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Crimson Bears falter in first game before rolling over Kings in second

Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2010

After losing in disappointing fashion Friday night, it was evident the Crimson Bears girls' basketball team was determined not to let it happen again.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

With relentless defensive pressure and constant dribble penetration, Juneau-Douglas won the first quarter 16-3 and never looked back on their way to a 51-31 victory over the Ketchikan Kings Saturday night.

Juneau-Douglas (6-1, 3-1) forced the Kings (8-2, 1-1) into 21 turnovers on the night while limiting them to just more than 20 percent (7-of-34) shooting from the floor. Conversely, the Bears shot 50 percent from the floor, often getting open looks at the basket from passes off the dribble-drive, and capitalizing on their 14 offensive rebounds. But defense was the story in this one for JDHS.

"I think we put so much pressure on them tonight that they didn't have the energy after going so hard last night to do it two nights in a row," said Juneau-Douglas coach Lesslie Knight. "We're a little deeper than they are so we can run more kids at them. One thing we still didn't do well - we never got to the one-and-one in the first half. We have to get on the line and shoot."

The Crimson Bears did have 25 turnovers on the game, but played good transition defense, limiting the Kings to just 11 points off turnovers. Karli Brakes commited eight turnovers in the game, but made up for it with seven steals, two more than the entire Ketchikan team had.

"One thing I talked to Karli about is that it's awesome how fired up she gets, but she is so jittery that she's got to learn to control that on offense," Knight said. "And we want her to do all that on defense, but step back, back it out and take a deep breath on offense."

Junior forward Maria Weyerauch said the team knew it could play better defense than what it did Friday.

"Defense is our strong point, and we were more intense about that tonight," she said. "Our team knew that we could play better defense, and we just told ourselves we'd play better - we promised ourselves."

"We can't get too cocky, but we know that if we play good defense and attack the basket, we can beat them (Ketchikan)."

Senior forward Annette Highley led all scorers with 14 points and said the team couldn't afford to go into another scoring slump like the one it endured the previous night.

"(Friday), we had a good lead going into half and then had a slump where we just couldn't score, so we knew we couldn't let that happen again. We really decided to keep up the defensive pressure to help our offense out," she said."It's good because its a long season. It'd be nice if you could peak early and just keep it at a high level, but there are always kinks you need to work out."

The two power houses will meet again, this time in Ketchikan, Feb. 19-20, and Kings coach Kelly Smith said the team will be ready for Juneau-Douglas' arrival.

"We're just going to learn and adjust," he said. "It's the first time I've seen all the Juneau girls play together, so now I can go back and watch some film and see what we need to do."

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