The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team hopes to continue its winning ways when it travels to Sitka for a double-header with the Sitka Wolves on Friday and Saturday.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Crimson Bears are healthy and spirits are high after two impressive wins over Service last weekend in Juneau.
"I'm anxious to see how we respond on the road," Juneau coach Jim Hamey said. "We're feeling pretty good and we're fortunate we haven't been hit with any illnesses. We're looking forward to playing Sitka."
The Juneau-Sitka games will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday on KJNO, 630-AM.
Juneau (5-1, 0-0) has not lost a basketball game so far this calendar year, with its last loss coming over two weeks ago at the hands of Gig Harbor (Wash.) at the Capital City Classic on Dec. 30.
"We're at now about where Gig was when we played them," Hamey said. "We have learned things we can and can't do and have learned things about ourselves."
In a sort of warm-up for the team's Region V-Class 4A opener with Sitka, the Crimson Bears will scrimmage Class 3A Mount Edgecumbe tonight in an event that traditionally has more meaning for the Braves than the Bears.
"These scrimmages are important to them. I remember a scrimmage about three years ago. We showed up and there were 800 people in the stands and refs. They really took it seriously," Hamey said. "But scrimmages to us are a chance to work on and try new things."
Hamey will continue to experiment with his starting lineups but downplayed the importance of the starter's role on the team.
"Starting doesn't mean as much to me as it does to the girls," Hamey said. "It's not important who starts but who gets the most playing time."
Sitka (7-3, 0-2) is coming off back-to-back losses to defending Region V-4A champion Ketchikan, 51-43 and 65-33 on Jan. 12-13.
"We're doing all right," Sitka coach Rich Krupa said. "We suffered a hard, hard loss to Ketchikan on Friday and we're fighting the flu right now. A couple of the girls are not doing too well and may miss some playing time this weekend."
The Wolves are led by senior center Breanne Erickson and senior forward Jennie Phillips who scored 10 and 16 points respectively against Ketchikan last Friday. Sidney Wyman led Sitka on Saturday with 18 points.
"The Southeast is going to be tough this year on the girls side," Krupa said. "We're looking forward to a battle from Juneau and it should be a real good game. We look forward to matching up with Hamey's team. They are always fundamentally sound and play good defense."
Both teams should match up well and have showed success against mutual foes this year.
Sitka defeated Service 44-36 earlier this year at the Grace Christian School Classic and split a double-header with Dimond in Sitka. Juneau beat Dimond in overtime on Jan. 4, in addition to its sweep of Service last weekend.
Juneau's road trip comes at a crucial time with the end of the semester coming next week.
"The girls have lots of tests, finals and papers to write," Hamey said "Everyone needs to play well and get good grades and not in that particular order."
Juneau's next games will be Jan. 24 when they travel to Chugiak before the Bears play in the East Anchorage T-Bird Classic on Jan. 25-27 against some of the best teams in the state.
Jeff Kasper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.