The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team beat the Bartlett Golden Bears 54-38 on Saturday to claim second place in the East T-Bird Classic at East Anchorage High School.
With the victory, Juneau bounced back from a 61-40 loss to the two-time defending state champion East Anchorage Thunderbirds on Friday. East also won the tournament's sportsmanship award.
Juneau (9-3 overall) went 2-1 in the tournament and was 3-1 during its four-game road trip to Anchorage this weekend. The Crimson Bears beat the Dimond Lynx on Wednesday in a non-tourney game and knocked off Colony in Thursday's tournament opener.
East, ranked No. 2 in the Alaska State Sportswriter's poll, claimed the tournament title with a 3-0 record, closing out the tourney with an 82-48 victory over No. 3 Colony on Saturday. In Friday's other girls game, Bartlett upset Colony 57-38 to earn third place in the round-robin tournament. Colony, which was undefeated when it opened tournament play, went 0-3 and took fourth place.
In Saturday's game, Suzanne Parr scored 13 points to lead Juneau, while Amy Neussl had 10 points and the duo of Danielle Larson and Kari Parr each chipped in nine points for the Crimson Bears. Each of the nine Juneau players scored.
Letricia Castillo scored 18 points to lead Bartlett (6-3) and Shanise Driver added seven points.
The Crimson Bears jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the first quarter as Larson scored six points. Bartlett made a couple of brief runs later in the game, but each time Bartlett made a run Juneau had a counterpunch to keep the Golden Bears from getting back into the contest.
On Friday, Juneau head coach Jim Hamey said he hoped his Crimson Bears could control the game's tempo and keep East (10-2) from running away with things.
That gameplan worked early, as Juneau trailed 15-13 at the end of the first quarter and 27-21 at halftime. But East, which hasn't lost in Alaska for two seasons, began to pull away in the second half, taking a 47-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
While East's four seniors -- Natalie Jones, Tenecia Macon, Christa Wilson and Janessa Webb -- drew most of Juneau's attention on defense, it was the play of junior center Ashley Mickens that gave the game to the Thunderbirds. Mickens scored 22 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had five steals to lead East, while Macon had 18 points as the only other T-Bird with more than six points.
Neussl scored 11 points to lead Juneau, while Suzanne Parr added seven points and the duo of Kari Parr and Larson had six points apiece. Juneau center Hilary Rehfeld was battling the stomach flu and saw limited action in Friday's and Saturday's games.
"We know what East is about -- that's the fast break," Neussl told the Anchorage Daily News. "I think we limited their fast-break points, but Ashley had a great game."
Juneau will be home this weekend as the Crimson Bears host their first games in over a month. The Juneau girls play the Sitka Wolves in a pair of Region V-Class 4A games on Friday and Saturday, with the varsity games set to start at 8 p.m. The next weekend, Feb. 8-9, the Crimson Bears host East for two non-region games.
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