rest of the game, including a 12-minute span from the start of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter where Service scored only six points.
Micheal Kohan led Juneau scorers with 10 points and Kari Parr contributed nine. Larson matched Rehfeld's eight points while Neussl chipped in six and Courtney Mason and Kendri Cesar added three and two points to round out the scoring for the Bears.
Behind Gilbert's 11 points, Service was led by Marcie Alzheimer who scored nine and Bonnie Lee Prasil who added eight points.
Hamey was very impressed with the play of all of his guards.
"It's great to have four guards who can do the job," said Hamey referring to Mason, Cesar, Kari Parr and Suzanne Parr. "It's so nice being able to put in two good fresh guards all the time. They have different strengths but together they are a very strong group."
The wins upped the Bears' record to 5-1 and after the game, Hamey and his team felt good about their performances and will bring some much needed confidence into next week's meeting with Sitka on Jan. 19-20.
"We learned some stuff about ourselves this weekend," said Hamey. "We showed we can play ball without shooting a lot of long shots."
Mason was also pleased with the team's performance. "This was great for all of us. It brought us up from being down," Mason said.
Crimson Bears 59, Cougars 33
Rehfeld led all scorers with 18 points to pace a Crimson Bear rampage over the Cougars on Friday night.
Mason scored eight points and Neussl added seven in place of Kohan, who was a late scratch for the game.
Slow play marked the beginning of the game until Service's Gilbert received her third personal foul with 1:18 to go in the first quarter, which forced Jordan to sit his star center on the bench.
The Bears took advantage of Gilbert's absence by taking the lead heading into the second quarter when Kari Parr sunk a rainbow three-pointer at the buzzer to make it 11-10.
From that point on, the Bears never looked back. When Gilbert got hit with foul number four just 39 seconds into the second quarter, it left Rehfeld with virtually no resistance to take the ball to the hole.
Rehfeld scored nine of her points in the second quarter and Anna Capacci and Kacie Murphy came off the bench with some solid play to spark a 12-0 run en route to a 27-17 half-time lead.
Mason started it off for Juneau in the second half tanking one of her two three-pointers and Suzanne Parr banked in a layup plus a foul shot to make the score 33-19 ... and the Bears rolled on.
"It felt a lot better out there," co-captain Mason said. "We played good defense and when they came in here talking up their D-1 (NCAA Division I) player, it just made us work harder."
"We were very timid and unsure of ourselves early, but picked it up in the second half," Hamey said.
Juneau looked confident on the court and when Murphy dished off a pass to Nuessl for a crowd pleasing layup to go up 46-23 with 1:28 to go in the third quarter, the Bears looked assured of victory and cruised to a 59-33 final score.
"We played hard and we got good looks at the basket," Hamey said. "It was a physical game with a lot of holding, bumping and slapping."
Ten players scored for the Bears as coach Hamey nearly emptied his bench by playing 14 girls, giving valuable playing experience to his younger players.
Service was led by Amy Hills with 10 points while Marcie Alzheimer and Bonnie Lee Prasil added six and five points respectively for the Cougars.
Gilbert's early foul trouble seemed to rattle the Cougars since they were unable to get anything going offensively without her on the court.
"She's a catalyst and she has to learn the price the team pays when she gets into foul trouble," Jordan said.
Jordan partly blamed his team's long layoff over the holidays for their subpar play. Service hadn't played since Dec. 20.
"This is like our first game of the season and we're still trying out some combinations," Jordan said. "Hopefully we can put this behind us and use it as a learning experience."
Juneau outscored Service 48-23 after the first quarter. Service center Katie Gilbert only played nine minutes and fouled out with just four points.
Jeff Kasper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crimson Bears 46, Cougars 33
Saturday's girls boxscore from Juneau-Douglas High School
SERVICE (33) -- Bonnie Lee Prasil 3 2-4 8, Lindsey Thompson 0 0-0 0, Brittany Hamilton 1 0-0 3, Susan Dang 0 1-2 1, Katie Gilbert 5 1-6 11, Liberty Ziegahn 0 0-0 0, Lexi Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Marcie Alzheimer 3 3-4 9, Amy Hills 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 6-14 33.
juneau-douglas (46) -- Kari Parr 2 2-3 9, Suzanne Parr 0 0-0 0, Courtney Mason 1 1-2 3, Kendri Cesar 0 2-2 2, Anna Capacci 0 0-0 0, Michael Kohan 4 2-2 10, Amy Neussl 1 4-5 6, Kacie Murphy 0 0-0 0, Hilary Rehfled 2 4-5 8, Danielle Larson 4 0-0 8. Totals: 14 15-19 46.
Service 11 8 6 8 -- 33
Juneau-Douglas 8 14 8 16 -- 59
3-point goals -- Service 1 (Hamilton), Juneau-Douglas 1 (K. Parr). Fouled out -- Service 1 (Hamilton), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- Service 16, Juneau-Douglas 17.
Crimson Bears 59, Cougars 33
Friday's girls boxscore from Juneau-Douglas High School
SERVICE (33) -- Bonnie Lee Prasil 2 1-2 5, Lindsey Thompson 1 1-3 3, Brittany Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Susan Dang 0 1-2 1, Delaine Forbes 0 0-0 0, Katie Gilbert 2 0-0 4, Rachel Stophlet 1 0-0 2, Liberty Ziegahn 0 0-0 0, Lexi Gilbert 1 0-0 2, Tia Douglas 0 0-0 0, Marcie Alzheimer 3 0-0 6, Semeka Douglas 0 0-0 0, Amy Hills 2 3-4 10. Totals: 12 6-11 33.
juneau-douglas (59) -- Kari Parr 2 1-4 6, Suzanne Parr 1 2-3 4, Courtney Mason 2 2-2 8, Kendri Cesar 0 0-0 0, Anna Capacci 1 2-3 4, Heather Dillon 0 0-0 0, Julie Heard 0 2-2 2, Amy Neussl 2 3-4 7, Kacie Murphy 2 0-2 4, Hilary Rehfled 7 4-7 18, Danielle Larson 2 0-1 4, LeTasha McKoy 0 0-2 0, Alida Bus 0 2-2 2. Totals: 16 18-32 59.
Service 10 7 8 8 -- 33
Juneau-Douglas 11 16 19 13 -- 59
3-point goals -- Service 1 (Hills), Juneau-Douglas 3 (Mason 2, K. Parr). Fouled out -- Service 2 (K. Gilbert, L. Gilbert), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls -- Service 1 (Jordan), Juneau-Douglas 0. Total fouls -- Service 26, Juneau-Douglas 15.